Anna Priluka is a painter and printmaker based near Wanaka on New Zealand’s South Island. Originally from rural Melbourne, she moved to New Zealand almost 10 years ago and now paints full-time from her studio yurt at home in Hawea Flat.
Her works are native (though hypothetical) ecosystems on a small scale. Using traditional botanical and natural history illustration as a starting point, and influenced by the sumptuous compositions of 17th century Dutch still lifes, each relies on a range of scientific sources – from recent ecological studies to botanical identification manuals . They are species lists made visual. The round format of the panels is reminiscent of the magnified circles of textbook ecosystem illustrations, but each circle is also a cycle – a community either blossoming or unravelling at the edges. In a time of worldwide environmental change, they focus on the nearby and the local, on the often overlooked – the diminutive that disappears before we even notice it. They seek to celebrate the wonderful diversity and beautiful strangeness of New Zealand’s native environment, while at the same time reminding us of the fragility that is inherent in such complex, interdependent systems.