Tabatha Forbes – Absent Facsimile No.4 (Green) Sydney Parkinson, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. L. Forbes 1769 – 2020.


Tabatha Forbes, Absent Facsimile No.4 (Green) Sydney Parkinson, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. L. Forbes 1769 – 2020.  Acrylic house paint on bamboo paper. Framed size 445 x 635 mm.

Shipping by arrangement. This work is framed.

Born in 1972, Dr. Tabatha Forbes MFA (Hons) DocFA, is a New Zealand visual artist. Tabatha graduated with a Doctorate in Fine Arts in 2016 from the Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University.

Tabatha is now based in Taranaki, New Zealand after living in Rarotonga, Cook Islands from 2011-17. Prior to this, she lived on an orchard west of Auckland, New Zealand where she painted, taught botanical art and began her postgraduate study. Her interdisciplinary practice includes painting, photography, video, writing, performance and audio-visual installations. Tabatha has held three major exhibitions in Rarotonga. Working with South Pacific flora, fauna and natural history each of her projects has included collaborating with Cook Island craftsman and women.

“For nearly two decades my work has been increasingly concerned with the link of early 18th Century Botanical Art and how this influenced European perceptions of the South Pacific through collection and documentation and present day manifestations of those aesthetics and agendas. For example, how we value nature (flora & fauna) and how that evolves and recedes through the current influence of economy, beauty, politics and ecology. The story of how nature is initially seen (both in indigenous and European histories) and how it is developed as a ‘productive’ resource, is always a curious story to tell. I have based several previous projects looking at botanical art techniques and translating that through water based paint and print”.



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