Tara Walters “Sailing to the Garden Party”
For her first exhibition in Italy, Los Angeles-based artist Tara Walters (b.1990, Washington D.C.) has produced a series of new paintings titled Sailing to the Garden Party, displayed in the rooms on the first floor of Palazzo Lezze on Campo Santo Stefano, Venice.
Walters’ watercolours are imbued with sea water, sand and sea shell dust that give the works a subtle and mystical luminescence, capturing the fleeting language of our intuition and memory using elements of the physical world, the starting point of our mind and spirit’s voyages. The colourful dream-like works disguise a profound search for meaning behind the apparent naivety of the subjects; painted air balloons and starry skies reminiscent of childhood become a hypertext that transports the viewer to a liminal state between memory and fantasy.
The title of the exhibition references Katherine Mansfield’s short story “The Garden Party”, an allegoric view of life and death through the distorted lense of one’s perspective on the meaning of reality, which inspired Tara’s works and the following poem:
A map, a sign, be it a shooting star or rainbow
reaffirming that you are on the right course.
a guiding light pulling you in closer and closer
until you land on a bee encrusted air balloon
symbolizing the ever source keeping this garden alive.
be it a nuisance or a gift,
if you disrespect it prepare to be stung.
ouch! goes the naive one.
while those who acknowledge its presence
remain in the pure bliss of the everlasting garden party.
Tara Walters, 2023