I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
Eline Martherus
24 May – 21 Jul 2024

Hama Gallery is proud to present I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, the second solo exhibition of artist Eline Martherus at the gallery. Through her latest series, she delves into the persistent motion of life and the complexities of societal dynamics within today’s world. Drawing inspiration from nature’s constant state of rhythms, Eline’s work encapsulates the interplay between individuals and their surroundings. 

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, 2023

Through her extensive background in the field of textile innovation, Eline brings forth her own unique approach to the canvas. Working most commonly with pouring techniques and natural pigments like indigo, she treats her pieces akin to textiles, intuitively arranging compositions that resemble the organic flow of life itself. In the process of experimenting with pigments, Eline sees herself almost like a chemist, creating various recipes in different vessels to achieve the desired effect. Her choice to work mostly with unprepared cotton reflects the importance of natural materials and how they carry paint: “The paint nestles in, almost like an ink stain, and it then organically flows.”

Where White Flowers Grow Blue, 2023
You Weep for the Rain to Take My Bloom, 2023

In this new series of paintings, Eline guides the viewer into a world where conflicting energies can coexist in harmony, echoing the natural movement in the world. She believes there is always a point of centralisation to be found if one takes the time to look for it. Expanding on the idea of societal polarisation in her previous work, in I Never Promised You a Rose Garden Eline suggests a way forward through movement. A movement present in all of nature, where nothing ever stays the same. This complexity is also paralleled by her use of oil paint, which allows for a deeper exploration of colour and compositions. More clearly resembling the fibres and patterns of nature, Eline infuses the works with an abstract interpretation of sacred geometry.

The large scale of Eline’s canvasses also mirrors the vastness and interconnectedness of life. Almost every piece comes from a larger “mother cloth” and is eventually cut into smaller fragments. Often having to cut through beautiful parts of the once whole canvas, she perceives her method as an analogy to life – Nothing is still, and sometimes that means giving up what no longer serves us.

Go Ahead, Try Holding My Thorns, 2023

This exhibition invites visitors to take part in a dialogue between art and nature, where spirituality fuses with the tangible world. Through expressive brushstrokes and instinctual compositions, Eline Martherus’ work sparks ideas about the essence of existence. After all, the ever-moving landscape of life can be a place to find solace and connection.