Lisa Adams | Australia b.1969 | Rose garden 2008 | oil on canvas | 70 x 53.6cm | Purchased 2008 with funds from Xstrata Community Partnership Program Queensland through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery
Lisa Adams has steadily developed her practice over the past decade. Rose garden 2008 is a fine addition to the Gallery’s holdings of contemporary representational painting. It has a surreal quality, but also recalls much older traditions of illustrated proverbs and folk tales. It comes from the artist’s realisation that as she grows older her thoughts and experiences have accumulated, as have the thorns on the ladder. The painting suggests a determination to advance regardless, meeting challenges head-on.
Adams realises her works through detailed research of all the elements she wishes to include and through the use of photographic studies. This painting was based in part on a photograph taken by her partner as she climbed an old, wooden electrician’s ladder, specifically sourced for the work.
Rose garden was included in The Salon Project, part of the exhibition ‘Contemporary Australia: Optimism’ at the Gallery of Modern Art, 15 November 2008 – 22 February 2009. The Salon Project brought together the work by 12 contemporary Australian representational painters and one video artist.