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Gentian Connection, 2010

The painting 'Gentian Connection' was a commissioned work for the purpose of presenting to members of the Japanese Royal family when they visited Ashiro Floricultural Development Centre.

The painting ‘Gentian Connection’ by artist Joanna Fieldes celebrates the relationship between Ashiro Rhindo Growers Co-operative and the New Zealand Gentian Industry.

This co-operation first began more than ten years ago when the visionary directors of Ashiro chose New Zealand as the first country in which to grow Ashiro Gentian varieties outside of Japan. This relationship has continued to prosper and expand since then.

Gentian Connection
2004 oil on linen 100 x 70cm

“With this painting I have used the special co-operation between the two countries and cultures as inspiration. I have used a traditionally shaped Japanese vase with lid as the icon, symbolizing Japan and the Japanese culture which encapsulates all the experience and knowledge of the Japanese Gentian industry.

Within the vase, I have painted icons from New Zealand, the Kiwi bird, the sheep, and the long white cloud. The long white cloud has been included within both the vase and the background landscape. The significance of this is that Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand often refer to New Zealand as Aotearoa. This translated means ‘the land of the long white cloud’. Thus, the cloud is part of the spirit of New Zealand.

I have combined both the traditional forms of blue and white Gentian, with the new red Gentian (Showtime Spotlight), which has been bred in New Zealand.
Finally, the vase is set within a New Zealand landscape, providing the final element of the cross-pollination between our two cultures.


Presentation of Gentian Connection painting

Presentation of Gentian Connection painting to Prince Akishinomiya and Princess Kiko of Japan

Princess Kiko and Prince Akishinomiya and Takashi Hikage