About Natural Fantasy
New Zealand pastel artist Carol Banner
Carol is mainly influenced by the Art Nouveau era which was largely based on nature and natural shapes and forms. The work of M.C.Escher has also had a big influence. His sense of design, use of space, perspective and mathematics was truly innovative, along with his mixture of fantasy, distortion and metamorphosis. The foundation for Carol's work is nature with slight variations so anything different appeals to her, hence the name for her work "Natural Fantasy".
Carol's greatest source of inspiration is nature, with its myriad shapes and textures. Dead and dying plant forms often have a distinct beauty of their own which is frequently overlooked. Patterns and colours in deteriorating man-made products also have an unusual beauty which does not escape her eye.
"I have always been influenced by the graceful style of Art Nouveau, with the work of Alphonse Mucha, Christopher Dresser and Rene Lalique having a particular appeal.
"This style, with its curvilinear lines, symmetrical and asymmetrical forms and designs, was largely based on nature. Discovering M.C.Escher opened a whole new world for me. His sense of design, use of space, perspective and mathematics was truly innovative, along with his mixture of fantasy, distortion and metamorphosis. I also admire the work of Rodney Matthews. His use of colour, semi-abstract insects and plant forms is quite amazing. Once again, nature taken to extremes."
Carol has mainly been working with pencil and pastel for the past few years, although she is also skilled in other media. Future plans include combining printmaking with drawing and design. In her view,
"A different way of looking at things, either due to mood, insomnia or shortsightedness, in various combinations usually helps produce new ideas."
The title Natural Fantasy derives from nature, her inspiration, and is also the name of her Internet website. Carol was the Director of her own Katz Gallery in Carterton for several years. The Gallery hosted more than 18 exhibitions in that time.