A public garden & cultural center

Evie McKenna

Evie McKenna: Tufts of Flowers
Wave Hill House | January 19–July 9, 2017 

Pictured above: 
Aquarium, 2014, Archival pigment print, 16” x 16”
Courtesy of the artist

Referencing Robert Frost’s poem “The Tuft of Flowers,” in which the poet finds a patch of flowers left untouched by the blade of a mowed field, Evie McKenna’s subjects are revered as survivors of the constructed world. Her photographs capture fortuitous encounters with landscapes, such as the brush of wind through tall grasses or sunrays reflecting off of glass panes in a greenhouse. During her time as a 2014 Winter Workspace artist, McKenna observed and photographed Wave Hill’s gardens, woodlands and surrounding urban streetscapes. She also photographed scenes in her neighborhood in Queens, as well as at a residency in Montello, NV. The images capture textural qualities responsive to botanical and constructed landscapes. The composition and context of the images serve as both disrupters and equalizers in the balancing act of capturing charged environments. Temporality is a focal point in the still images, conveyed through acts of fleeting seasonal changes, impermanent natural fixtures and urban constructions. The diffuse lighting and mix of organic and architectural structures suggests a sense of balance between controlled and natural growth. McKenna’s photographs honor the vulnerabilities and alluring presence of plants revealed through synchronistic and spontaneous moments.

Evie McKenna received a BFA in photography from Philadelphia College of Art and a Master's degree in photography from the New York University/International Center of Photography program. McKenna’s work has been exhibited at George Eastman House International Museum, Rochester, NY; Klapper Center for Fine Arts, Garden City, NY; Flux Factory, Long Island City, NY; and Queens Museum, Flushing, NY; among others.

Pink Blends, 2016, Archival pigment print, 16”x 16”
Courtesy of the artist

Hair Standing, 2014, Archival pigment print, 16”x 16”
Courtesy of the artist

Evie McKenna in her Winter Workspace studio, 2014

Winter Workspace | January 2–February 18, 2014


Evie McKenna takes photographs of vernacular gardens, which explore the interaction of organic elements and the built environment. The gardens she chooses to photograph are often in unlikely surroundings, on the side of an apartment building or behind a chain-link fence, and show the strategies that plants or their gardeners use to survive in an urban environment. Compositionally, the images strike a balance between the artificial and natural, revealing a co-dependency between the plants and their man-made environment. During Winter Workspace, McKenna photographed the gardens at Wave Hill, focusing on plants housed in the Conservatory and patterns found in the winter landscape. 


More information at eviemckenna.com

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.