The Impossible Garden

30/05/2020 - 27/09/2020

Due to the three week Auckland closure, this exhibition has been extended for another month! With special thanks to Emma Bass and Artis Gallery, 'The Impossible Garden' - an exhibition of richly decorative floral still lifes by Auckland photographer Emma Bass will feature in the grand, 1870s ballroom at historic Alberton. Blurring the boundaries between photography, painting and collage, the works examine the beauty of nature, with photographed prints of 17th century Dutch and Flemish examples as a starting point.

Ode to Ambrosius Bosschaert and Matisse
Ode to Ambrosius Bosschaert and Matisse. Image: Emma Bassexpand/collapse

Exploring beauty though a manipulated lens, the already "impossible bouquets"  - constructed with elements from mismatched seasons and in distorted perspectives – are further embellished with objects, natural phenomena and gold gilded Matisse-inspired cut-outs, amplifying their beguiling unreality.

The illusory perfection of the flower portraits fuse the heritage of the masters with a contemporary sensibility to recontextualise the genre in the 21st century.

Emma Bass is represented by Artis Gallery, Auckland.

To complement your visit, learn more in this free podcast produced by Art Ache with the support of the Albert-Eden Local Board. Available on iTunes and Spotify.

Event Details


  • Saturday 30 May - Sunday 27 September
  • 10.30am - 4.30pm
  • Alberton is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays

How Much?

Free entry to the exhibition. Admission to the rest of the house $10 adults, children and Heritage New Zealand members free.


  • 100 Mt Albert Road
  • Mt Albert
  • Auckland
  • 1025

Contact Information

Opening Hours

  • Alberton is CLOSED until 3 September
  • Wednesday - Sunday
  • 10.30am - 3.30pm
  • Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.


Adults: $10 Children free Please understand that surcharges may apply at times of special events.