Maryrose Crook offers the viewer visions of mysterious and exotic other worlds through paintings of jewel-like near-photographic intensity, all the more extraordinary for being largely self-taught. These fantastical alien scenes recall artists as diverse as the surrealist Salvador Dalí and Northern Renaissance Old Masters like Pieter Brueghel and Hieronymus Bosch. This historical sensibility is mixed with a unique personal vocabulary of Victorian hoop dresses with mutton chop sleeves and very distinctive New Zealand images of native flora and fauna, and even the famous lost pink and white terraces of Rotorua make regular appearances. There is a fragile and dream-like delicacy to these paintings that can occasionally strike a sinister note of imminent threat or nostalgia for the irretrievably lost to the past. Meaning in Crook’s paintings, however, remain fluid and fugitive. Crook has been exhibiting with Brooke-Gifford since 2006. She currently lives in Christchurch.