Now in its fourth year, The Royal Queenstown Easter Show is a remarkable showcase, presenting the international significance and astonishing breadth of contemporary New Zealand art.
It includes new wall sculpture by Neil Dawson (Wings), reticello glass from Luke Jacomb (Harakeke Paddles), the colonial ‘history’ inspired inventions of Jenna Packer, the surreal twists of Paul Martinson.
Linda Holloway is included for the first time with a work that is as much a layered landscape as an abstracted dialogue and a visual game in which geometric pattern stands alongside (amongst) organic suggestions and narrative segments. Reuben Paterson’s critically acclaimed, dexterous use of glitter is to be seen in the celebratory joy of Button Down. Dick Frizzell’s Girl on a Horse captures the singular connection between rider and horse, placing this in front of a brush-stroke laden colour field. Alongside this, Michael Hight’s Malaghans Road demonstrates his characteristic accuracy of location and his acute sensitivities for the regional particularities of Central Otago light.
Galia Amsel is represented with four major cast glass works, Paul Dibble with three edition works including the important Busy Lady. Ann Robinson’s painterly Puka Vase is rare and utterly beautiful. Darryn George’s importance as an abstract artist has been widely acknowledged - Kete 7 is a visual story of compartments, contents, drawers.
Mervyn Williams’ Grey Fable demonstrates a mastery of illusion, light and dark which is without comparison and places his work at the forefront of the resurgent op-art movement. A major book is to be published on his work later this year.