Show and Tell is a group exhibition featuring nationally prominent artists whose works are united by humanism, symbolism, myth and narrative concerns.
Lisa Reihana’s (NZ Arts Laureate 2014) large-scale photographs talk across time about issues of colonialism, gender politics and racial discourse, using looming presence and the wonder and menace of myth as key devices.
Chris Charteris’ large necklaces are plural symbols, objects of devotion and love, and redolent of the Pacific. The subtle palette and rhythmic tonal changes in Forces of Land and Ocean (2010) speak quietly. In Vatu ni wasawasa – Stones of the Sea (2013) cultural metaphors abound whilst notions of environmental threat emerge.
Mike Crawford is the most significant emergent voice of NZ glass. He has established a body of work which uses a distinctive visual language of stylised symbols sourced from diverse places. These are carved into the surfaces of his work and can be read as a narrative relief in the round. His works demonstrate a rare mastery of design and form.
Chris Bailey’s canoe forms – Ngatokimatawhaorua (2012) and Mamari (2012) – are named for ancestral canoes which landed in Hokianga. These pou are made from totara, the traditional waka material, and suggest stories about the individuals who travelled on them. The chiselled indentations reveal the hand of the maker in every mark and are strongly suggestive of the ripples of the water travelled.
Every Andy Leleisi’uao painting is a parable of human endeavour. Waking up to the Obscurity People (2014) – part cartoon, hieroglyph, silhouette, rock drawing – is a treatise on what we do and how we behave today. It is incisive social commentary, traversing cultural barriers, and at once simple and complex, virtuoso in delivery and breadth.
The Departure Lounge (2013) by John Walsh is a monumental painting. Significant in scale, imbued with dank atmospheres, animated by a light infused forest and rising spirit forms, we witness the newly dead commencing their final journey.