Across a range of media, the works in Show & Tell are characterised by their immediacy. Compelling mark-making and beautifully executed forms demand attention and then keep you hooked beyond their initial impact.
Ceramists Mark Mitchell and John Parker explore, manipulate, and subvert the material they work with. In this recent series, Mitchell has been slicing and folding the vessel walls, disrupting the works’ dimensions and volumes as well as the intricate surface patterning. John Parker’s flanged ceramics show well-known shapes merged physical ‘slices’ that bisect some pieces and sit atop others. The circular planes are at odds with the original forms but Parker’s peerless workmanship and the uniform white glaze gives these hybrid vessels a disconcerting harmony.
New graduate Leanne Morrison lays broad bands of colour atop one another to create subtle variations in hue, tone and texture. In the tradition of Josef Albers and Frank Stella and, closer to home, Ian Scott and Milan Mrkusich, Morrison uses her practice to consider the way colour and line interact to expand the physical dimensions of a flat canvas at the same time as it functions as an object in and of itself. Illusory space appears as perceived depth within the painting and as planes beyond the canvas edges, into which the coloured quadrilateral shapes extend.
Illusion has always been a feature of Reuben Paterson’s practice; his works offer personal and social histories in physical and metaphorical layers, beneath the immediate and alluring layers of reflected light and colour. These new prints are inspired by the tivaevae of the Cook Islands as well as the natural environment around him. Paterson has always used floral designs as memory cues and the garden holds special appeal for the artist, especially as his father was a landscape gardener.
Communal and personal relationships are central to the practices of Andy Leleisi’uao and senior artist Jeffrey Harris. In an interview after the receipt of the paramount Wallace Art Award last year, Leleisi’uao describes his work as depicting “unity and collectively looking after each other and building a future together”. Harris’ intimate portraits suggest that social conventions hide complex and sometimes uneasy ties that bind individuals to one another.