Paul McLachlan, new to the gallery, recipient of numerous painting and drawing prizes, is distinguished by a unique skill set and the breadth of his conversations. At complete ease with the Italian traditions of wall tapestry McLachlan delivers mythic, visually complex works imbued with narrative and the exhilarations of colour. In a small series of deft mixed media drawings, contrasting beautiful backgrounds of waterfalls with flat outlays of extinct birds and animals, McLachlan twists the narrative away from the sublime to one of the great issues of our times.
Craig McIntosh, a well-known jeweler, has created a suite of much larger scale work. He uses the contradictions of argillite or basalt’s materiality with deliberate interventions: he builds flows using the repetitions of line. Conversations about topography and what is an object ensue.
Aaron Scythe is a ceramist who interferes and disrupts. His work is not a conversation about the purity of form or its function. He uses a broad array of cultural motifs (Japanese particularly), painterly colour, pattern and space as abstracted devices to elicit and embellish, whilst allowing each vase or bowl to reveal and assert its making processes.
Russell Moses returns to the gallery with a series of new works which talk to Monet about the process of seeing, the mutable roles of light and time of day, and the specifics of place. Moses possesses a distinctive visual language: he uses stainless steel or aluminium disks as painting surfaces and elongated forms which come to comprise a larger whole. Patterns and structures emerge in which the variability of light, the altering iridescence and mutability of colour advance and recede in a manner that acknowledges the momentary experiences, feelings and observations in a garden as a day moves its way through.
Jenna Packer uses the formality and structure of the garden maze as a plural visual device: it is a metaphor of control and also a game of dead ends. Always political, openly debating the issues and deceits of our times, Packer in collapsing time places cultural symbols into circumstances that are filled with unease and contradiction.
Peata Larkin was Wallace Award artist in residence in Switzerland (2019). With a nod to Lucio Fontana in a new suite of works Larkin reverses her usual painterly style of pushing paint through a fabric substructure. Her ongoing conversation with the traditions of weaving patterns is further developed with precise incisions and rhythmic cuts in the surface of each work, establishing a curiously unspecified space and a new language of surface shadow.
Israel Birch is an acclaimed master of refracted light. He paints with carving marks, developing in each work an illusionary visual depth that is awe inspiring. His works contain multiple narratives, are suffused with spiritual nuances and culturally dense concepts overlayered with the languages of abstraction.
Leanne Morrison uses hue and tone, courageous diagonals and flattened space to establish visual structure. Her works are beautiful and arresting. They are replete with sensations referencing the real world and at the same time abstracted forms that come to have an architectural language.