Current Exhibitions

Michael Hight

Alps to Ocean

24 Feb - 11 Mar 2024

Exhibition Works

Aoraki
Aoraki (2024)
Hakataramea
Hakataramea (2024)
Loch Laird Rd
Loch Laird Rd (2023)
Lake Benmore
Lake Benmore (2023)
Colac Bay
Colac Bay (2023)
Rakiura
Rakiura (2023)
Waitaki Valley
Waitaki Valley (2023)
Maerewhenua
Maerewhenua (2023)
Kurow
Kurow (2023)
Quailburn Downs
Quailburn Downs (2024)
Ribbonwood
Ribbonwood (2024)
Tuatapere
Tuatapere (2024)
Omarama
Omarama (2024)
Old Slip Road
Old Slip Road (2024)

Exhibition Text

Michael Hight’s extended series of beehive works, set in the pastoral calm of rural environments adapted by man, has rightly time and again been acclaimed as outstanding in quality and breadth of achievement.

Charged with elements of the unknown but redolent in facts, the works in Alps to Ocean are animated by the intersection of very particular places, the transformations of human presence and the tension of ‘something’ elusive and unexplained: the ineffable.

Hight employs the geology of scale contrast where the thematic role of the linear, box-like ‘found’ sculptures of the beehives with multifarious abstracted surfaces undertake the key pictorial composition role. The strong verticals and sharp corners sharply contradict the geomorphology of each place: this is industry versus the landscape. In this manner, the respective historical layers of these environments – human, geological and how they are being used – emerge as the primary subject. Man’s transitory presence, nature’s omnipresence and the factual naturalism build and enrich the binary metaphors of use and abandonment, contrasts of light and dark, richness and aridity, the paradox of the suggested, stated and unseen.

In the outstanding Aoraki (2024), Hakataramea (2024), Lake Benmore (2023) and Kurow (2023) profound sensations of ‘actually being there’, of the work commencing at the viewer’s feet, develop instantly. In Loch Laird Road (2023) an autumnal light moving from right to left likewise develops considerable immersive experiences. In Ribbonwood (2024) distance is presented as never-ending.

In smaller works such as Tuatapere (2024), Colac Bay (2023) and Rakiura (2023) narratives about the passage of time, the creep of decay, the hidden and overlooked commence.