Show and Tell commences the 2016 exhibition programme with new works from nine artists.
Hannah Beehre uses Swarovski crystals, gold and silver leaf, acrylic and dye on velvet to compellingly establish the illusion of deep space and starry nights. Filled with fluid waves of dye, lustre, colour and moments of wonder, they are at once endless visual journeys, inviting, mystical and strange.
Cat Auburn sculpts with leather, traversing time and materiality. Bovine Shroud is anthropomorphic in nature with strong religious dialogues and spiritual allusions. Auburn uses in her works suggestion, variable shadow and substance with great assurance and authority.
Wendy Fairclough is unlike any other New Zealand glass artist. Her works are still-life arrangements, demonstrating a broad array of virtuoso skills, a wonderful colourist’s sensibility and a panoramic language, as evidenced in works as diverse and accomplished as Murray River Cameo and Amber Still Life.
Jenna Packer paints modern parables, filled with satire, incisive wit and an unwavering point of view. Works such as Big Deal and Pageant examine the political and economic morality of our time and place.
Chris Heaphy’s paintings are time capsules, combining symbols, signs and history to commence a cultural and social journey where pictorial space is segmented, recomposed and used in intriguing ways. The overlays and silhouettes in Shadow Play – People of the Land present multiple dialogues about identity and presence. In Toutouwai – Forest Guardian Heaphy includes explicit environmental discourse and suggestions of hope.
Zena Elliott’s exploration of pattern and abstracted colour dynamics references numerous sources as diverse as Maori carving and weaving pattern, architecture and design which morph to become much more. Her work courageously combines figurative elements in front of abstracted space. A major exhibition of recent work will open shortly at Waikato Museum.
Reuben Paterson’s new works continue the acclaimed Aroma of Black series. Filled with paradox, constant change and illusory space, Paterson skilfully traverses textile traditions and Dutch still-life vanitas painting. The viewer becomes involved as each painting transforms with the effects of light and the induced memory.
Karl Maughan’s paintings of the landscaped garden are – ultimately – inventions. They are a fabrication, an ideal built upon the fabric of fact and the emotional reality of colour. They are so convincing that the viewer feels he should enter the work and go around the corner to see something already known.
Israel Birch’s new works are astonishing achievements. He uses light and pattern, spatial depth, surface contradiction, luminous colour and tonal variation with startling assurance. He uses carving and grinding techniques which retain their tactility. Te Wai-a-Nuku is a rhythmic masterwork. Te Wai-a-Rangi a ceaseless parade of pattern and visual phenomena.