Reuben Paterson's glitter paintings have in the recent past primarily referenced his Maori heritage in a distinctive and unequivocal use of kowhaiwhai patterns and designs. In this exhibition of new work, he is paying homage to the retro design movement as well as sourcing directly from the fashions and fabrics of the 1960’s.
The patterning of these fabrics is organic in nature yet in side by side colour the expressiveness of this language is shown to be as adept as memory cues as it is referencing art movement as diverse as arts and crafts or the varied issues of abstraction. The subjects have been variously drawn from wallpaper, Hawaiian shirts, Dad’s ties etc with the personal particularity of this being from the lives of the extended Paterson family. On top of this an overlay of “now” is added with an array of titles which are controversial and provoking, representing random comments overheard at parties. Encapsulated in these titles is another language, glimpses of other (underlying) meanings.
Yet ultimately these works are much more than an amalgam of parts, sources and references. Paterson’s distinctive, courageous and virtuoso use of glitter dust as a medium results in a group of paintings that sing with light and at times from varying angles transcend the medium by becoming sculptural in quality too.