Milford Galleries Dunedin celebrates Joanna Braithwaite’s current show at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery with an exhibition of recent works.
Wonderland, at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery until 15 May, and subsequently touring to the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, showcases Braithwaite’s work from 1997 until the present – work which is inhabited by strange beasts, insects and people.
Milford Galleries Dunedin exhibits further works from the same series, enabling a comprehensive exploration of ideas and imagery by the artist.
“Braithwaite’s work always contains figurative and realist elements but seldom without a twist which wrenches the work away from simple realism towards the surreal.” (1)
Braithwaite’s curious hybrid creatures are at once enticing and repellent, her subjects contain a certain power and dignity that elevates them to believable entities. Her self assured brushstroke and rich tonality gently bending the laws of reality, nature and reason.
Braithwaite states: ”Animals are a fantastic vehicle for inducing a response from a human audience. They have their own mystique and power, which I endeavour to convey. They can induce discomfort and guilt as well as humour and sadness. There is a John Berger quote that says when the eyes of an animal and a person meet, they can never really connect because they are in different w orlds.” (2)
1. Peter Simpson, “Pleasure seeking surrealism,” Sunday Star Times, August 19, 2001.
2. Joanna Braithwaite, “A Second Noah’s Ark,” Art News, No. 58, 2004.