Now in its sixth year, the Royal Queenstown Easter Show is a significant exhibition which exemplifies the extraordinary depth and breadth of contemporary New Zealand art.
It features a number of very important works – a fluid, sensuous landscape by Toss Woollaston, a surreal masterpiece (from 1973) by Brent Wong, a seminal vase and bowl by Ann Robinson, a definitive Bride and Groom (2000) stained glass work by Pat Hanly.
There are major sculptures by Paul Dibble, Neil Dawson and Terry Stringer. Rick Swain’s curvaceous, expressive freedom and revisionist approach to wood is to be seen in Elle.
Michael Hight’s Ngauruhoe (2014) is an exemplary painting, filled with clear light and subtle metaphors of work, time and place. Dick Frizzell’s Bedtime (2008) is a stylistic triumph, imbued with insight and tenderness. John Walsh’s deft Marakihau ko Au (2014) presents myth and the spirit world. Simon Edwards blends atmosphere, geology, distance and space in the poetic work on aluminium The Breadth and Blood of Distant Lands III (2013). Stanley Palmer’s paintings of the nikau palm of the West Coast have achieved iconic status as shown in Punakaiki Afternoon (2014).
She’ll be Right (2001) demonstrates Nigel Brown’s highly attuned ear for the vernacular of our lives. Similarly, Joanna Braithwaite builds humour and social bite in Best Bet (2012).
John Edgar’s rare sympathy for stone is demonstrated in three lens forms that hover and float. Mervyn Williams’ Astral (1996) is a superb example of his mastery of light and dark, his unparalleled capacity to create 3D illusion and visual phenomena.
There are new glass works by acclaimed artists, Galia Amsel and Mike Crawford; new paintings from Neal Palmer, Charlotte Handy, Andy Leleisi’uao, Garry Currin; photography by Wayne Barrar; ceramics by Arts Laureate Merrilyn Wiseman, the elegiac inventiveness of Mark Mitchell; and Emily Valentine’s species-defying Spancock (2014).