Now in its sixth year, The Review encapsulates the remarkable cultural dynamism and achievements of NZ art.
Aperira (1983), featured in the recently published Robert Ellis book, evokes (by incantation) everything that is culturally fundamental to identity and being a New Zealander. Te Rongo Kirkwood – currently exhibiting at the prestigious De Young Museum, San Francisco – combines the unique Maori traditions of weaving, pattern and cloak forms with slumped, fused and etched glass techniques in Turoa Po (Rewarewa) (2014), producing endless moments of visual wonder, with suggestions of feathers and birds.
Chris Heaphy’s Bird Song (2014) is an ideogram, an open-ended story of cultures and journeys across time, comprised of plural motifs of colonial history, bird-life, symbols of flora and fauna. Lonnie Hutchinson’s Comb (Red) (2009) is a deliberately provocative work, loaded with references and attitudes. Paul Dibble, in The World Below (2010), examines our environmental stewardship, using the stylised symbol of a tree with a huia looking down in judgement.
For the first time, the surfaces of Ann Robinson’s Twisted Flax Pods (2011-14) have been substantially carved back and in that process the visual rhythms of the rolling form have been revealed and the naturalistic qualities emphasised.
Fighting Hill, Rakaia Gorge (2014) by Michael Hight is an authoritative poem of place and season. Similarly Wayne Barrar’s emphatic use of line in Edge of the Wairau River (2008) and Trees at Lake Tutira (2011) defines what we see and how we see it.
Simon Edwards, in Precipice (2015), combines representational and abstract techniques in breath-taking ways to deliver atmospheric sensations and facts which come to alter as you look.
Terry Stringer’s Woman between Past and Future (2014) is an illusionary tour-de-force.
The Review also includes significant paintings by Joanna Braithwaite, Reuben Paterson, JS Parker and Nigel Brown. There are important sculptural works by Neil Dawson, Hannah Kidd, Chris Bailey, John Edgar and Rick Swain plus a ceramic white still life set from Arts Laureate John Parker.