Spring Catalogue 2016 contains many new works across a number of disciplines as well as a tightly curated selection of significant older works.
The mysterious, redolent Bride of Mangaia (2016) by Lisa Reihana, (New Zealand’s representative to Venice Biennale 2017), drawn from In Pursuit of Venus, simultaneously reclaims the past and pursues the present. Likewise Nigel Brown in two small, incisive portraits traverses loss, discovery and history, whereas the confident Pauline (2015) by Charlotte Handy, in returning the gaze, questions the viewer.
The surreal, austere, ambiguous, unforgettable strangeness of Michael Hight’s Kotare (2016) resembles a Victorian diorama and science laboratory experiment but what is it that is being presented or measured? Is it childhood memory, human behaviour or values, the landscape itself?
Neil Dawson alters space, layers depth, uses fluxing shadow, light reflection and viewing angle to recompose what we see and how. Murmuration 2 (2016) is comprised of massing birds flying that become koru-shaped clouds. There is joy, distance. The cruciform shape of X 2 (2016) is an emphatic, plural image, comprised of patterned circles which hover halo-like above, below and alongside the visual contradictions of smaller repeated X forms which have been slightly modified, altered and turned. Metaphors arise, stories begin.
Garry Currin is a visual magician. The longer one looks the more becomes revealed. Untitled Approach 200 Feet (2008-12) and Screenplay II (2014) hide and reveal landscapes, atmospheres, events, and a palette that is startlingly broader than first seemed and felt.
Neil Frazer landscapes are like no other. It’s as if he has sculpted the land itself – it’s physicality, volume, it’s elemental coldness, menace and scale – into works that attain the authority of structural accuracy and in that process he transports us. In White Water (2008) we stand in the perilous centre of a tumbling, turbulent, gravity-driven river.
Chris Heaphy builds silhouetted, visual parables that reach across time and history. From Near and Far (2016) is comprised of vignettes, signs and symbols that suggest events, imply reason, harnessing popular culture, social and natural histories into cultural landscapes. The beautiful Kotuku Waits (2016) is imbued with poetic sentiments, environmental values, and explicit references to traditional Japanese art.
In addition, there are two major illusionary works by Mervyn Williams, the hieroglyphic puzzles of Andy Leleisi’uao and significant new works by Galia Amsel, Mark Mitchell, Layla Walter and Tania Patterson.