The Earl Street Journal – now in the 8th iteration – is a survey exhibition of significance, diverse in character but emphatic as a powerful example of the dynamic breadth and international stature of New Zealand art.
It includes works drawn from 2017 Venice Biennale representative Lisa Reihana’s acclaimed video, current Wallace Award recipient Andy Leleisi’uao, two major museum standard Ralph Hotere paintings, the astonishing visual literacy and illusionary mastery of Neil Dawson.
Robert Ellis’ Aperira (1983) chants the cultural heart of our history and our future, likewise Israel Birch in Atakura (2016/17) and Tai Aroha (Red) (2017) delivers mutable moments of hide and reveal magic that reach across traditions and time. Chris Heaphy’s Now and Forever (2016) charts a silhouetted future comprised of memory cues and cultural symbols while resolutely addressing the pertinence of the past.
The unique moods, atmospheres, differences and location particularities of the New Zealand landscape are witnessed in key works by Neil Frazer, Wayne Barrar, Simon Edwards, Bruce Hunt and Dick Frizzell.
The major and very distinctive contributions of J S Parker and Ian Scott to New Zealand art sit alongside the poetic celebrations of Karl Maughan, Reuben Paterson, Ann Robinson and Layla Walter.
Michael Hight’s Ngauruhoe (2013) is a surreal masterwork, Simon Clark’s Little Play – Bay of Islands (2017) reprises cultural symbols and advertising motifs, Christine Cathie’s Signature – Aquamarine (2017) acts as a suspended calligraphic drawing.
Paul Dibble, John Edgar, Ben Pearce, Chris Charteris, Martin Selman and Terry Stringer’s sculpture, John Parker and Mark Mitchell ceramics provide considerable three-dimensional substance into the Earl Street Journal.
Nigel Brown – whose major exhibition at Waitangi Museum opens in February – asks, in Tūi for Wholeness (2016), direct questions about what we value and what that now says about us.