“Wakatipu is a new series of work which focuses on the Queenstown area. In these paintings, the rural landscape that is familiar, ordered and slowly gentrifying stands in sharp relief to the foreboding mountains that surround it. Here the hives attest to a harnessing of nature that, given these intimidating surrounds, can only ever be temporary.” 1.
Michael Hight is an outstanding nationally significant artist. His works “gain their intensity from attention to the minutest detail.” The beehives stand in contrast to the surrounds, providing the “elegiac lyricism” of juxtaposition. They are also a metaphor of industry and art. Hight knows Queenstown and the Wakapitu area intimately. This exhibition demonstrates his “virtuoso skills of representation of the highest order and achieves heights of mood” and the undeniable specifics of place “that go beyond just representation.” 2.
1. Artist’s Statement, October 2010.
2. T J McNamara, “Sense of Beauty in Decay,” Weekend Herald, August 21, 2010.