Now in its fifth year, The Royal Queenstown Easter Show is a significant exhibition that exemplifies the extraordinary depth and breadth of contemporary New Zealand art.
Nigel Brown's classic Lamp Table (2007-08) is a visual poem of love and home, which openly acknowledges McCahon’s religious symbols of light and hope. Darryn George in Notes on Isaiah 1 (2013) incants different names for God, expressing the artist’s Christian values by using the cultural force of pattern, symbolic text and abstracted form. Andy Leleisi’uao with a similarly restricted palette builds open-ended narratives and parables about how we behave and the descent of man.
Neil Dawson's Cloud 7 (2013) is a wall-mounted curvilinear form comprising soaring swallows, which dramatically alters shape and tonal substance as the viewing position alters. Added to these intriguing, furthering, illusionistic dialogues are the conjoined roles of fluxing light strike and mutating shadow.
Pre-eminent glass artist Ann Robinson is represented by three masterful new works, including a superb new form Rolled Lip Bowl (2014).
Karl Maughan's Ravensbourne (2013) is a wonderfully imagined place. He uses suggestion, abstracted technique, abrupt spatial depth and the architecture of scale alteration as literal devices to wrap the viewer in the changing sensations of looking and being there.
At once suggestive of an eye or a planet in the sky, John Edgar's consummate Lens forms are visual marvels that defy their materiality. Wayne Barrar's Mason Bay 9 (1988) is a key work from that important sequence of photographs currently on display at Auckland Art Gallery in ‘Freedom Farmers’. Dick Frizzell's Railway Cutting (2001) is a homage to regionalism and reminds us once again of his remarkable ability to find beauty in the notionally mundane.
Martin Selman transforms marble into cloth and contained air in Button (2014), and into colonial cultural contradictions in Pistol and Kotiate (2013).
Ceramist Mark Mitchell is represented for the first time by a large white vessel with dulled metallic geometric patterning. John Parker's Still Life with Seven Bottles (2009-11) is a masterful array of forms and the negative spaces between.
The exhibition includes distinctive small paintings by Marc Blake and Simon Edwards plus significant works by Michael Hight, Paul Dibble, Mike Crawford, Katherine Smyth, Stanley Palmer, Sally Smith and Hannah Kidd.