NOT JUST FLOWERS
Saturday 4 March - 9 April 2017
Opening and Artist Talk by Raewyn Turner - Saturday 4 March 4-6 pm
Cervin’s use of the floral as a motif stands as an emblem of the transience of life and the ephemeral nature of objects in a society driven by a perpetual cycle of production and consumption. Through the use of the floral motif as compositional device and repetitive subject matter in a fine art context, Cervin suggests the inherently feminine nature of the floral subject, thereby questioning the conferral of gender roles to subject matter and by extension, the gender lines drawn between ‘craft’ and ‘fine art’.
Title, Series, In the Night Garden, 2017
‘All colours will agree in the dark’.
Quote, Frances Bacon
The colour black determines the direction of this recent series of works. Black in all its dark absence conveys a simple elegance and derives notions of secrecy and otherness. I am borrowing from many a dark tale, Cormac McCarthy and his stories of the Wild West, page turning crime novels.
Alone in a night garden, a quiet pleasure, inhaling the scent of rich damp, dark soil, making out smudges of light and colour.
As dusk falls, the character of a garden changes. Nocturnal activities abound, and magical scents fill the air. Thoughts wonder curiosity and imagination flourishes.
Why is smoke so multi-denominational? It effortlessly crosses the boundaries of every belief system from Pagan ritual to Christian mass. Charged with symbolic power, it allows us to imagine ascendance into mystical realms, beyond the constructs of matter, time and human understanding. Channeled through diaphanous clouds that dissipate into the ether, smoke infers the journey of the immortal soul as it echoes our transition from matter into spirit. From prayers to gods and goddesses to ward off malign energies for protection, through to blessing, initiation, or healing the tribe through purification; from encouraging a plentiful harvest, to communing with the dead...
This work continues to explore Carter’s curiosity with our connection to, and experience of, the physical world, including miniature space, especially overlooked spaces or environments. In this way, she challenges our preconceptions and assumed familiarity with the world in which we live and move, exploring elements of identity and vulnerability within our existence in these spaces. Her work presents new dimensions, physically and metaphysically, to the environments she portrays. The work was constructed by blending two images taken of Lichen on Rangitoto Island a site of a successful restoration project which resulted in the island being declared a pest free in 2011 and in 2013 is seeing the increased numbers of native flora and fauna. There are thought to be over 2,000 lichen species in NZ, slightly more than the number of native seed plants (about 1,900).
Series- It Matters
While observing the vibrancy, beauty and symbolism of flowers, these lush images house buried matter in their shadows - literally and metaphorically. Emerging from the pictorial framework of an ‘everyday’ cut floral arrangement, disheveled ‘mash-ups’ explore, explode and graft flora in environments suggestive of landscape and the built environment.
Digitally collaged from images shot over the last couple years; beauty, decay, ornamentation and references to place are twisted into pseudo still life images. The works nod to Dutch floral still life paintings of the 17th century and, with imagery from everyday household rubbish buried beneath the blooms, record everyday residue from 21st century human activity.
“Tensions between how we structure, view and/or ignore ornamentation, decay, beauty and destruction in our immediate environment fascinate me; entanglements of complex contradictions, shaped and crafted by people.
There are two strands of thought in response to this show; one is the memories of my grandmother’s cake decorating days, folding fondant icing into delicate roses adorning tiered cakes. The décor of her house, which displayed old vintage wallpaper and in the spare bedroom where I often slept hang heavy parsley curtains, which were rich with gold and warm shades of red. The second strand is closely associated with the wider pacific in its influence and design in Raranga Whakairo where the Putiputi (flower pattern) is often incorporated into material culture and Kete Whakairo (basket design).
“I have always thought that there is not much difference between the figurative and the abstract and I don’t think it’s very appropriate classification for painting. To me, everything is abstract and everything is figurative. My most recent paintings, particularly, are a mixture of these two things. The subject is abstract and the approach is figurative in the sense that it is not a representation of reality, rather it is a creation of reality. I have never had the urge to portray an image that has already been seen. In my work I try to carry out an investigation of virtual space.”
Courtesy of Gow Langsford Gallery
Even as a young artist, Karl Maughan was captivated by what has emerged as his signature subject – the garden. Ever faithful to his subject, Maughan has exhibited his paintings throughout Australasia and in Britain for more than 25 years.
Career highlights include inclusion in Saatchi Collection Catalogue Show at Saatchi Gallery, London, (1998), Stop Making Sense, City Gallery, Wellington (1995) and his solo exhibition Walking in Light at Vertigo Gallery, London (2003). Maughan holds a Master of Fine Arts (Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, 1987). His works are widely collected by private patrons and while his largest painting to date, A clear day (1999), is in the permanent collection of Te Papa Tongarewa.
Courtesy of Gow Langsford Gallery
My starting point was flowers as the Romeos and Juliets of the plant world which developed to anathropomorphizingof the botany of flowers which is, after all, all about pollination and creating offspring to go out into the world.
Liz has a long history of working with glass but has recently discoveredthe joys of clay. She has a Masters in Art and Design from AUT, has exhibited widely in New Zealand and overseas and has work in a number of private and public collections including Te Papa.
Jimenez sees into spaces and into things. He is quite sure that what he is seeing and what he is painting – what he is creating – is real. It is grounded here, in the same space as the viewer, and though he may cast his own light through the mass of the forms he examines, he is quick to remind us that this is not another world he is painting. These are not satellite images of other galaxies. Jimenez is teaching us to see past the figures art school taught him to so patiently form. His deft explorations of the middle distance of our everyday are anything but superficial; they are insightful and profoundly beautiful.
These portraits of flora ‘on the turn’ honour the beauty of the imperfect and the homely. Emma explains, ‘I wanted to challenge our concept of what is beautiful. For me, this project is about framing reality. The flaws themselves are beautiful, because they are true to life.’
The images are a gentle contemplation upon the ‘greatness’ that exists in the inconspicuous…Imperfect spans seasons but also traces the more intimate arc of lifespan, honing in on the quietly exquisite – the artless evidence of demise.
I killed my son’s cactus.By overwatering or under watering, overfeeding or underfeeding, I got books out of the library 'How to look after your sons cactus' Alas it just died.
On a cold day at the studio I searched for somewhere warm, the Cactus Collection at the Botanical Gardens.
I thought they were a long way from home.
I saw cactuses in Melbourne in shooshi houses with their tiny patios at the back and decorating shop windows looking like they should frequent the pages of life style books on coffee tables.
And then in Sydney's Botanical Gardens while I was wandering, where they lived outside under a humid sun with a backdrop of Ultramarine.
Back home it was spring I visited the Glass Houses to see these cactuses of all shapes and sizes put out their one single orange flower.
In the studio I started.
Despite the many shifts in my work and circumstances I have been consistently interested in blending visual languages, and in exploring how the languages of colour, texture, pattern and abstract forms can inform and cross-reference each other. One focus has been to develop work that uses the illusion of a photographic ‘depth of field’ to allow images to slip in and out of pictorialism and abstraction through shifting the viewer’s unconscious reactions to colour, composition, and form. This is a process that also creates a visual tension between the painting’s surface and the illusion of space (depth).
M J Binks
MJ Binks is an artist currently consumed by objects imbued with domestic meaning.
Reuben Paterson is a dynamic young artist known for his creations in glitter and diamond dust. Along with exhibitions at public institutions throughout New Zealand, highlights of his international career include inclusion in shows at the Musee du quai Branly, Paris, France (2011), Cambridge University of Anthropology and Archaeology Cambridge, England (2007), and the International Biennale of Contemporary Art, National Gallery, Prague (2007).
Courtesy of Gow Langsford Gallery