THE NORTHERNER - Introduced by Gregory O'Brien - 15 April - 28 May 2017

Ten Artists and the Idea of the North

 

The exhibition ‘The Northerner’ had its origins in conversations, over many years, with my friend, curator/former Artspace director Emma Bugden. On a regular basis, we would find ourselves bemoaning the absence of any serious acknowledgement of the role Northland has played in the recent imaginative life of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Maybe the reason for this neglect is the art world’s preoccupation with cultural nationalism—and, more recently, internationalism? Or is cosmopolitanism to blame? Either way, the far flung province or hinterland doesn’t stand a chance.

 

The Northland exhibition-of-our-dreams would include many artists no one has ever heard of. It would also feature Colin McCahon’s Northland Panels, Rain in Northland, the ‘Northland’ drawings... Mitimiti-born Ralph Hotere would loom large—as would Eric Lee Johnson, Milan Mrkusich (born in Dargaville, 1925) and Peter Peryer (who spent a good part of his childhood in the North). A list of past and present Northlanders would also include ceramicist Yvonne Rust, photographer Laurence Aberhart, carver Cliff Whiting and sculptor Chris Booth. An even broader Northland narrative would encompass artists such as Selwyn Muru and, from Ngapuhi, Shane Cotton, Lisa Reihana, Darryn George and a host of others. Writers as diverse as Hone Tuwhare, Jane Mander and Kendrick Smithyman would be thrown into the mix, as would the Austrian artist, architect, hippy and environmentalist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who lived part of each year in the Bay of Islands region from 1973 until his death in February 2000, at which point he was buried in an appropriately shallow grave just outside Kawakawa, in ‘the garden of the Happy Dead, under a tulip tree’.

 

That grand, expansive Northland exhibition will have to wait its time. Meanwhile, however, we have ‘The Northerner’—an exhibition which doesn’t claim to represent Northland on the region’s own terms. Instead, ‘The Northerner’ tracks responses to the province by artists who, with the exception of Gillian Whitehead, probably don’t think of themselves as Northlanders. That said, all the artists represented have found themselves—at some point, or points, in their careers—looking purposefully North-wards. They have found some point of imaginative origin and impetus in the region.

 

For this present gathering of interlopers, fringe-dwellers, blow-ins, northbound travellers, children-of-the-North and occasional residents, Friedensreich Hundertwasser might serve as both precursor and exemplar—an ‘outsider’ who, with imagination and gusto, managed to find a way in. In much the same spirit, ‘The Northerner’ brings with it a variety of viewpoints, approaches and backgrounds.

 

Two of the contributors—Florian Habicht and Miriam van Wezel—were born in Europe; another—Andrew McDonald—was born in Northland and now lives in England. Having spent much of her upbringing in Whangarei, Gillian Whitehead (Ngaiterangi/Tuhoe) has spent her working life largely in Britain, Sydney and, before her recent return to Ruakaka, near Dunedin. On the back of numerous childhood forays into the region, the O’Brien brothers both transplanted northwards in their late teens—to Dargaville and Whangarei respectively. Stanley Palmer’s artistic identity was shaped, in part, by childhood visits to the family farm in Northland. Elizabeth Thomson worked with Yvonne Rust in her Whangarei studio in the 1980s. Bruce Foster has set up camp at Mangawhai often in recent years, and Sydney-based Noel McKenna has taken in many a Northland vista from the passenger’s seat of a speeding car, and in 2008 presented a solo exhibition, ‘Northland’, in a Dublin gallery.

  

Introducing his 1967 radio documentary, ‘The Idea of North’, pianist Glenn Gould made some resonant points in relation to ‘The Northerner’. Referring specifically to the Arctic regions north of Canada, his ruminations apply to any hinterland: 'Something really does happen to most people who go into the north,’ he noted. ‘They become at least aware of the creative opportunity which the physical fact of the country represents and—quite often, I think—come to measure their own work and life against that rather staggering creative possibility: they become, in effect, philosophers.'

 

In what way have the artists in ‘The Northerner’ become, by Gould’s definition, philosophers? The publicity for Florian Habicht’s ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’ summed the film up thus: ‘Fish meet Philosophy on 90 Mile Beach.’ In his unfurling, poetic evocation of an annual surfcasting competition, we encounter a host of self-styled philosophers, many of whom would have brought tears of joy to Glenn Gould’s eyes. The documentary reminds us that Northland is, figuratively as well as literally, a promontory or vantage point, from which its denizens see and interpret the world beyond. (In Maori tradition, the northern coastal stretch takes us to Spirits Bay, the leaping off place for the souls of the departed, as the spellbinding final sequence in Florian’s film enacts.)

 

Florian’s existential beachscape is recast in the metaphysical collages of Brendan O’Brien, and in Elizabeth Thomson’s enigmatic printmaking. Their works, and Gregory O’Brien’s 1988 illustrated novel Diesel Mystic, propose magic realism as a mode that is not only viable in the North but also intrinsic to it. Beyond the confines of this exhibition, a key work in the imaginative/mythic reinvention of The North is Florian’s 2003 film Woodenhead, which can be seen, in its entirety, on-line at https://vimeo.com/61759640

 

Aside from such musings and speculations, how is it that we read and record a place or district? The works in the exhibition suggest various ways a region might enter our consciousness and our being. With forensic precision, Bruce Foster explores the layers of time and matter encapsulated in the Mangawhai coastline. Noel McKenna’s paintings suggest the region’s true identity is manifest in its most humble manifestations—vernacular signage and roadside ornament. Incongruities and unlikely juxtapositions are central to Brendan O’Brien’s part Dadaist, part Neo-Romantic collages—works in which a recurring horizon-line is a backdrop for remembered and dreamt elements. Brendan either gathers his disparate materials into altar-like or monumental arrangements, or he is content to leave them in seeming disarray.

In the pig-dog, Andrew McDonald appears to have found a painterly motif of both personal and Northland/regional significance. Negotiating the territory between meditation and unmediated expression, his paintings hint at incidents and characters from his Northland childhood, presenting them in a darkly ambiguous space, while at the same time celebrating his own re-entry into the life of the province as an annual visitor and owner of a small rural holding.

 

Taking us back to the most foundational of realities, Miriam Van Wezel’s Matakana Quarry comprises three different sandstone pigments as well as charcoal-coloured rock, greywacke, cement and sand. Echoing both colour chart and geological sample, the work blurs the boundary between archaelogy and aesthetics. Similarly, Elizabeth Thomson’s luminous recastings of small details from the natural environment have both the austerity and the allure of Northland—the same natural environment which Stanley Palmer’s wider views bring to life, using a combination of lithography and bamboo-engraving. Stanley’s summations of the littoral scene are among the defining images of Northland’s art history—a starting place for many subsequent artists.

  

Yet Cape Reinga isn’t as far north as the ‘Idea of North’ goes. Three of the artists represented were contributors to the Kermadec Art Project and, in May 2011, sailed on the HMNZS Otago to Raoul Island and onwards to Tonga. It was over five days into that voyage that their ship crossed the line, mid-ocean—not far south of Tongan territorial waters—which marked the northernmost extremity of New Zealand territory. For the Kermadec artists, the experience of Raoul, and aquatic regions thereabouts, changed their idea of The North. The North became a vast oceanic expanse linking New Zealand to other places, other realities.

 

That oceanic reality is at the heart of Gillian Whitehead’s ‘Puhake ki te rangi’ (‘spouting of the skies’), the title of which refers to the songs of migratory whales as they travel from northern waters along the New Zealand coast. Whale migration is also implicit in Gregory O’Brien’s two paintings, one of which tracks another, more recent migratory species—the many shipping containers set adrift after the Rena struck Astrolabe Reef, near Tauranga, late in 2011.

 

The works in ‘The Northerner’ explore The North as a realm of invention, of myth-making and dreaming—as a place (or places) characterised by its geological formation, human history and by many-layered present reality. It remains the creative hinterland which Glenn Gould wrote about—a region where people go for a particular kind of immersion, for an experience that can be galvanising or even transformative. Here, the usual rules don’t apply. And the resulting works of art might be a conjuring of abstract space or a kind of self-portrait, a filmic sequence, a chapter in a surrealist novel or a bamboo engraving. Just as the exhibition title ‘The Northerner’ harks back to the rail transport of New Zealand’s past, the exhibition proposes the North as an animating principle, a mode of transportation, rather than as an end-point or a definable location—a process rather than a conclusive point.

 

 

 

  

 

 

Thanks to all the artists for their wholehearted involvement, and to Helen, Sandy and Mandy at The Vivian; Graeme Crosby. Also to the installation team—Mike Petre and Iain Cheeseman—and to Stuart Gray at Picpac.

Acknowledgements also to Emma Bugden, the late Ralph Hotere, and to friends and family who have helped this project come to fruition.

 

Gregory O'Brien 2017

 

‘The Idea of North is an opportunity to examine that condition of solitude which is neither exclusive to the north nor the prerogative of those who go north but which does perhaps appear, with all its ramifications, a bit more clearly to those who have made, if only in their imagination, the journey north.’   (Glenn Gould, ‘The Idea of North’)

 

 

LANDSCAPE 2017

OPENING Saturday 21 January – 26 February 2017

All welcome to our opening event on Saturday 21st January at 4pm please join the Vivian team and enjoy a celebratory drink.

 

The land is, without hesitation, the great New Zealand topic.

This exhibition brings together a select group of artists that live and work in New Zealand. They all share an interest in the landscape as a conceptual, historical, cultural and intricately physical construct.

 

In the largely urbanized New Zealand of the 2000s the landscape remains a critical focus. The conversations continue and the diversity of ideas are infinite and offer enduring inspiration to artists. 

View Gallery

View Gallery

Truly distinctive Christmas gifts from The Vivian Gallery and Stockroom.

 

If you are looking for an utterly distinctive and absolutely memorable festive gift, an online or in-person visit to The Vivian Gallery will pay rich rewards and offer a truly fascinating choice. This art gallery is filled with examples of stunning, contemporary art by a stellar selection of contemporary New Zealand artists. 

 

The Vivian Gallery’s annual Small Show is becoming a much-anticipated event on the local Christmas calendar. It is a fantastic opportunity to procure an affordable piece of high quality art by some of New Zealand’s foremost artists.  The walls and spaces of the exhibition are bursting with small-scale treasures and the stockroom is filled with a beautiful and compelling selection of artworks from paintings and drawings to unique ceramics and beautiful glass objects.

 

Artists exhibiting their work in the gallery utilise a diverse and eccletic range of contemporary mediums and methods to visually communicate their personal stories. They come from the length and breadth of New Zealand, culmulating at the gallery for a wonderful art experience.

 

Visit our gallery and stockroom on-line or in person, for a very unique and personal gift this Christmas, for yourself or someone special.  Original artworks are timeless and everlasting in the pleasure they extend and the inspiration that they evoke.  The gallery team will happily gift wrap purchases and arrange delivery and installation.

 

Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings.

Spring Is Here - As one show is ending another will begin

Spring is here and as I am writing this blog it is the most delicious afternoon here at The Vivian Gallery.

Our current show, 'Ko taku Whare, to Whare Hoki' has only this week to run before it is de-installed. Sold art works will be packed up and delivered to their new homes to be enjoyed for a long time to come. For anyone who has not yet visited the exhibition take a drive to Matakana during the week or over the weekend, we are open 11am until 5pm everyday - except Tuesdays. It is a beautiful drive and the exhibition is very compelling, it is a real treat.

'Figuring it Out', the title of our next exhibition, is a Ceramic Show and opens on Saturday 24th of September. There will be an artists talk at 3.30pm followed by our usual relaxed opening with wine and locally brewed beer. This show is a bit special! It is curated by the renowned ceramic artist Bronwyn Cornish and includes a group of highly regarded women artist who all share a passion for clay and enjoy working with ideas around the figurative.

We are looking forward to installing this show next week. Below is a little sneak preview of a ceramic work by Christine Thacker

Thanks everyone

See you very soon

 

Ceramic Wall Tile - Christine Thacker

Ceramic Wall Tile - Christine Thacker

KO TAKU WHARE, TO WHARE HOKI – Your house is my house

13 August - 18 September 2016

What a gorgeous show, we are so delighted to be representing this particularly fabulous cohort of talented Maori artists. The idea for this exhibition was conjured some time ago, in the gallery over a lengthy cup of tea. Picture a cold grey morning, brightened only by the fire and the inspirational company of Alexis Neal, Star Gossage and the Vivian team. Sharing ideas of how we could bring a group of significant Maori artists together in a group show that would reflect the high standard of contemporary art works being produced in New Zealand and, as importantly, had at its core, heart or Aroha. Below is the statement that has anchored the show, this was conceived by Alexis Neal, who has done a remarkable job in curating and organizing this exhibition. Huge thanks to you Alexis and to all the participating artists, the exhibition is gorgeous.

Please visit and see for yourselves, soak up the atmosphere, take a seat by the fire - the stockroom is also bursting with a variety of fresh art works. 

KO TAKU WHARE, TO WHARE HOKI – Your house is my house

   ‘Is a place to display and care for ones belongings, here this gallery acts like a treasure house to care for artwork made by the artists creating a conversation that is home to historical and contemporary stories relevant to today.

The wharenui is a universally acknowledged symbol of traditional Maori culture it is a place of peace and growth, learning and understanding. Having a relationship with a wharenui can mean a sense of one’s own whakapapa, of spiritual awakening, and a sacred place where we come together to celebrate our place in the universe. With this in mind, will help shape the installation of works appropriately in this exhibition.’ 

 

Artists -  Nigel Borell, Ra Gossage, Star Gossage, Charlotte Graham, Andrea Hopkins, Simon Kaan, Alexis Neal, Jasmine Te Hira

TIDAL - Open for an extra week + Introducing - POST MIDDEN Part 1 of: 'The Hanging Margins of Babbling-On'

This blog is intended to let you all know that our current and very beautiful exhibition ‘Tidal,’ is open for an extra week. The show will be de-installed on Sunday the 29th so if you have not managed to visit the gallery recently it really is worthwhile popping in to catch this exhibition with its diversity of high quality works.

On Saturday the 4th of June, the gallery opens another exciting exhibition one that we have been looking forward to very much! The premise of this show is very different for us. It features three highly regarded New Zealand artists who will inhabit the Vivian Gallery, making new works and installing art works that they have created for this show. The public is invited to visit over this period to check out what is happening and of course to chat and ask any questions. Iain Cheesman, Wayne Youle and Jacquelyn Greenbank will collaboratively install their individual works, with much of the work being assembled on site, utilysing an assortment of local materials. It does feel inspirational to be welcoming this great threesome and be the first location by which their exciting project ‘Post Midden’ gains its momentum. The playfulness and the unknown factors that will pop up around this experience will feed into a larger on going project, titled – ‘The hanging margins of Babbling-On', which is envisaged to develop with ongoing exhibitions in differing locations, where an atmosphere of locality bends the process of each of our three individual art processes.

We will, I know, drink a lot of tea and there will be laughter!

Please set some time aside and come for a visit to the gallery. We can promise you the best time.

Warmest thoughts

Mandy TT

 

  

POST MIDDEN

 

Part 1 of: 'The Hanging Margins of Babbling-On' Project

For Artists: Wayne Youle, Jacquelyn Greenbank and Iain Cheesman.

 

For this exhibition at the Vivian Gallery, Matakana, we will be looking at relationships between the materiality of objects and associations with aspects of human history.

History will be on both a local level and also aspects of world human history.

Local history is pursued on more of a structural level, where the emphases of local materials are discussed. For example: Clay, Timber, Rocks, food such as Kai Moana through to more introduced produce. We are also interested in the physical nature of the first remnants of human occupation; that is with the existence of middens; from food harvest, cooking and of course eating.

‘Post Midden’ is our review of what we might like to leave behind or have discovered, and hopefully protected, long after we personally cease to exist.

The actual process of making and installing the exhibition is an important factor for this project, not just from the physical enactment of the hanging gardens of Babylon and the reveal of the ‘Post Middens’, but also the meeting of three artists work, which has been made remotely and separately. The meeting at the gallery for installation will also be a time for more collaborative making, last minute conversations with local materials.

For each of us there is an unknown factor of each other’s artwork, as we join forces, there will be a process that is a bit like a manufacture of history; a formation of a visually tumbling and cascading collaborative artwork.

We also believe that, this project will have a sense of ‘theatrical comedy’ in its structure, with artists intentionally playful within their individual studio practice.

 

The hanging margins of Babbling-On' Project is envisaged to develop with ongoing exhibitions in differing locations, where an atmosphere of locality bends the process of each of our three individual art processes. While it is a ‘play on words’; we will use its sense of confused reality as a framework for art production, based on subjective imagination, and the tentative nature of material remnants.

 

 

Jackie, Iain and Wayne.

 

Tidal

21/4/2016

 

It is a glorious Thursday afternoon here at the Vivian and I have stolen a moment, between visitors stopping by, to view our latest exhibition. The current show is wonderful, we are feeling extremely privileged to have the very fine work of some of New Zealand’s foremost artists in the gallery. The opening on Saturday evening was relaxed and lovely with lots of our clients able to meet and chat with all of the artists who travelled from all over the country to be here. On Sunday morning an informative and lively artist talk was really appreciated by many visitors and included discussion’s that informed the audience about the individual works but also included poetry and performance. This is an acclaimed group of NZ artists who are all so talented but equally extremely generous in the sharing of their ideas and experiences.

The exhibition is well worth a visit, bring the children, the works core ideas speak to all of us.

Tidal

 Saturday 16 April – Sunday 22 May 2016

Featuring work by Phil Dadson, Bruce Foster, Ian Macdonald, Gregory O’Brien, John Pule and Elizabeth Thomson

 

‘Since we do float on an unknown sea, I think we should examine the other floating things that come our way carefully; who knows what might depend on it.’ (Elizabeth Bishop, writing to Robert Lowell)

 

Subject to ocean currents and rips, as it is to migrations of species, flotsam and jetsam, the coastline is a site characterised by mutability, dynamism and a state of endless disequilibrium. A microcosm of the world at large, the littoral zone strikes a resonant, illuminating yet also cautionary note. With issues such as global warming, rising sea levels and the acidification of oceans to the fore, the coast is the fulcrum upon which many of the issues facing the terrestrial and aquatic environments are balanced. The tidal zone is also a place of human beginnings and endings, of humanity’s grandest schemes and gravest misadventures, a region tempered by the most subjective, intimate human experiences as it is by geopolitics.

The works in ‘Tidal’ offer a number of viewpoints--whether we approach the subject with a camera, microphone, paintbrush or etcher’s tool; whether our vantage point is that of a drone looking down upon a tract of beach or that of a kayaker purposefully heading through a beach-break... We follow the progress, through time as through space, of the artist as beach-walker, rower, longshoreman, mariner and navigator. And in the ink-black surface of the etcher’s art, we enter a sea-cave, tracing nocturnal imaginings, fragments of memory and dream.  

The horizon is neither the primary focus nor the distinguishing characteristic of any of these coastal views. In ‘Tidal’ the viewer’s gaze is on the near rather than the far; the artists explore notions of ‘ecosystem’ rather than conventional ‘landscape’. The works seek to inhabit the tidal zone, as much as they evoke or render it. Such is their purpose and emphasis.

‘Once a landscape goes undescribed and therefore unregarded, it becomes more vulnerable to unwise use or improper action,’ writes Robert MacFarlane in Landmarks (2015). Seeking to ‘describe’ and to ‘regard’, these works become, inadvertently, a form of advocacy. The artists in ‘Tidal’ impart something of the deep character of the coastline, touching upon what MacFarlane would describe as the ‘use-histories, imaginative shapes, natural forms and cultural visions’ of the region. In ‘Tidal’, we study the forms, rhythms and migrations of the South Pacific, and how it is that the life of the planet is played out by the minutest of its particulars.

 

Gregory O’Brien

 

 

 

For more information contact:

The Vivian Gallery - 09 422 9995

thevivian@thevivian.co.nz

Helen Crosby - 021669844        

helen@thevivian.co.nz

www.thevivian.co.nz

 

 

Mesmerised By Flowers - Now In Our Final Week

The Vivian Flower Show opened on the 5th March and will be closing on Sunday 10th April. It is a glorious show not to be missed. The gallery is full of art works that reflect the wonder of nature, so it is no coincidence then that I am in the gallery musing on fauna more specifically flowers.

Historicaly flowers have been depicted in art and objects across cultures and continents they link humanity together in a shared wonder and awe of our natural world. As a child visiting galleries in Europe I was mesmerised by Dutch floral still life paintings, all huge, dark and moody bordered by enormous gold gilt frames. In complete contrast I love the quite beauty of watercolors painted directly from life. Detailed botanical sketches of flowers and plants a wash of soft blushes of colour. My head conjures up the colours and textural qualities of the impressionist paintings, the exquisite light. Art has long reflected a fascination with nature and always flowers and flora. Andy Warhol explored flowers and many other themes drawn directly from nature in both his Pop Art prints and his lesser-known botanical drawings and Roy Lichtenstein screen-printed cartoonish water lilies on stainless steel. Jennifer Steinkamp digitally projected strands of blossoms across walls to magically transform an interior.

And the artists Ai Weiwei piled millions of sculpted and painted porcelain sunflower seeds for an austere installation. Each is a testament to the flower's perennial appeal.

I have just watched this short doco, and it is a real treat. O’Keeffe lived and breathed her love of flowers and the incredible landscape that she chose to live in.

Georgia O'Keeffe: A Life in Art

Short documentary about American Artist Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986)

https://youtu.be/NV1w0IK_sdA

Much closer to home the Vivian Gallery exhibits New Zealand born artist and Warkworth resident Janette Cervin who completed her Masters degree in 2013  ‘Flowers in a Contemporary Art Practice’. Janette’s MA project originated from a cornucopia of personal experiences that undeniably informed a perspective shaped by a life growing up surrounded by flowers.  

Cervin was a finalist in the 2012 and 2013 Molly Morpeth Canaday Art Awards, a finalist in the 2011 and 2012 Waitakere Art Awards (winning the ‘Still Life’ category of the 2011 competition, and top painting award 2013) a finalist in the 2012 and 2013 Waikato Art Awards (winning the People’s Choice award both years) and Sponsors Choice at the Ennor Glaistor Awards 2014.

Janette’s beautiful works can be viewed on the Vivian website and in our stockroom.

Janette Cervin - Sparrow & Fuschia - 2016

Janette Cervin - Sparrow & Fuschia - 2016

Detail -Janette Cervin - Filtered Fragments 2016

Detail -Janette Cervin - Filtered Fragments 2016

THE FLOWER SHOW 2016

FLOWER SHOW 

The Vivian Gallery’s Flower Show is now in its third week and we are so enjoying the exhibition. The fauna and floral theme is especially inspiring on a day like today when one can feel autumn sneaking up on us! This year the Flower Show opened with a real flourish! The Vivian gallery worked alongside New Zealand’s Home and Garden Magazine, and hosted a very successful breast cancer fund raising event, which was attended by fourteen hundred people in the gallery and grounds. It was a lovely sunny day and the crowds, marque and food trucks transformed the Vivian into a picture of an idealized country fair.

The show really is special, busting out with vibrant colour and a myriad of curious ideas.

The visual conversation’s range from the beautiful highly detailed works of Japanese artists Shintaro and Yoshiko Nakahara, to the grand large scale pink and silver painting that greets visitors as they enter the gallery, by New Zealand artist Neal Palmer. If you love flowers and art you really need to visit this exhibition and take your time taking in the works on show. We have just installed a spectacular and brand new addition to our outside sculpture collection by the wonderful Regan Gentry titled, Wood From The Trees.

 

Artist Neal Palmer, Title, Florescence

 

The Vivian is very privileged and pleased to have two extremely talented young artists exhibiting with us for the first time, Shintaro and Yoshiko Nakahara who work both individually and in collaboration with each other.

"Japanese artists Shintaro and Yoshiko Nakahara work both together and separately. Recently they have begun to collaborate, combining their different approaches to create an exquisite series of works that they have called 'Hikari' (Light), a metaphor for the revelation implicit in taking a mutual journey."

- Helen Kedgley, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at Pataka Museum

Our collaboration work is a very interesting phenomenon as two people's personalities into one canvas. It sounds like the canvas is an individual another person who with a double character. Impress is all about how deep the feelings are, no matter where come from positive or negative side. While one of ours goes up, at the same time another one goes down, then these two conflicting feeling arrows go dash straight towards the audience. This is the moment the effect will be magical impacted we believe.

Shintaro and Yoshiko Nakahara

  Title 'Spring Time'

 

Title 'Spring Time'

This fabulous show closes on the 10th April pop it into your diary and please come and visit the Flower Show at the Vivian. We are open over Easter every day from 11am -5pm.

Happy Easter from The Vivian team

THE LANDSCAPE SHOW 2016

It does seem extremely fitting to have our first exhibition opening in 2016, centered on the landscape. It is mid summer and the Vivian is located in such a beautiful area, North of Auckland, in a region that offers up the best of both rural and ocean environments. Just glimpsing through the gallery doors, it is an ever-changing place of wonder, from the flax and grass fringed wetlands to the multi-green hills in the distance.

New Zealand has a rich history of interoperating notions of the landscape over many artistic disciplines. Painting, photography, and films like Jane Campion’s, ‘The Piano’ (1993), in which the landscape became a lead character in the story. In fact most paintings produced in the 19th and early 20th century New Zealand, were landscapes. The main intention was not necessarily to create works of art but rather to provide information about the places depicted. These images also helped make the new world more familiar and less frightening. Artists employed a range of stylistic approaches that were popular in Europe and especially in British landscape art.

Travelling and settler artists brought to New Zealand, European theories and practices and superimposed these on the New Zealand landscape. Well into the 20th century, art made in New Zealand was barely distinct from that of Europe – only the subject matter of people and place differed. Paintings were composed of elements pertaining to four main categories: topographical, the romantic or sublime, picturesque, and the ideal. 

 

David Hockney, OM CH RA (born 9 July 1937) is an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer. He lives in Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, and Kensington, London.[1] Hockney maintains two residences in California, where he lived on and off for over 30 years: one in Nichols Canyon, Los Angeles, and an office and archives on Santa Monica Boulevard[2] in West Hollywood.[3][4]

An important contributor to the Pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.[5][6]

 

http://www.hockneypictures.com/tv_video.php#

When he first came to Los Angeles, said Hockney, he painted palm trees. And a woman came up to him and told him she'd never noticed the palm trees before. "Here, there are trees in the park," he said. "Maybe people will notice them."

 

Showing now at The Vivian - THE LANDSCAPE SHOW

SATURDAY 23 January - Sunday 28 February 2016

A Group Show featuring: Claudia Borella, Garry Currin, Simon Edwards, Gary Freemantle, Yukari Kaihori, Scott McFarlane, Stanley Palmer, Johanna Pegler, Mike Petre, Tim Thatcher