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The Surreal 4 th February - 29th February 2012

www.milfordgalleries.co.nz

Milford Galleries Dunedin 18 Dowling Street Dunedin (03) 477 7727 info@milfordhouse.co.nz


1. RAY CHING, Lists / Stratocumulous Goose (2007) oil on canvas on panel, panel (v x h x d): 1370 x 1750 x 18 mm


1. RAY CHING, Lists / Stratocumulous Goose (2007) DETAIL VIEW


2. RAY CHING, The City Hedgehog and the Country Hedgehog (2008) oil on board, frame (v x h x d): 1085 x 1264 x 20 mm, panel (v x h): 900 x 1080 mm


2. RAY CHING, The City Hedgehog and the Country Hedgehog (2008) DETAIL VIEW


3. RAY CHING, Pelorus Jack and the Monkey (2008)

oil on board, frame (v x h x d): 1075 x 1254 x 20 mm, panel (v x h): 910 x 1090 mm


3. RAY CHING, Pelorus Jack and the Monkey (2008) DETAIL VIEW


4. RAY CHING, At the Museum / Cry of the Young Karearea (2007) oil on canvas on panel, frame (v x h x d): 1103 x 1254 x 35 mm, panel (v x h): 930 x 1080 mm


4. RAY CHING, At the Museum / Cry of the Young Karearea (2007) DETAIL VIEW


5. RAY CHING, The Crowing Cockerel, the Fox and the Wallaby (2007) oil on canvas on panel, frame (v x h x d): 1380 x 1685 x 20 mm, panel (v x h): 1210 x 1520 mm


5. RAY CHING, The Crowing Cockerel, the Fox and the Wallaby (2007) DETAIL VIEW


6. JOANNA BRAITHWAITE, Sea Travel (2009), oil on canvas, stretcher (v x h x d): 922 x 1068 x 23 mm


6. JOANNA BRAITHWAITE, Sea Travel (2009) DETAIL VIEW


7. JOANNA BRAITHWAITE, Food for Thought (2009), oil on canvas, stretcher (v x h x d): 1118 x 1375 x 22 mm


7. JOANNA BRAITHWAITE, Food for Thought (2009) DETAIL VIEW


8. JOANNA BRAITHWAITE, Caught Short (2010) oil on canvas, stretcher (v x h x d): 1120 x 1375 x 25 mm

9. JOANNA BRAITHWAITE, Caught Short II (2010) oil on canvas, stretcher (v x h x d): 1120 x 1375 x 25 mm


9. JOANNA BRAITHWAITE, Caught Short II (2010) DETAIL VIEW


10. JOANNA BRAITHWAITE, Fly By Night (Planes / Figures) [BG#3] (1999)

oil on canvas, stretcher (v x h): 1670 x 908 mm


10. JOANNA BRAITHWAITE, Fly By Night (Planes / Figures) [BG#3] (1999) DETAIL VIEW


11. JENNA PACKER, Vantage Point (2011), acrylic on canvas, frame (v x h x d): 432 x 532 x 48 mm, stretcher (v x h x d): 306 x 406 x 36 mm


11. JENNA PACKER, Vantage Point (2011) DETAIL VIEW


12. JENNA PACKER, Messenger Bay (2011), acrylic on canvas, stretcher (v x h x d): 405 x 507 x 38 mm Facing Page: 13. JENNA PACKER, Pontoon (2011), acrylic on canvas, stretcher (v x h x d): 560 x 710 x 38 mm


14. JENNA PACKER, Saltmarsh Hangar (2011), acrylic on canvas, stretcher (v x h x d): 913 x 1220 x 34 mm


14. JENNA PACKER, Saltmarsh Hangar (2011) DETAIL VIEW


15. JENNA PACKER, The Camp (2011), acrylic on canvas, stretcher (v x h x d): 915 x 1220 x 34 mm


15. JENNA PACKER, The Camp (2011) DETAIL VIEW


16. GARY WALDROM, Girl and Ceramic Pig (2008/09), oil on canvas, stretcher (v x h x d): 1220 x 1829 x 23 mm


18. GARY WALDROM, Sundance Sisters (2006-09), oil on canvas, frame (v x h x d): 842 x 1682 x 25 mm


17. GARY WALDROM, Fairground (2008), oil on canvas, frame (v x h x d): 1020 x 1675 x 25 mm, stretcher (v x h x d): 1017 x 1672 x 20 mm


17. GARY WALDROM, Fairground (2008) DETAIL VIEW


20. GARY WALDROM, Urban Escape (2000) diptych; oil on canvas, top / bottom panels (v x h x d): 1070 x 1838 x 25 mm each

19. GARY WALDROM, Girl and Horse I (second series) (2008/09)

oil on canvas, stretcher (v x h x d): 1829 x 1220 x 34 mm


21. MARC BLAKE, 8 Minutes and 18 Seconds (2011)

tetraptych; acrylic, water-soluble oil, graphite, colour pencil, pigment ink & UVLS varnish on board, overall size (v x h x d): 1590 x 2000 x 46 mm


21. MARC BLAKE, 8 Minutes and 18 Seconds (2011) DETAIL VIEW


22. MARC BLAKE, Future Fund (2011)

tetraptych; water soluble oil, acrylic, graphite, colour pencil, pigment ink, UVLS varnish, total size (v x h x d): 1594 x 2800 x 46 mm, panels each (v x h): 797 x 1400 PP


22. MARC BLAKE, Future Fund (2011) DETAIL VIEW


23. MARC BLAKE, Everything I Can Do to Remember (2011) acrylic, graphite, colour pencil, pigment ink & UVLS varnish on board, panel (v x h x d): 1201 x 1198 x 46 mm


23. MARC BLAKE, Everything I Can Do to Remember (2011) DETAIL VIEW


24. MARC BLAKE, The Value of Persistence (2011) acrylic, graphite, colour pencil, pigment ink & UVLS varnish on board, panel (v x h x d): 599 x 965 x 46 mm


24. MARC BLAKE, The Value of Persistence (2011) DETAIL VIEW


25. MARC BLAKE, Everything I've Ever Known (2009) acrylic, graphite, colour pencil, pigm


ment ink & UVLS varnish on board, diptych; panels overall (v x h x d): 1203 x 2400 x 46 mm


26. PAUL MARTINSON, Jam Jar Fishers (2011) acrylic on board, frame (v x h x d): 848 x 659 x 46 mm, panel (v x h x d): 800 x 608 x 5 mm


26. PAUL MARTINSON, Jam Jar Fishers (2011) DETAIL VIEW


27. PAUL MARTINSON, Black Light (2012), oil on canvas, stretcher (v x h x d): 835 x 505 x 33 mm


27. PAUL MARTINSON, Black Light (2012) DETAIL VIEW


28. PAUL MARTINSON, Wedding Safari (2011) watercolour, watercolour pencil & gouache on paper, frame (v x h x d): 825 x 965 x 34 mm

29. PAUL MARTINSON, On the Origin of Species (2012) watercolour, watercolour pencil & gouache on paper, frame (v x h x d): 840 x 990 x 35 mm


29. PAUL MARTINSON, On the Origin of Species (2012) DETAIL VIEW


30. PAUL MARTINSON, Ornithological Pursuits (2012) watercolour, watercolour pencil, gouache & gold foil on paper, frame (v x h x d): 780 x 940 x 35 mm, painted image (v x h): 395 x 590 mm


30. PAUL MARTINSON, Ornithological Pursuits (2012) DETAIL VIEW


31. SIMON CLARK, No Place Like Home (2011) oil & dutch gold leaf on board, panel (v x h x d): 1320 x 1000 x 41 mm


32. SIMON CLARK, Ranch Slider (2009) oil on board, panel (v x h x d): 1320 x 1000 x 45 mm


33. SIMON CLARK, Carbine Road (2009) oil on board, panel (v x h x d): 1000 x 1320 x 45 mm

34. SIMON CLARK, Five Thirty for Seven (2010) oil on board, panel (v x h x d): 1000 x 1314 x 45 mm


33. SIMON CLARK, Carbine Road (2009) DETAIL VIEW


35. SIMON CLARK, The Ecstasy of Communication (2011) oil & 24 carat gold leaf on board, panel (v x h x d): 460 x 460 x 41 mm


35. SIMON CLARK, The Ecstasy of Communication (2011) DETAIL VIEW


Growing out of the anarchy of Dadaism, the original Surrealists (Picabia, Breton, Duchamp, Chirico, amongst others), saw their movement as a philosophy of social and moral revolution where “the dream is omnipotent.”(1) In his 1924 publication Surrealist Manifesto, Andre Breton states that Surrealism expresses “the actual functioning of thought… in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.”(2) How do the artists chosen for this exhibition – Marc Blake, Joanna Braithwaite, Ray Ching, Simon Clark, Jenna Packer, Paul Martinson, Gary Waldrom – fit into this idea of the Surreal? Simon Clark’s ‘No Place Like Home’ and Joanna Braithwaite’s ‘Sea Travel’ both defy the constraints of a rational world, instead depicting places where fish do indeed require bicycles. Clark’s bicycling fish are lined up with other creatures of invention: the Frosty Boy, a Mobil Oil Pegasus, the bird-chaser from Cerebos salt, and, centre stage, an unnerving doll in quasi-Maori dress, hand raised in greeting. If this peculiar world is home, there is indeed no place like it. Clark’s parade of disjointed characters is dreamlike: random elements combine to create an irrational whole, certainly depicting the “play of thought” advocated by Breton. Marc Blake says of his work that “it can feel like I'm trapped or hemmed in somehow, and I have to wait until the right idea comes and suggests a way forward”(3) – this idea of the subconscious subverting the rational hints at the ‘automatic drawing’ practiced by both the Dadaists and the Surrealists. A raft of (seemingly) disconnected dream-like images inhabits the works of Marc Blake. Realist images of children, schoolgirls and old men are belied by the “immense amount of seeming contradiction”(4) in Blake’s work. Shown in a flattened, unreal perspective, and accompanied by stylised trees and ghostly creatures, his characters tote machine guns, wear gas masks and die in their suits as costumed children pass by (‘Everything I’ve Ever Known’) and submarines breach an unnamed sea. The ‘facts’ of place, time and history are also undermined in the paintings of Jenna Packer and Gary Waldrom. Packer’s delicate brushwork and muted hues bring to mind 19th century depictions of New Zealand settlement, at first glance comfortingly familiar. Upon closer examination however, it becomes clear that Packer’s story-telling has its roots in an alternative reality. ‘The Camp’ reveals a desolate harbourscape where settlers seek shelter in the decrepit hulk of a zeppelin and other works feature fantastical waka-forms bedecked with bunting whilst giant dragonflies flit through sepia-toned skies. Set against burnt-orange hills and a glowing sky, outsized, grinning faces couple with the disparate elements of an eyepatch, conductor’s cap and bare breasts in Gary


Waldrom’s ‘Sundance Sisters’. The forthright gaze of the sisters is disconcertingly direct, they stare out of a twilight world, betwixt and between the boundaries of everyday life. Here and there, now and then – these rational parameters are concealed beneath the saturated jewel-tones of Waldrom’s canvases as he juxtaposes “two more or less distant realities”(5), something Breton believes essential to create an image of “emotional power and reality.”(6) Breton writes of fairy tales, as a “fabric of adorable improbabilities”(7) that needs to be tweaked for adult consumption; he would undoubtedly find that artists Ray Ching and Paul Martinson are skilled exponents of this. Their exquisitely painted pictures possess the very “fear, attraction of the unusual, chance, the taste for things extravagant”(8) that adult fables need. Ching’s works are fabulous in the original sense of the word ie: fablelike. ‘Pelorus Jack and the Monkey’ and ‘The City Hedgehog and the Country Hedgehog’ are Ching’s take on Aesop, complete with moral lessons. Ching’s juxtaposition of incongruous stylistic devices such as expository text, comic book imagery and stunningly realist portraiture in works such as ‘Lists/Stratocumulous Goose’ tell stories which are multi-layered and complex, their meanings hidden. Paul Martinson is open about his work’s surrealist undertones, believing that: “to draw spontaneously without conscious reference to normality, morality and social taboos … is an attempt to allow a ‘free flow’ of imagery and ideas as a painter.”(9) This ‘free flow’ permits him to create spaces where fish swim in lightbulbs and birds sleep in jumbled piles. The juxtaposition of the rational and the irrational is a powerful tool and the viewer has no choice but to examine the relationships between what is ‘real’ and what is not. Martinson’s paintings, with their delicate colour washes and meticulous detailing, are like the mirror in Alice Through The Looking Glass – reflecting not just what is visible, but what is not. Breton’s Surrealist Manifesto was written at a time of massive social upheaval: post-World War I horror, new political and social structures rising in Europe, art that turned traditional 19th century Academy traditions on their heads. He intended it as a call to further social revolution, a new way of thinking for a new world order. We see now that, although the revolutionary zeal may be dimmed, artists today are still concerned with the ‘unsparing quality’ of the imagination Breton espouses. He would wholeheartedly approve of the ways in which our artists ‘refuse to accept defeat, set off from whatever point they choose, along any other path save a reasonable one, and arrive where they can.”(10) 1. Breton, Andre. Surrealist Manifesto, 1924 2. Ibid. 3. Blake, Marc. Q+A #2: Emily Goldsmith with Marc Blake. Sydney, January 2011 http://www.marcblake.co.nz/marc_blake_words_Jan2011.html 4. Breton, Andre. Surrealist Manifesto, 1924 5. Pierre Reverdy, quoted in Surrealist Manifesto, Andre Breton, 1924. 6. Ibid 7. Breton, Andre. Surrealist Manifesto, 1924 8. Ibid. 9. Paul Martinson, Artist’s Statement, 2010 10. Ibid.


EXHIBITION PRICELIST R A Y

C H I N G 1

Lists / Stratocumulous Goose (2007)

2

The City Hedgehog and the Country Hedgehog (2008)

23,000

3

Pelorus Jack and the Monkey (2008)

23,000

4

At the Museum / Cry of the Young Karearea (2007)

34,000

5

The Crowing Cockerel, the Fox and the Wallaby (2007)

J O A N N A

POA

POA

B R A I T H W A I T E

6

Sea Travel (2009)

7

Food for Thought (2009)

12,000

8

Caught Short (2010)

12,000

9

Caught Short II (2010)

12,000

10

Fly By Night (Planes / Figures) [BG#3] (1999)

J E N N A

9,500

7,500

P A C K E R

11

Vantage Point (2011)

2,750

12

Messenger Bay (2011)

2,750

13

Pontoon (2011)

3,750

14

Saltmarsh Hangar (2011)

6,000

15

The Camp (2011)

6,000

All prices are NZD and include GST; Prices are current at the time of the exhibition


G A R Y

W A L D R O M 16

Girl and Ceramic Pig (2008/09)

17,500

17

Fairground (2008)

15,000

18

Sundance Sisters (2006-09)

15,000

19

Girl and Horse I (second series) (2008/09)

17,500

20

Urban Escape (2000)

19,500

M A R C

B L A K E

21

8 Minutes and 18 Seconds (2011)

22

Future Fund (2011)

23

Everything I Can Do to Remember (2011)

5,000

24

The Value of Persistence (2011)

3,500

25

Everything I've Ever Known (2009)

8,500

P A U L

9,500 12,500

M A R T I N S O N

26

Jam Jar Fishers (2011)

7,500

27

Black Light (2012)

6,000

28

Wedding Safari (2011)

7,000

29

On the Origin of Species (2012)

6,500

30

Ornithological Pursuits (2012)

5,500

S I M O N

C L A R K

31

No Place Like Home (2011)

6,500

32

Ranch Slider (2009)

6,000

33

Carbine Road (2009)

6,000

34

Five Thirty for Seven (2010)

6,000

35

The Ecstasy of Communication (2011)

2,500

All prices are NZD and include GST; Prices are current at the time of the exhibition

THE SURREAL  

4 - 29 February 2012 / Exhibition Catalogue / Milford Galleries Dunedin / www.milfordgalleries.co.nz