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Preview Friday 10th Sept from 5:30pm 10 Sept – 6 Oct, 2010

Milford Galleries Dunedin 18 Dowling Street (03) 477 7727

1. RICHARD ORJIS, Spleen (2007) c-type print, e

edition 4/9, frame (v x h x d): 945 x 945 x 60 mm

2. RICHARD ORJIS, A Kind of Hush (2008) c-type pri

int, edition 3/8, frame (v x h x d): 945 x 945 x 60 mm

3. RICHARD ORJIS, The Children (2008) c-type prin

nt, edition 3/8, frame (v x h x d): 945 x 945 x 60 mm

4. RICHARD ORJIS, Sisters of the Moon (2008) c-type p

print, edition 3/8, frame (v x h x d): 945 x 945 x 60 mm

5. RICHARD ORJIS, Gorse and Orchids (2007) c-type

print, edition 4/9, frame (v x h x d): 945 x 945 x 60 mm

6. RICHARD ORJIS, Flower Idol (2006) c-type print, edition 100/100, frame (v x h x d): 570 x 509 x 43 mm, image (v x h): 212 x 179 mm

Richard Orjis has quickly risen to critical acclaim with seductive, atmospheric and beautifully dark photographs. ‘The Garden’ focuses on a group of works that use the repeated motif of the orchid. In these works the organic flower form takes on humanistic, fantastical and erotic qualities. There is sense of danger and darkness in these works but also the reality of natural wonder. The orchid’s beauty beckons the viewer, drawing them closer to the flower and ultimately closer the dark void surrounding the stems. ‘A Kind of Hush’ is enticing and seductive, using beauty as a device the purple flower lures its prey. ‘Sisters of the Moon’ displays a single stem heavy with flowers, like a group of beautiful women, brightly coloured and as vivid as the moon when full, capturing the viewers gaze. In my fictive, mythical world a contemporary pagan, earth-worshipping cult, endeavours to make links with the natural world. Nature here is beautiful and dark, a dangerous spectacle; yet still the starting point of mystical experience. Art history and popular culture; fact and fiction; fear and lust; past, present and future collide. (Orjis 2010) In the works ‘Spleen (2007) and ‘Gorse and Orchids’ (2007) a muddy figure emerges from the darkness. Engulfed in flowers the figure appears as if part of some sort of ritual, where the boundaries of nature and man have become blurred. Orchids morph into facial features; an eye, a mouth, where does nature end and human begin? Orjis’s photographs are complex in construction and technically brilliant. Their use of colour, detail and composition make them highly aesthetic and their exaggerated scale renders the subject-matter larger than life. Mysticism, timelessness and magic are present in these works as the real world merges into fantasy.



Spleen (2007), edition 4/9



A Kind of Hush (2008), edition 3/8



The Children (2008), edition 3/8



Sisters of the Moon (2008), edition 3/8



Gorse and Orchids (2007), edition 4/9



Flower Idol (2006), edition 100/100


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

RICHARD ORJIS B. 1979, lives Auckland EDUCATION Master of Fine Arts, Elam, The University of Auckland, 2006 Bachelor of Visual Arts, AUT, Auckland, 2001 Certificate in Art & Design, AUT, Auckland, 1998


2009 2008

2007 2006 2005 2004

A Garden, Milford Galleries Dunedin Grass Circle, Te Tuhi Center for the Arts, Auckland Silver Park, HSP, Christchurch Park, Public Art Lightbox Installation, Bledisloe Walkway, Auckland City Richard Orjis, Starkwhite Gallery, Auckland little black flower grow, in the sky, Luis Adelantado, Valencia, Spain YES, Te Tuhi Centre for Arts, Auckland, Richard Orjis, Starkwhite, Auckland Landslide, McNamara Gallery, Whanganui Welcome to the Jungle, The Physic Room, Christchurch My Empire of Dirt: Selected works on paper, Roger Williams Contemporary, Auckland, Dep_art_ment, Auckland Dep_art_ment, Auckland Richard Orjis, Galeria Luis Adelantado, Valencia, Spain Richard Orjis, Galeria Llucia Homs, Barcelona, Spain



2008 2007


2005 2003

The Marvelous, Bartley & Company, Wellington MADRIDFOTO, Galeria Luis Adelantado, Palacio de Deportes de la Comunicad, Madrid, Spain PUTIPUTI: The flower in Contemporary Art, Hasting City Art Gallery, Hastings Group Show, Anna Bibby, Auckland Floriferous, Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui The Enchanted Garden, Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki Recent: Ten Contemporary NZ Photographers, Tauranga Art Gallery Animal Farm: 4 Legs Good, Sargeant Gallery, Whanganui Flora: Growth Between Neighbours, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia Seen this Century, Judith Anderson Gallery, Hastings little black flower grow, in the sky, Luis Adelantado, Valencia, Spain* The Maui Destiny, The Suter Te Aratoi o Whakatu, Nelson Vice, Luis Adelantado, Miami, USA Picnics and Revolutions, Roger Williams Contemporary, Auckland Richard Orjis / Todd Stratton, Roger Williams Contemporary, Auckland Art is 4 Lovers, Butterfly Net, Auckland Jewellery out of Context: an exhibition of New Zealand artists / curated by Dr Carole Sheperd and Peer Deckers, Object Space, Auckland Fat of the Land, Creative New Zealand, Auckland Asian at the Wheel, Gus Fisher Gallery, University of Auckland, Auckland The New Situationists, City Gallery, Wellington The New Situationists, Canary Gallery, Auckland The Orchid Show, Mount Street, Auckland Arquivar Tormentas, Centro Galego De Arte Contemporanea, Santiago, Spain Summer Exhibition, Roger Williams Contemporary, Auckland Me, Me, Me, Room 103, Auckland Bring Your Caddy, Stanbeth House, Auckland In Faccia Al Mondo ‘Contemporary Portraits in Photography’, The Museum of Contemporary Art of Villa Croce, Genoa, Italy

Richard Orjis 2010 CV P a g e |2

Milford Galleries Dunedin

RICHARD ORJIS B. 1979, lives Auckland

Gorse & Orchids (2007)

“His work is designed to illustrate non-existent, shadowy social groups. In his own words: ‘I create ritualistic or cult-like imagery that deals with the conflict between humans and nature, nature being defined as environments, both physical and psychological, that are not created or controlled by humans. While natural landscapes can be sublime in their beauty, they are also places that can be dangerous, hostile and destructive. Furthermore, the night offers an historical stage for rituals to take place, as the blackness gives a sense of mystery and ambiguity that is consistent throughout my work.”1 “I can see that it might seem like I’m working with lots of different things, but everything I do comes from the same place and is normally about the same concerns. For me, the work revolves around four main intersecting and fluid connections, that of nature, cult, myth and the gothic. Nature can be seen as beautiful and pure, and intrinsically good, but also as dangerous and destructive, a spectacle of the devourers and the devoured. This tense relationship of attraction and repulsion feeds into my practice. I explore notions of beauty laced with an undercurrent of ugliness, or vice versa.”2 “My work sits itself within the framework of the gothic. Just as society seeks to sanitize nature, many human emotions are repressed in the on going process of civilisation. The gothic sensibility explores this dark underbelly, seeking to access the sublime through dark beauty, melancholy, lust, death fear and violence. I seek to connect contemporary culture with antiquity, the gothic psych surfaces in many different forms in art and culture throughout history. The gothic is present in contemporary culture in the form of heavy metal music, video games, horror and science fiction movies.”3 Richard Orjis was born in Whanganui in 1979, and lives and works in Auckland. He is a multimedia artist, utilising photography, paint, sculpture and performance. Orjis completed his Master of Fine Arts at Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland in 2006 having previously earned a BVA in 2001 at Auckland University of Technology. He has exhibited extensively, including exhibitions in New York, Basel, Miami, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris and Auckland. 1. Warwick Brown, Seen This Century, Godwit, 2009 pg 304 2. Jason Lingard, ‘Richard Orjis’, None Magazine, 2007 3. Ibid

Richard Orjis 2010 CV P a g e |1

Milford Galleries Dunedin

Angst, RARE, New York, USA Group Show, Galeria Luis Adelantado, Valencia, Spain

COLLECTIONS The Real Arts Road Show The Jenny Gibbs Collection, Auckland The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, Madrid, Spain The Film Archive, Wellington The University of Auckland Collection, Auckland Wallace Trust Collection, Auckland


Brown, Warwick,-‘Seen This Century: 100 Contemporary New Zealand Artists’, Godwit, Random House, 2009, pp. 304–307 Real Art Trust Staff, - ‘Real Art Roadshow: The Book’, Real Art Charitable Trust, 2009, pp. 162–163 Serrat, Carlos, ‘Contemporary Paganism’, The Creator Studio’, # 11 Rituals, April 2008, pp. 4–13 2008 Orjis, Richard – ‘Coal Choir’, No Magazine, Issue 2 2008, pp. 61–69 McNaughton, Harry, ‘Richard Orjis’ , No. Magazine, Issue 1, March 2008, pp. 18–19 Pickens, Robyn,- ‘Expressions of Contradictions’, The Press, Christchurch, Wednesday, April 16, 2008, p.D5 2007 Battersby, Shandelle, -‘Richard Orjis, Artists and Mud Fan’, Time Out, The New Zealand Herald, May 17–23, 2007, p. 5 Chang, Lulu, - ‘The Garden of Unearthly Delight’, Soma, Volume 21.4, May/June 2007,p. 30 Coney, Hamish, -‘Future Schlock: An old fogey looks at the work of today’s yoof’, Ideolog, #7, January – February 2007, p. 95 or ‘Gallery’, Black, No 7, Summer 2007/08, p. 176 (Artists Page) Hall, Oliver, - ‘International Achiever’, Express, 25 April – 1 May 2007, pp. 10–11 Hamilton, Summer, - ‘Auckland Art Fair 07’, KiaOra, May 2007, p72 Laird, Tessa, -‘Secrets of the Soil: Richard Orjis and his Empire of Dirt’, White Fungus, Issue 8, 2007, pp. 34–41 Lingard, Jason, - ‘Richard Orjis’, Nothing Magazine, Issue 11 2007 Mudie, Ella, -‘ The Dark side: Richard Orjis’, Dazed and Confused Aus/NZ, Volume 1 Issue 3 2007, p. 137 2006 Orjis, Richard, - ‘Momento Mori’, New Zealand Home & Entertaining, April/May 2006, pp. 62–69 2005 Williams, Melinda, - ‘Hip to be square’, Sunday Life and View, Herald on Sunday, April 3–9, 2005, pp. 6–8 2004 Capdevilla, Marta, - ‘Up-State’ , Suite, 29, October 2004, p. 64 Mogutin, Slava, -‘Anthony et Richard’, TETU, No 88, April 2004, p. 34-35 Tabron, Delaney, - ‘Richard Orjis’, Pavement, Summer 2004/2005, Issue 66, p. 43 Ventur, Conrad, -‘NYC Photographers’, Useless Magazine, Vol 1 No 1, Fall/Winter 2004, p. 46 2003 Arevalo, Pilar, - ‘Narcissist, artist or just taking the piss?’, Oyster, Issue 43, December/January 2003, pp. 48–51 Northcross, Wayne, - ‘ Razzle-Basel’, Instinct, Vol 6 Issue 2, February 2003, p. 16 Suau, Christina, - ‘Richard Orjis’, ELLE, Spain, No. 197, February, 2003, p. 72 Olveira, Manuel, - ‘A Story with a viewpoint’, Arquivar Tormentas, Centro Galego De Arte Contemporanea, Santiago, Spain, pp. 27–31

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Milford Galleries Dunedin


The Garden / 10 September - 6 October 2010 Exhibition Catalogue / Milford Galleries Dunedin /


The Garden / 10 September - 6 October 2010 Exhibition Catalogue / Milford Galleries Dunedin /