Artbeat June 2019

Page 1

Va Oceans Between:

A Reason for People to Get Together

Opening in Tūranga’s gallery space in May, Va Oceans Between presents previously unseen Polynesian artefacts from the Canterbury Museum and the response of Contemporary Pasifika Artist to these objects. Yet, there is more to Va Oceans Between. Pasifika Librarian Nina Oberg-Humphries observes that “Va” is a fundamental Pacific value that underlines everything: ‘The relationships we have with each other, with the physical world and the spiritual world, connecting past, present and future.’ In Va Oceans Between this relationship is directly evident in the conversations between the artefacts and the work by the participating artists: Nina Oberg-Humphries (Cook Islands), Ralph Stowers (Samoan), Jon Jeet (Fijian), Stone Maka (Tongan), and in the inclusion of performance, the written word and oral histories from the local Pasifika community. There are 10 different Island nations represented and a diversity of artefacts. Samoa, the Cook Islands, Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Niue, Tokelau and Tonga, represented by 24 objects, ‘ranging from adornments worn by royalty to fish hooks – so completely varied.’ Oberg-Humphries says that all have little or no documented background, yet the responses from the Pasifika community establish a crucial framework. ‘There might be a date and a vague, where it comes from. However, there is virtually no information from the Canterbury Museum, so we have asked Vā Pasifika and Fika Writers Group to create content and information, responding just like the artists. This was a way we could give context to the Taonga our ancestors have made.’ ‘One member has talked about family relationship and colonisation but actually her object was a Fijian eating fork – used for eating flesh. A Niuean woman Malo, our old mama, has written hers completely in Niuean and it is about her parents using an octopus lure and growing up in Niue. There is another member that chose the Hawaiian necklace, Lei Niho Palaoam, writing about its history as a royal object worn by the likes of Queen Liliʻuokalani the last Hawaiian Monarch.’ How did Va Oceans Between arise ? ‘It was the group, Vā Pasifika at Christchurch City Libraries that was asked to do the show and the Samoan language group, Fagasa, who worked with the Museum last year, doing a night-time viewing of part of the Samoan collection for Samoan Language week. Richard Stanley, working for the Ministry of Pacific Peoples and a member of Fagasa were approached by the Museum to do something similar for 2019. Having close connections with Fagasa, Vā Pasifika was asked to see if they could display Samoan objects in the gallery as part of Samoan Language week.’ ‘So it was meant to be a Samoan show. I was employed by

IMAGE ABOVE Head ornament comb,Samoa, Canterbury Museum E166.446 IMAGE RIGHT Ornamental fan, Samoa, Canterbury Museum E173.199.

IMAGE ABOVE LEFT Pasifika Librarian and Curator Nina Oberg-Humphries IMAGE ABOVE RIGHT Sharing the aspirations of Va Oceans Between, Scape Public Art 2017 Season featured ‘Are Pasifika (House Pasifika), a community arts project that encouraged Pasifika communities to return to the central city. Participating in a series of workshops and exhibition at the Canterbury Museum they shared the knowledge and experience of their cultures and history, strengthening their sense of belonging in Ōtautahi-Christchurch. Photograph: The Canterbury University Samoan Association culture group, participants in Nina Oberg-Humphries, ’Are Pasifika. photograph: Jade Cavalcante, image courtesy of the artist, The Arts Centre of Christchurch, Canterbury Museum and SCAPE PUBLIC ART

the Library in June last year and had worked with the Museum before. They brought me onto the project because I had a relationship with Dr Lisa McDonald, Associate Curator of Human History who looks after the Pacific Collection at the Museum.’ ‘Because these objects had never been on show, I felt it was important that if we got the opportunity to see any of the Pacific collection, we show as much of it from all over the Pacific. I worked with Vā Pasifika and collectively we decided what would be in it.’ ‘It became really important to have these objects on show. There was talk in the Library about the Pacific Arts festival done by Pacific Underground prior to 2010, and then it was, well; where are our artists? So to add more depth, we asked local Pasifika artists to make works in response to the objects in the collection.’ ‘I chose the artists because, to be honest, I didn’t really know many other experienced Contemporary Pasifika artists working in Christchurch. It is a very small community. Since the Pacific Arts festival it has been disbanded. Everyone is everywhere. Va Oceans Between is a reason for people to get back together. People like Ralph and Stone are real treasures to be shared. We went to the Museum and they knew about the objects in Va Oceans Between, how they were made and used.’ ‘Along with that we also have Tusiata Avia, (Samoan) a re-

nowned poet, doing a writer’s residency. Again, creating new work in reaction to the objects and we have a performance group, YNot, a Pacific Theatre company in Christchurch also creating a show for us.’ ‘This is the first time that the general public can access Pacific arts in this way for a very long time. It is about all things; about representation, creating moments for that community to feel welcome in these spaces and a sense of belonging, not just in libraries but also in our central city. That is where the relationship always goes back to - links to Pacific Underground, because that is what they did for a very long time.’ ‘Ten years of Pacific theatre, of shows, of music and festivals, and slowly but surely those people are coming out of the woodwork, wanting to have the same kind of experiences. So this is a conversation that is happening in our community constantly. When is there going to be another Pacific Arts Festival? Who is going to lead it? In lots of ways inside the show is a taster of what we have in Christchurch to build the festival again. Vā Pasifika has a much larger exhibition planned next year and Va Oceans Between is kind of a forerunner for it.’ Va Oceans Between Tūranga, Te Pito Huarewa/Southbase Gallery 60 Cathedral Square, CHCH 18 May – 21 July

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The Streets Speak… Reuben Woods

Graffiti and street art have always inherently been acts of communication. Through a pair of tragic and unexpected events, March necessitated some reflection on this aspect of urban art. While the Christchurch terror attacks immediately gained international attention, the passing of Christchurch graffiti legend Jungle (Leon Te Karu) evoked a heartfelt response that has played out more specifically among the graffiti community here and further abroad. A true king of Christchurch graffiti, Jungle exerted a massive influence on a culture now firmly embedded in the city’s creative fabric. Ikarus, himself a veteran presence, quickly ad-

IMAGE ABOVE Holly Zandbergen in her studio. (Art tour Saturday 11 May)

Va Oceans Between at Tūranga, Tautoru / TSB Space, Hapori | Community, Level 1: Saturday, 18 May 11am: Artist Floor Talk. Contributing artists talk about the inspiration behind their work in the exhibition. Friday 21 June 5.30pm. Poet Tusiata Avia creates a new body of work in response to the exhibition. Friday 21 June 6pm. A new play from Pasifika performance collective YNOT created during and inspired by the exhibition.

IMAGE TOP Jungle Tribute by Dcypher, Los Angeles. Photo Credit – Dcypher IMAGE ABOVE Jungle Tribute by Wongi ‘Freak’ Wilson and Ikarus, painted in Sydenham, photograph: Millie Peate-Garratt

mits that without exaggeration, if not for Jungle, there would be no Lurq, no Pest5, no Dcypher, no Freak and no Ikarus (indeed, Jungle’s influence deserves a dedicated and entirely separate discussion). In the wake of his passing, Jungle’s importance to graffiti culture has been illustrated by the sheer number and wide-reach of tributes painted in his honour, from full blown pieces, to characters and annotated remembrances, stretching from the streets of Christchurch to Australia, Chile and the U.S. Such tributes highlight the memorial traditions of graffiti, where writers can stay within the defining elements of the signature-based culture, and in doing so, honour the legacy of

influential figures. The Christchurch terror attacks provide a different discourse, and will likely have a different relationship to graffiti and street art. In the wake of the attacks, there has been a public outpouring of grief and gestures of support, with memorial spaces filled with flowers and handwritten messages. But at the time of writing, outside of a number of dedications by graffiti writers, the political potential of urban art had not fully manifested. If graffiti writers are able to harness the letter-form focus to write name-based tributes or make declarative statements, the culture may not be best suited to (nor concerned with) the more difficult conversations we now face (indeed a sentiment we all face in

Rekindle’s New Classes in May, Art Centre of Christchurch: Foraging with Peter Langlands in Hagley park and the Red Zone; felt-slipper making with Simon Bensdorp; harakeke weaving with Benita Wakefield (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Kere, Ngāti Irakehu) and axe-work with Douglas Horrell of Cleft Craft. Details: rekindle.org.nz/ collections/resourceful-workshops. Rekindle is dedicated to making what we need from what we have around us, sharing creative skills to transform undervalued resources through craft.

• Dilana present new textile designs by two contemporary New Zealand artists 4 May - Central City: Tūranga, Southbase Gallery, Va Oceans Between, The Physics Room, Matthew Galloway, PG Gallery, Joanna Braithwaite and Tony Bond, CoCA, Love Lives Here, Absolution, Hannah Heslop 11 May - South of the City: Chambers Gallery, Edwards + Johann, Concretions - the act of coming together, The National, Madeleine Child, Holly Zandbergen, studio visit, Chambers Studio visit, Kim Lowe OSB Artist, NZArtbroker, new works 17 May Eastside (Friday): Windsor Gallery, Eastside Gallery, Mary Latimer, Ara School of Art and Design, post-graduates exhibition, Ng Building, Tim Main 25 May Sydenham: Form Gallery, Linda Bruce and Annabel Menzies-Joyce, Doc Ross - studio visit, City Art, Clare Logan, new paintings, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Zina Swanson, Dilana, new works by 2 artists. For bookings email: karin@christchurchartseen. nz (art tours - $20 per person)

Christchurch Art Scene Tours in May: 18 exhibitions and 2 artists’ studio visits with arts writer and commentator, Warren Feeney and Christchurch Art Seen. Tours include: • A visit to the studio of the recipient of the Olivia Spencer Bower Award artist in 2019, Kim Lowe • Va Oceans Between: Contemporary Pasifika artists respond to Pacific objects in the Canterbury Museum’s collection at Tūranga, Te Pito Huarewa/Southbase Gallery • New paintings by Joanna Braithwaite at PGgallery192

the wake of these events). Street art practices, in their more traditional forms of painting, stencils, installations and postering, have generally been more focussed on social issues expressed through acerbic humour and iconographic visual language. Will Christchurch’s streets be utilised in such a manner? With the harnessing of muralism as a citybuilding tool, will the terror attacks provide a discourse to utilise the streets as a site for commentary in more subversive materialisations? Has the post-quake atmosphere that encouraged political conversation subsided, or will a new wave of discussion be activated?

IMAGE ABOVE Harakeke weaver Benita Wakefield & her Aunty Milly with NT festival founder Juliet Arnott. Photograph: Justyn Denney


At the Galleries

‘Chainbridge, the iconic bridge of the capital of Hungary, is a symbol for all Hungarians. A bridge that connects, a chain that unites us. This is what we would like to achieve - the Hungarian artists living in Christchurch - To connect and unite continents, cultures and people.’ Artists’ statement Group Exhibition, Hungarian Artists in Christchurch, Eastside Gallery

‘The family of small native fish Galaxiidae IMAGE ABOVE Bing Dawe, untitled, Bronze and are at risk because of water degradation painted steel and habitat destruction. The night sky or IMAGES ABOVE CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Alma view of the Galaxy is a way to relate these Almasy, Untitled Works, Hungarian artisan, The Eastside Gallery. Stephen Bradley, Venture Creek, fish to the universal and to elevate their 2018 Pūmanawa, The Arts Centre of Christchurch. size, importance and the implications of Linda Bruce, Water, 2019, ceramic and found objects, Form Gallery. Jenny Ritchie, Textures 56, their loss to a grand scale.’ 2019, photograph courtesy of Arts in Oxford and Jenny Ritchie, Arts in Oxford. Joanna Braithwaite, Sculptor Bing Dawe Under Wraps, 2019, oil on canvas, PGGallery192. Bing Dawe, New Sculpture The Central Art Gallery ‘My approach involves focusing on the local and particular to address universal con“In my practice, the overall sculptural cerns. In this way I research stories of comforms of the ceramics are the results of a munity and place utilising local materials controlled design process, but the final out- and found objects in my work, uncovering comes are partly handed over to the nature cultural horizon lines and the places where of the materials, responding to the trans- contemporary and historical voices meet.’ formative heat of the kiln.” Linda Bruce, Glass and Ceramics Jenny Ritchie on crafting her work Form Gallery Jenny Ritchie, As Above Arts in Oxford ‘I want to know the story… All the beauty that is hiding in nature or cities… I’m a story ‘In Braithwaite’s portraits animals and birds teller and there is so much happening in the heighten the mixed emotions packed around world.’ human portrayal and preening, and the un- Stephen Bradley on his photography easiness of societal pecking orders.’ Love of the Land, Group exhibition, Art Critic Mark Amery eyecontactsite. Pūmanawa, The Arts Centre of Christchurch com/2011/06/braithwaite-paintings Joanna Braithwaite, Warbler PGgallery192 Absolution Hannah Heslop, The natural curiosities of a lewd and quixotic mind 3 May – 24 Jun Arts Centre, 2 Worcester Blvd, CHCH, Mon-Sun 10 – 6pm | Aigantighe Gallery Hanna Shim, Smer Smern (fabric and soft fibre sculpture) until 5 May Robert Westaway, Biomorphic 4 May – 2 Jun 49 Wai-Iti Rd, Maori Hill, Timaru, Tue-Fri 10 – 4pm Sat-Sun 12 – 4pm | Art on the Quay Kathy Lee Dixon, Visualizing Effect, new paintings 2 May – 13 Jun 176 Williams Street, Kaiapoi, Mon-Wed, Fri 9 – 5pm, Thu to 9pm, Sat 10 – 2pm, Sun 1 – 4pm | Arts in Oxford Folio 2019: Oxford Area School Student Art Portfolios that received NCEA excellence until 5 May Jenny Ritchie: As Above, fabric prints and ceramics 11 May – 9 Jun Main Street Oxford, Tue-Sun 10 – 4pm | Ashburton Art Gallery Tony Bond, Croactus until 5 May Adam Portraiture Award. NZ’s most prestigious portraiture competition until 8 Jun Julie Humby, A Life Less Ordinary 6 May – 2 Jul Group Exhibition, In Your Likeness (portraits by gallery visitors) until 18 Jun 327 West St, Ashburton, Mon-Sun 10 – 4pm, Wed to 7pm | Bryce Gallery sculpture by Trevor Askin until 31 May 21 Paeroa St, Riccarton, Mon-Fri 10-5pm Sat-Sun 10-4pm | Canterbury Museum Hannah Beehre, Tunnel (2018) an immersive entrance to an exhibition until 3 Jun Kura Pounamu: Our Treasured Stone until 3 Jun Rolleston Avenue, CHCH, Mon-Sun 9 – 5pm | Chamber Gallery Rangiora Peter Carson, pastels until 2 May Rachael Harré, Out of the Blue, (paintings) 5 May – 6 Jun 141 Percival Street, Rangiora, Mon-Sat 9 – 5pm | Chambers Gallery Katie Thomas, Place of Rest until 4 May Edwards + Johann, Concretions - the act of coming together 7 – 25 May Denise Copland, Tipping Point, (2019) 28 May – 15 Jun 241 Moorhouse Ave, CHCH, Tue-Thu 11 – 5.30pm, Fri 11 – 5pm, Sat 11 – 2pm | Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu William Wegman: Being Human until 28 Jul Wheriko – Brilliant! Group Exhibition 17 May – 16 Feb 2020 Hidden Light: Early Canterbury and West Coast Photography until 18 Aug We do This. Group exhibition until 29 May Eileen Mayo: Nature, Art and Poetry until 9 Jun Julia Morison: Headcase until 14 Jul Cnr Worcester Boulevard & Montreal Street, CHCH, Mon-Sun 10 – 5pm Wed 10 – 9pm | City Art Depot Charlotte Watson, The Small Hours until 8 May Clare Logan, (new paintings) 14 May - 4 Jun 96 Disraeli St, Sydenham, CHCH, Mon-Fri 8.30 – 5pm, Sat 10 – 2pm | CoCA Toi Moroki Roy Good, Parallel Universe until 12 May Love lives Here until 2 Jun David Green, Extraviado until 12 May 66 Gloucester St, CHCH, Tue-Sun 10-5pm | Eastside Gallery Jon Jeet, Cranmer Life Drawing Tuesday Nights until 4 May Mary Latimer et al, Joining Together - Hono Tahi, oil paintings, woodwork, glass and metal 6 – 18 May Roos J Gillie, (and family and friends) Connections and Reflections 20 – 25 May Alma Almasy, Jozsef Babas, Istvan Denes and Levente Kadas, Hungarian Artists in Christchurch 27 May – 8 Jun 388 Worcester St, Linwood, CHCH, MonFri 11 – 4pm, Sat 12 – 3pm | Fiksate Work in stock , local, national and international

artists until 10 May Kara Burrowes, Collection *banal, artist talk, 7pm, 31 May 17 May – 14 Jun 165 Gloucester St, CHCH, Mon-Fri 7 – 3pm | Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery Ros Beck, Liquidity In Motion, paintings until 23 Jun Amanda Brooking and Della Goodinson, Course of Existence, Pot, Paper, Print until 7 July 2 Harakeke Street, Riccarton Tue-Sun 9 – 4pm | Form Gallery Linda Bruce and Annabel Menzies-Joyce, glass and ceramics 8 - 28 May 468 Colombo St, Sydenham, CHCH, Tue-Sat 10 – 5pm | Heart & Soul Painting, craft and photography until 31 May 34 New Regent Street Mon-Thu 10 – 5pm Fri-Sat 10 – 6pm | Ilam Campus Gallery Ciaran Begley, Dirty Entanglement 3 - 31 May Fine Arts Ln, off Clyde Rd, Ilam, CHCH, Mon-Fri 9 – 4pm | Jonathan Smart Gallery Tjailing de Vries, Vision Tunnel until 18 May Zina Swanson, (new works) 24 May – 22 Jun 52 Buchan Street, Sydenham, CHCH, Wed-Fri 11 – 5pm Sat 11 – 3pm | PGgallery 192 Joanna Braithwaite, Warbler 20 May – 14 Jun Tony Bond, (new works) 20 May – 14 Jun 192 Bealey Avenue, CHCH, Tue-Fri 10.30 – 5pm, Sat 10.30 – 2pm | Pūmanawa Community Gallery Merging Traditions, photographs: St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Sydenham 6 – 12 May Vincent Zhou and Oliver Li, Wonders of the South Island, (photography) 13 – 19 May Land of the Loved, group exhibition, (9 artists including 2 young artists) 20 May – 2 Jun 2 Worcester Boulevard, CHCH Tue-Sun 10.30 – 5pm | Selwyn Gallery Malvern Artists, Cathie Bell, Kristine Daly, Renate Galetzka, Anna Guild, Amanda King, Denise Petrie 3 – 30 May 17 South Terrace, Darfield, Tue-Sun 10 – 4pm | Susan Badcock Studio Still Life Synthesis - Hand-Coloured Photographs - Exhibition Opening 3pm Sunday 5 May Until 1 Jun 47 Talbot St, Geraldine, Tue-Sat 10 – 2pm |Stoddart Cottage Gallery Diamond Harbour Painting Group 3 – 26 May 2 Waipapa Ave, Diamond Harbour, Fri-Sun 10 - 4pm Teece Museum of Classical Antiquties Fantastic Feasts: Dine with the Ancients 6 Apr – 23 Feb 2020 Arts Centre, 3 Hereford St, CHCH, Wed-Sun 11 – 3pm | Te Pito Huarewa/ Southbase Gallery Tūranga Va Oceans Between, group exhibition and works from the Canterbury Museum’s collection 18 May – 21 Jul 60 Cathedral Square CHCH Mon-Fri 8am – 8pm Sat-Sun 10 – 5pm | The Central Fiona van Oyen, Navigation Lines until 12 May Bing Dawe, (new sculpture) 16 May – 16 Jun Arts Centre, 2 Worcester Blvd, CHCH, TueSun 10 – 5pm | The National Madeleine Child, new works until 31 May 249 Moorhouse Avenue, CHCH, Tue-Fri 10.30 – 5.30pm, Sat 10.30 – 4pm | The Physics Room Tanu Gago, SAVAGE IN THE GARDEN, new works by 2018 MacMillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies Artist in Residence until 12 May Matthew Galloway, The Freedom of the Migrant 16 May - 23 Jun 49-59 Worcester Blvd, CHCH, Tue-Fri 10 – 5pm Wed 10am – 9pm | Windsor Gallery 35 artists+ 100 changing artworks, including Joel Hart, Rhonye McIlroy, Mike Glover and Sue Syme until 31 May 386 St Asaph St, CHCH, Mon-Fri 9 – 5pm Sat 10 – 1pm


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Hidden Light: Early Canterbury and West Coast Photography Margaux Warne

Considering how prevalent photography was in Canterbury in the second half of the nineteenth century, it is a wonder the subject has not received more attention. An exhibition which is long overdue, Hidden Light reveals the work of several talented professional and amateur European photographers who practised in Canterbury and the West Coast from the 1850s onwards. Most of the photographers included in Hidden Light are relatively unknown and their work has barely been seen. Featuring scenes of colonial life and powerful portrayals of the South Island landscape, Hidden Light taps into aspects of our local history and natural environment while providing some insight into nineteenth-century photographic processes. Occupying almost one whole wall are eight striking images by Alfred C. Barker, Christchurch’s most prominent nineteenth-century photographer. The digital prints are enlarged reproductions of Barker’s glass-plate collodion

negatives and his tender portraits of daughters Mary and Lizzy are particularly beautiful. The picture of Mary dating from 1859 is Pre-Raphaelite-like and reminiscent of the work of Victorian photographer Juliet Margaret Cameron. Nearby are images by Barker’s contemporaries, Edward P. Sealy and Daniel L. Mundy. Sealy was a surveyor and highly-skilled landscape photographer and his 1869 photograph of Waimakariri Gorge is especially impressive. One of the highlights of the exhibition is Mundy’s remarkable photograph of Benmore Sheep Station from 1868. Among the photographs of the South Island landscape are Hanwell Williams’ images of Lake Grasmere, Lake Pearson and Lake Lyndon from c.1877 and Thomas Pringle’s views of Franz Josef Glacier from 1871. Capturing the raw beauty of the West Coast, they are rich in detail and command close viewing. Hidden Light also features a unique selection of cartes-de-visite, little portraits mounted on card. The carte-de-visite became popular

in Christchurch after it was introduced in 1862 and due to its shape and format, it was ideal for photo albums. Alongside several portraits of unknown sitters are images of Governor Sir George Grey and Julius von Haast, founder of the Canterbury Museum. Personal photograph albums previously owned by May Stoddart and Helen Connon are also included in the exhibition. An amateur photographer, Connon was interestingly one of the first New Zealand women to practise photography with a Kodak camera. Fascinating, impeccably researched and beautifully curated, Hidden Light connects us to our past and is proof that nineteenth-century New Zealand art is still relevant and appealing to contemporary audiences. Hidden Light: Early Canterbury and West Coast Photography Curated by Ken Hall Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū Cnr Worcester Boulevard and Montreal St 2 February - 25 August

Kristy Gorman, The Ground Aslant Andrew Paul Wood

IMAGE ABOVE Kristy Gorman, Edging, 2019, ink on muslin on board, 610 x 430mm

Looking at the paintings in Kristy Gorman’s The Ground Aslant, I am a little bit reminded of the Russian avant-gardist Lyubov Popova who, in the early part of the twentieth century, subverted the macho posturing, rigid geometries and reductive palette of Futurism and Suprematism by introducing a painterly softness and a more playful approach to form and composition. In Gorman’s paintings, the traditional ingredients of geometric abstraction are still there – the plane, the line, the formalism – but given their own subtle and unique spin. Auckland-based, Gorman graduated from the University of Canterbury’s School of Fine Arts in 1992, and I love the fact that she continues to show here. Meticulously executed in ink at various states of dilution, staining fine muslin, the lightness of touch, muted hues and loose grids suggest a continuity with Canadian-American painter Ag-

nes Martin. Often these grids are created by removing threads from the canvas itself, making it almost a sculptural event, and enlivened by distortions caused by the stretched fabric. This builds multiple layers of depth and volume into an area of painting better known for flatness and fetishizing the surface – there is a delicate push and pull interplay between figure and ground that catches and holds the eye with endlessly seductive possibilities. In other works an optical, raster-like effect is simulated by the rhythm or stopping and starting as the pigment is dragged down the surface. This record of a physical act puts the artist’s body, and the duration and physicality of the act of making, back into the somewhat rarefied realm of pure geometric abstraction. It’s actually quite difficult to get bored with a Gorman work – there’s always some fresh layer to be un-

IMAGE ABOVE Alfred C. Barker Sarah Elizabeth (Lizzy) Barker c.1861. Glass plate collodion negative. Canterbury Museum 1944.78.255

covered, some previously unconsidered subtlety to be enjoyed. Gorman is an impresario in the potentials of colour, translucence, wash and layering, teasing out unexpected effects. Edges, overlaps and absences are where the action happens. Grey rhomboids invade the pitch, giving the impression of being the drop shadow of objects that aren’t there, but really they’re just monochromatic planes floating on the pictorial surface. Similarly white triangular forms might be trompe l’oeil origami of the picture plane folding back on itself. Other forms merely exist by implication, artefacts of their edges. With this new work Gorman is really pushing her practice into novel and largely unexplored territory, and I am entirely here for it. Brava! Kristy Gorman, The Ground Aslant Jonathan Smart Gallery March 15 – April 13 2019

Ed Lust, Choke Audrey Baldwin

Ed Lust has created a considerable body of work for his latest exhibition at City Art Depot. The lower gallery hosts an array of works on paper and the exhibition continues upstairs; Lust’s unframed raw edged watercolours interlaced between works by other artists in the stock gallery. Although he’s always been a painter, Lust graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in film from the University of Canterbury. His films – whether abstract projections, music videos or feature length – have always been undeniably painterly while his paintings use light, colour and depth of field in a ways which speak of someone well familiar with the lens as medium. As with a lot of Lust’s works; there’s an emotional depth to these paintings that goes beyond the formal. The viewer can choose to engage with them on a strictly formal basis or allow the varying hues and feelings of the work to wash over them. The works are dynamic, colourful and engaging. I felt tugged along the walls by protons and neutrons, one-step two-step dance diagrams encouraging further explorations of petri dish stills or planetary transits. Comb-tooth fine lines and orbs bled into each other, constellations choreographed the eye masterfully across the paper and a sense of shifting, swimming focus had me taking pause to appreciate the snippets framed by peepholes on each freckled page. I enjoyed a conversation with Ed recently about the exhibition which allowed me some poignant insights into the process and emotional states behind the mesmerising pieces. The title of the show is a term coined by the artist for a technique used throughout. Lust layers the watercolour, washing it back to create misty auras staining the paper then over-layers them with individually scribed circle upon circle. He explains: “It’s the painting of these enveloping circles that I’ve come to call choking- because it feels like I’m enforcing nega-

IMAGE ABOVE Ed Lust, Rama, and Blazer, (both watercolour and gouache, 2019)

tive space, leaving behind subjects.” The demarcation of the circles was a painstakingly contemplative and controlled process. With this in mind, the pieces read less as playful colourfields and more as shadowy cosmoses of thoughts and attitudes, carefully excised and captured on paper. The making of the works was part of a daily painting ritual, a deeply personal one, where Lust worked through his own anxieties in a therapeutic process. The amount of control required to make the works a tangible reminder of his ability to construct various facades – and his ability to reveal more of himself on his own terms. “The Choke works may look like lollies or stars or microscopic worlds but I see them as evidence

of mental healing, and the obsessively choked areas are like trapped ruminations...emotionally and mentally I felt like I was compartmentalizing, trapping and defeating my go-to thought patterns... I’m only learning how to share myself again and I think painting is helping me do it.” To risk a cliche, it seems like this series of works is part of a personal, yet universal process in letting the light shine through the facades that we build up over time. The grit and grime that comes from operating while living with anxiety, depression and in a heteronormative system. It’s worth mentioning though, that those facades still had glimmers of amethyst dust in them – the queerest quartz of them all.

Ed Lust, Choke City Art Depot 26 March to 13 April Supporting Art Beat arts reviewers 2019


Edwards + Johann: Building a Relationship with an Active Volcano Harriet Litten

Volatility and stability. Vulnerability and strength. Transience and permanence. These dichotomies are embodied by the volcanic Whakaari/White Island that has become the primary focus of a new series of work by Christchurch-based artists Edwards + Johann. Concretions: The act of coming together speaks to the intensity of these relationships; exploring the intersections, overlaps and distances between these deeply emotive concepts. For the artists, Whakaari has epitomised how a place can be both awe-inspiring and deeply unnerving, encapsulating the extreme and unpredictIMAGE ABOVE Edwards +Johann, Concretions - what lingers in the mist #1, 2018, 2018, C-type photograph, 240x240mm IMAGE BELOW Edwards + Johann on Whakaari/ White Island 19 October 2018

able forces of the Earth. Edwards + Johann spent time in 2018 building a close relationship with Whakaari/White Island. As the inaugural artists of Whakatane Museum’s Volcanic Artist Residency, the duo visited Whakatane in April and October, travelling to the active volcano of White Island. While exploring the perilous nature of this site, the artists were exposed to the primal beauty of one of the most geologically charged locations on the planet. Amazed by the sheer force of the place, Edwards + Johann have created new work that responds to the power and majesty of the volcano. Concretions: The act of

coming together represents a pause along the path of ongoing practice for Edwards + Johann, sparked from their experience of Whakaari. Opening on the evening of the 7 of May 2019, Concretions: The act of coming together will encompass two dimensional and three dimensional works. A performance feature is planned for opening night; an exploration of the body in relation to space – to the works – and to the world. Edwards + Johann Concretions: The act of coming together, Chambers Art Gallery Opening 7 May – 25 May

Denise Copland ‘Tipping Point’

IMAGE ABOVE Denize Copland, Not a Rubbish Tip - 4, 2017,oil paint, ink jet on primed paper

Denise Copland ‘Tipping Point’ (2019). The concern pant industrialization, human consumption and for continuation and survival gave rise to the title waste - thence to the warming of the planet’s at‘Tipping Point’ (2019) for printmaker Denise Cop- mosphere underscores ‘Tipping Point’ (2019). Denise Copland ‘Tipping Point’ land’s exhibition at the Chambers Gallery, ChristChambers Gallery church, May 28 – 15 June. The exhibition demarks 28 May – 15 June the precarious situation that many species and ecosystems are facing globally in a time of ram-

Inaugural Recipient of the Grace Butler Memorial Foundation Award at Ara, The Jonathan Smart Gallery. Zina Swanson’s ceramics and works on paper are the subject of an installation-based exhibition at the Jonathan Smart Gallery, developed during her time as the recipient of the Grace Butler Memorial Foundation Award at Ara residency. The new works take their cue from Peter Tompkins’ and Christopher Bird’s book, The Secret Life of Plants (1973). Widely criticised by scientists, the publication speculates on the sentient life of plants, including the idea that human attention or inattention to their care may see them flour-

ish or die. Swanson’s acknowledges a qualified scepticism: “I don’t believe it. I just like those things. They are kind of beautiful and a bit sad and weird.’ Reflecting on The Secret Life of Plants, she collected leaves from around Ara ‘s Art and Design campus, ‘thinking about some sort of device for focusing on one thing - and ignoring another.’ Zina Swanson, Recent Works Jonathon Smart Gallery 22 May – 22 June

IMAGE LEFT Zina Swanson, untitled, 2019, watercolour

Zina Swanson Recent Works

May 24 - June 22

Jonathan Smart Gallery 52 Buchan St, Sydenham Christchurch 8023 ph 64 3 3657070 www.jonathansmartgallery.com Zina Swanson, Vivienne, 2019, watercolour on paper, 350 x 280mm framed


6 April – 28 July 2019

Tickets available at christchurchartgallery.org.nz #chchartgallery Produced by the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis/New York/Paris/Lausanne, in collaboration with Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū. Image: William Wegman Contact 2014. Pigment print. Courtesy the artist. © William Wegman

96 Disraeli St Sydenham cityart.co.nz

Mon–Fri: 8.30am–5pm Sat: 10am–2pm

Conservation picture framing and contemporary art gallery

Exhibition on now Exhibition presented by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

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Edwards + Johann

Concretions - Drawing forces #2

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