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Snow in Hawaii

September 8 - October 3, 2020

front gallery - installation view
front gallery - installation view
back gallery - installation view
Snow in Hawaii – an unusual event – but it did according to Judy Darragh, during Hurricane Kona in February 2019. She was on the Lucas Artists’ Residency in Montalvo. As a show title however, it was the unpredictable, the element of surprise that got Darragh thinking. For one of the key works in this new show, "see you in front of the flames, pay no attention to the shadows", reflects the difficult and divisive times in which we live.
It is a suite of 14 framed collages featuring small current images of protest, placed within crowd scenes lifted from old Hollywood blockbusters. So we’ve Kirk Douglas in Spartacus rallying the troops, whilst below young men brandish weapons in a contemporary frontline.
Beneath the line of paperworks, a small automaton-like figure waits, dressed in the body armour of today. The work juxtaposes political realities from the constructed to the real, from the past and the present. It feels eerie yet knowing, both one step removed and poignant still – silent witness to the gulf of (in)difference that generates civic unrest.
"see you in front of the flames, pay no attention to the shadows"
"see you in front of the flames, pay no attention to the shadows" - detail
By contrast, the big floorwork Carousel promises child’s play and all the fun of the fair. Fluoro painted horses, a mannequin leg, disco ball and plastic squid carouse under a striped beach umbrella, driven vertically through a slice of tomato on a circular table adorned with tiger stickers. Get the picture?! Darragh is the queen of the found object, transformed light. She’s always been capable of the outright weird mixed with a sculptor’s touch and her wicked sense of humour.
Carousel - detail
The line of Bin Works (or “has-bins” as she calls them) are material delights – or the sum really, of what happens when you place objects like a rubber melon or imitation log in a metal bin and squash them. In Mesh 1 & 2, Darragh does things with net stockings, crystalline prisms and fluoro paint that you may not want to know about. And works like Heal and Melt are almost disarming in their striking simplicity of form and materials, right down to their colourful choice of plinths. Boil Up really is over the top with its superheated red sheepskin support.

Darragh made much of this work whilst in San Francisco. She experienced first-hand the fraught divisions in contemporary American society and watched its west coast burn. If it can snow in Hawaii, then there is hope yet for an election boil-over.

(In the Queen’s Birthday Honours List this year 2020, Judy Darragh was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit – for services to the Visual Arts. Congratulations Judy – cheers!)
Mesh 1 & 2 - installation view
Please Touch 1, 2, 3, 4 - installation view

Selected works

Please hover over image to see title...

Bin Work 1
    Bin Work 2     Bin Work 3
Bin Work 4
    Bin Work 5    
Bin Work 6
Boil Up
Ball and Chain
Please Touch 1
     Please Touch 2
Please Touch 3
     Please Touch 4
Mesh 1
     Mesh 2
French Curves 1
     French Curves 2
French Curves 3
    French Curves 4     French Curves 5

List of works

     mixed media, found & made objects       dimensions variable       poa

“See you in front of the flames, pay no attention to the shadows”
14 collages: digital copies, paper collages, framed        each 460 x 310mm         
including Atak: found objects       600 x 500 x 450mm       $11,000

Bin Work 1       wire, plastic, fabric, found object       370 x 360 x 250mm        $1600
Bin Work 2       wire, plastic, fabric, found object       330 x 360 x 260mm        $1600
Bin Work 3       wire, plastic, fabric, found object       350 x 330 x 200mm        $1600
Bin Work 4       wire, plastic, fabric, found object       360 x 320 x 180mm        $1600
Bin Work 5       wire, plastic, fabric, found object       320 x 130 x 160mm        $1600
Bin Work 6       wire, plastic, fabric, found object       380 x 1200 x 230mm      $1600

Heal       wood, glass, plastic, silicon       450 x 400 x 400mm       $2900

Melt       wood, glass, plastic, silicon       520 x 350 x 200mm       $2900

Core      plastic, synthetic hair, acrylic       570 x 460 x 480mm       $2400

Boil Up      found shells, aluminium, dyed sheepskin     750 x 500 x 400mm       $3200

Pot       plastic, wood       720 x 270 x 270mm       $2550

Ball and Chain       wood, metal       750 x 200 x 100mm     $2100

foam rubber, acrylic, wire, cotton gloves       850 x 270 x 150mm       S2200       

Please Touch 1, 2, 3, 4
mirror, wood, felt, metal, glass       340 x 260mm       $1450 ea       

Mesh 1, 2
linen, acrylic, prism, silicon, nylon       420 x 300mm       $2300 ea

French Curves 1         perspex         790 x 760mm         $2500
French Curves 2         perspex         340 x 290mm         $1250  
French Curves 3         perspex         670 x 290mm         $1250
French Curves 4         perspex         510 x 175mm         $1250
French Curves 5         perspex         600 x 200mm         $1250      

Corner Works       painted aluminium       dimensions various       $2400 the pair

All works are from 2019-2020
Prices include GST