Blood and Roses

August 12 - September 3, 2011

Fiona Pardington and Neil Pardington


Sorry - there is no blood and there are no real roses. But Jonathan Smart Gallery is delighted to present works from two new series by Neil and Fiona Pardington respectively: The Abattoir; and Immortally Yours... 


Abattoir#2Neil Pardington's bloodless Abattoir photographs are physically small images of big spaces. Shot in his typical 4 x 5 format with long exposures, then scanned and digitally printed, we are dramatically drawn into photographs that are impeccably composed and full of detail, light and colour. From the place of electrocution (Abattoir#2), through lamb and beef chains to the packing room (Abattoir#10), everything is clean and shiny, but at rest.
For Neil photographed only on Sundays. This is the look of mechanised death in repose - a variety of sites given over (now) to aesthetics. Yet these powerful ('empty') photographs have a visceral quality or weight to them that is hard to ignore. This is, after all, the stainless steel environment that dominates the primary processing of our agricultural sector - the very lifeblood of our small economy. And it's not a bad thing is it?

Abattoir#6   Abattoir#10


Fiona Pardington's new work began in the Porte de Clingancourt flea market, Paris, with the purchase from an estate of a milliner of some old and crushed silk flowers. Steamed back into life, Fiona has lit and photographed them against her typically black ground, cropped them tightly, manipulated them very subtlely, and presented them much larger than life in big dark, slightly scalloped frames. They are tinged with melancholy, but are also fleshy, moody and painterly in feel (as in Akura's Pansies) alongside Neil's clean cool.

Akura's Pansies

Auntie Olive's RoseThere is a touch of theatre in the lighting of Auntie Lily's Muguet de Bois - in contrast again to the functional, almost austere realism of brother Neil's shots. Then there is the quiet beauty of Uncle Stuart Cameron's Rose. Made green, everything is soft, slumbering and sensual - quite different in feel to the textured shimmered petals of Auntie Nellie's Rose and to the generous caress given the undulating whiteness of Auntie Olive's Rose.

The photography of flowers can verge on cliché. It is certainly very well worn territory, from the promiscuity of Robert Mapplethorpe's arrangements, through Boyd Webb's wildly textured surreal constructions, to Michael Parekowhai's culturally laden Piko nei te Matenga. Pop Pardington alongside this lineage, for she brings to the genre her particular grace, beauty and melancholy.

Auntie Nellie's Rose   Uncle Stuart Cameron's Rose   Auntie Lily's Muguet de Bois


List of works:

Neil Pardington

Abattoir#4                    400 x 500mm
Abattoir#10 400 x 500mm
Abattoir#6 400 x 500mm
Abattoir#2 500 x 400mm

All works are pigment prints on Hahnemuhle photo rag baryta.
They are in editions of 5, from 2010.
The works are also available in mural size.

Fiona Pardington

Auntie Olive's Rose 980 x 1250mm framed
Akura's Pansies 980 x 1250mm framed
Uncle Stuart Cameron's Rose      1250 x 980mm framed
Auntie Nellie's Rose 1050 x 1050mm framed 
Auntie Lily's Muguet de Bois 1250 x 980mm framed

All works are pigment prints on Hahnemuhle cotton rag.
They are in editions of 10, from 2011.
The works are also available in a smaller and a mural size,
being approx 550 x 410mm unframed & 1460 x 1100mm unframed.