Swelter House

November 3 - November 26, 2022

 installation view - front gallery

installation view - front gallery

 installation view - front gallery

 installation view - front gallery

installation view - back gallery

 installation view - back gallery


The following is taken from a text by Orissa Keane, titled For Oliver Perkins: A lexicon, to be published by Jonathan Smart Gallery to celebrate the exhibition Swelter House. The catalogue is due late November. Please contact the gallery for a copy.

"Relocating a site responsive exhibition can be a generative challenge. Though Swelter House stands alone, independent of A kind of arrow and FREE RANGE, the works were conceived for the site and architecture of Dunedin Public Art Gallery, where the latter two projects took place (2022). Swelter House’s development is a building upon, a cumulative layering of time and paint and place; and in many cases a layering of objects as well. There is a code to this process of decisions—or maybe not a code but something more human, a kind of language, something which is known, evolving, and intimate—and applied democratically across the two exhibition spaces...
...In Swelter House the painted wall is different. The wall is an addition, the only addition to the floor-plan; once a mechanical engineer’s, now a gallery. The front face of this wall acts as a projection screen as the afternoon sun plays across its surface. The colours are Resene Fire and California. The return wall is darker with only the fluorescents overhead: Fire again; with the inset Goblin. A cool respite. Protruding huge into the gallery, it occupies more than just visual space. View it from the right angle and the perspective shift catches you off guard, like a trick of the eye. It feels looming and uncanny in a way that could be humorous. Perkins’ paintings are otherwise not so large..."


Selected works

A music of a chance    800 x 950mm

Crow Black    300 x 350mm

Television    400 x 500mm

Host II    400 x 400mm

Louise    650 x 650mm


Red Square    650 x 750mm

Spell    400 x 400mm


Motors    450 x 450mm


Wall painting

Swelter House - front face of wall


Swelter House - front face of wall - detail


Swelter House - back face of wall

Swelter House - back face of wall - detail


Opening Night

Sunlight and shadows cast on the wall painting at the early evening opening of Swelter House




Details of works