fragments figments and frogs

February 09 - March 13, 2010

Group show


Points to note hanging a Group show: allow works space to breathe, while also encouraging thoughtful visual relationships across that space; select work that ranges along continuums of size, price, media and formats of presentation (both wall and floor); and begin with a title that might (or might not) frame the show......


front gallery

Gallerists are constant curators. We know the sightlines of our galleries. We use them, choose to ignore and sometimes subvert them. We are sensitive to the fall of light upon each work. Particular lighting can promote work. Often it may not even be necessary. And we move work if we feel it is not working.

The Charlotte JaneWhere to start with fragments figments and frogs? With what is seen. The first work seen in the back gallery is Fiona Pardington's framed photograph of The Charlotte Jane. It is like a ghost ship - a figment of the imagination - but its curious transparency (radiant against Pardington's typically black ground) comes from its glass construction. It is an obsession of fragments, a glorious skeleton of glass beads. The Charlotte Jane was one of the first four ships that carried early settlers from England to New Zealand. Here, bright and singular, it is as if new light has been shed upon our colonial history.

Eyes Across The Tasman no.1 or Home At LastOpposite, there is a wall densely hung with work some of which doffs its hat to notions of travel. Nathan Pohio's delicate image is taken looking out of a plane window on the tarmac of Hong Kong airport. The early L.Budd recalls New Zealanders' desire for travel, in xeroxed images from 50's home improvement magazines. Fragments of pattern frame this collage; boats bob on the briney, and the whole is nostalgically entitled Eyes Across The Tasman No.1 or Home At Last.

Milford Sound (Buchanan)Right below hangs Lonnie Hutchinson's polychrome collage version of J.W.Buchanan's famous watercolour Mitre Peak, Milford Sound, Looking SW Across Freshwater Basin. Using patterned wallpaper, Hutchinson appropriates an iconic surveyor image and re-presents it as a psychedelic 70's interior. The strategy is the reverse of Lillian Budd's, who posits the white suburban dream as fragmented yearning within a linoleum frame, patterned like Polynesia.

Cock on BallAdjacent stands Neil Dawson's Whare. Here, fragment meets form, whereby the red patterning of the backs of playing cards suggest Maori carving upon a painted colonial whare. Visually and materially there is a lovely relationship with Anton Parson's work behind, while diagonally opposite, Michael Parekowhai's cock sparrow on a bowl looks mighty interested in Dawson's Whare. Parekowhai's sparrow is the "maori" - that which was here, the common or garden, the everyday - a chirpy riposte to the house of cards. The galleriest as curator has set the younger Maori artist in cheeky repartee with Dawson - the seasoned (Pakeha) pro'.

Two simple visual riddles bookend and balance the hang in the front gallery. Andrew Drummond's gilded stick of stripped willow floats on a knife edge, and dips up and down sensitive to air movement around it. Delicately kinetic, this work simply asks us to tune in, its quiet elegance shimmering within its environment.

Balancing Rod

The et al blind is similarly enigmatic. The collective is on familiar ground here - philosophising about knowledge, certainty and purpose. Nothing is black and white; everything is grey. The drive is cultural and the (material) object utterly domestic - in stark contrast to Drummond's eloquence through nature.

Untitled (futile objections)

Speaking of which - there are no frogs.


Selected works

Details of works in the order above:

1 Miranda Parkes
Skin Grid, 2010
oil & acrylic on canvas, 1000 x 1000mm

2 Lonnie Hutchinson
Milford Sound (Buchanan) - monochrome, 2010
graphite on building paper, 360 x 650mm framed

3 Neil Dawson
Whare, 2009
screenprinted & powdercoated stainless steel, 2/10, 520 x 530 x 730mm

4 Anton Parsons
Construction, 2008
lacquer & vinyl on aluminium, 330 x 880 x 75mm

5 Fiona Pardington
Huia - Skull and Crossbones, 2009
contact print from digital negative, 1/5, 720 x 830mm framed

6 Fiona Pardington
The Charlotte Jane, 2009
contact print from digital negative, 1/5, 900 x 770mm framed

7 Michael Parekowhai
Cock on Ball, 2009
sparrow, lawn bowl, automative paint, 210 x 130 x 120mm

8 Saskia Leek
Shanty I, 2010
oil on board, 380 x 300mm framed

9 Saskia Leek
Shanty II, 2010
oil on board, 380 x 300mm framed

10 Nathan Pohio
Dragon, 2009
digital photograph, 1/3, 500 x 400mm frame

Details of additional works:

Brenda Nightingale
Untitled, 2007
Italian watercolour on Fabriano paper, 570 x 1450mm framed

Mark Braunias
Untitled, 2009
mixed media on board, 600 x 600mm

L Budd
Eyes Across The Tasman no.1 or Home At Last, 1989
photocopies & resin on wallpaper & lino, $1000 x 1620mm framed

Andrew Drummond
Balancing Rod, 2009
gilded willow & box, 2330 x 170 x 120mm (dimensions of box)

et al
Untitled (Futile objections), 2009
text on Holland blind, 980 x 1900mm

Kristy Gorman
Untitled (from the series Spill), 2007
enamel on glass, 630 x 450mm framed

Chris Heaphy
Tuturiwhatu (Banded Dotteril), 2007
acrylic on Belgian linen, 710 x 560mm

Robert Hood
Eighteen Boots, 2010
mounted colour photographs, 660 x 900mm framed

Lonnie Hutchinson
Milford Sound (Buchanan) - polychrome, 2010
wallpaper collage, 360 x 650mm framed

Jo Langford
Baltic Wanderer, 2008
mixed media, 460 x 570mm

Heather Straka
Book of Specimens, 2002
oil on stretched board, 800 x 600mm

Heather Straka
No Subject Specified, 2002
oil on stretched board, 800 x 600mm