This article first appeared as 'The fine juggling act to create his artwork' in The Press on 8 June 2017.
Wayne Youle: Look Mum No Hands
He’s been called a cultural prankster, an agent provocateur and a bullshit artist (that last description came from his dad, but it was bestowed – he’s pretty sure – with love). While we’re at it, add ‘serial pun merchant’ to that list; in art, as in conversation, Wayne Youle can spot a good one-liner a mile off and has never knowingly left an entendre undoubled.
Lisa Walker: 0 + 0 = 0
It might be tempting to say that Lisa Walker makes jewellery out of any old thing – but it isn’t true. The eclectic objects that form her distinctive necklaces, brooches and other body-adornments are meticulously selected and shrewdly modified before they see the light of day. She salvages her materials from an unlikely cornucopia of sources – re-presenting objects such as car parts, animal skins and even kitchen utensils through the frame of body adornment’s long history. Tiny Lego hats, helmets and hairpieces – of the kind that clog vacuum cleaner nozzles in children’s bedrooms around the world – are strung on finely plaited cords like exotic beads or shells; trashy gossip magazines are lashed together to yield a breastplate befitting our celebrity-obsessed culture; dozens of oboe reeds donated by a musician friend bristle round the wearer’s neck like the teeth of some unimaginable deep sea leviathan.
With the news that ground-breaking textile designer and painter Avis Higgs (1918 – 2016) died recently, we’d like to share this watercolour of hers from our collection.
This article first appeared as 'Work evolved from years of practise' [sic] in The Press on 3 November 2016.
This article first appeared as 'Lusk grabbed any chance to draw the power of places' in The Press, 20 July 2016.
Commentaries on Doris Lusk’s work often talk about her ‘eye’; for telling details, for spatial complexities, for colour, for line. Many of those who met the painter personally remember her eyes too, but for a different reason, recalling how she would peer out inscrutably from behind thickly rimmed spectacles, with a gaze that was simultaneously intimidating and engaging. It seems appropriate then, that when Kevin Capon photographed Lusk in 1985 the result was this extreme close-up. After setting up his camera and lighting, Capon invited his subjects to approach the camera however they preferred, catching them in the act of looking back. Lusk’s face fills the frame, the black lens of her glasses creating a portal-like opening, connecting us with her in that moment and suggesting both her curiosity and her reticence.
Each quarter the Gallery commissions an artist to create a new work of art especially for Bulletin. It’s about actively supporting the generation of new work.
Doris Lusk: An Inventive Eye
In the strange, stunned afterlife that ticked slowly by in the first few years following Christchurch’s February 2011 earthquake, a curious note of recognition sounded through the shock and loss. As a massive programme of demolitions relentlessly hollowed out the city, many buildings were incompletely removed and lingered on for months as melancholy remains – stumps abandoned in a forlorn urban forest. Hideous, sculptural, beautiful; they bore compelling resemblance to a body of paintings created in the city more than three decades earlier.
Hidden in Plain Sight
In 1997, I went to see an exhibition called White Out, curated by William McAloon for Auckland Art Gallery’s contemporary space. The show’s subtitle unambiguously promised ‘Recent Works by Seven Artists’, but as I completed my circuit I realised I’d come up one maker short.