This article first appeared as 'Painting offers a multiverse of symbols' in The Press on 21 June 2017.
Charles Meryon: Etcher of Banks Peninsula
French explorers, natural historians, whalers and Catholic missionaries were increasingly present in the south-west Pacific from the mid-eighteenth century, but there was also a political thread in this activity. During the 1820s some in France saw New Zealand as a potential penal colony, and the project that saw a handful of French colonists settle on Banks Peninsula in 1840 made an official French presence in the region even more appropriate. This took the form of a French naval base, the ‘New Zealand station’, established at Akaroa in 1840.
I grew up with an interest in art and this interest was accelerated through my early involvement in a special and well informed art group. One of my favourite pieces is Fanfare by Neil Dawson, particularly when it is lit up or glistening in the sun. It creates a dynamic entrance to Christchurch. I joined the board in 2008 and especially enjoy being involved in the art community in Christchurch and contributing in a real way. Working with like-minded people in the city.
The Gallery has an incredible team of forty Volunteer Guides – and we want more! We’re currently seeking expressions of interest for ten enthusiastic individuals to join us.
In early March we were lucky enough to have the incredibly talented Grayson Gilmour performing at the Gallery, supported by the equally talented Purple Pilgrims and New Dawn. I love these gigs, but there is a lot of work to be done behind the scenes to make sure that, by the time the public walk in the door, the foyer is gig ready. The process normally feels like a long, slow marathon with a sprint at the final corner. So here’s a guide to how you too can get the NZI Foyer gig-ready in five (or six) easy steps.
Ann Shelton: Dark Matter
An expansive view of Ann Shelton’s tightly conceived, large scale and hyperreal photography
Like a Gordon Walters painting doing the cancan, Julia Morison’s Tootoo makes ready to kick the high-minded formalism out of abstract painting and take the viewer on a wild, exhilarating dance. Folding and reversing on itself, and playing with positive and negative space, the work's elaborate structure creates a powerful visual conundrum. (Op + Pop, 6 February – 19 June 2016)