This article first appeared as 'Painting offers a multiverse of symbols' in The Press on 21 June 2017.
Sometimes Going Back Is A Way Of Going Forward
John Stezaker is an English conceptual artist, acknowledged as a significant influence on the YBA generation. He has been working since the mid-1970s, while achieving international acclaim for his work in the past fifteen years. His exhibition Lost World opens at Christchurch Art Gallery in March 2018. He spoke to senior curator Lara Strongman on a visit to Aotearoa New Zealand in August 2017.
Christchurch Art Gallery is the heart of 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.
Pickaxes and Shovels
See the lives of the early settlers and Kāi Tahu tangata whenua in this selection of extraordinary works by frontier Pākehā artists.
For the exhibition Jacqueline Fahey: Say Something! (22 November 2017 – 11 March 2018) this work was displayed with the following label:
'I think a lot of painters of my era have a hangover from art school days. If you could pull a painting off without a pause – no having to backtrack, no laborious re-worked areas, no long delays to work out the next move – all of it effortless, then you inspired the admiration of the other students. I think it was a sort of sympathetic magic: if the artist enjoyed painting it so much then people must enjoy looking at it as much […] This painting belongs with that kind of response – it just went like a bird. I felt certain of my vision, certain I could endow my humble objects with mana because for a while they were totally beautiful to me. My need to record was intense, innocent and certain. No intellectual calculations crept in to cloud my vision. It was pleasure all the way through. I know this is a form of art snobbery. I know I have done other paintings equally good which arrived agonizingly slowly, calculated every inch of the way and very like a game of chess in the thinking out of each move. However, The Portobello Settee is my choice, I suppose because we don’t escape our old values easily' - Jacqueline Fahey.