This article first appeared as 'Painting offers a multiverse of symbols' in The Press on 21 June 2017.
Len Lye: Stopped Short by Wonder
An exhibition inspired by a flash of light and a thunderclap.
I am an art fanatic and an obsessive collector.
Art has played an essential role in Christchurch’s rejuvenation since the earthquake. The Galley has done an incredible job in establishing the art pop-ups around the city. It’s part of a social record – the art we have seen will form a really important part of the history 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.
Our Instinct Enhanced
What does Bridget Riley’s art mean? We might imagine that a wall painting titled Cosmos (2016–17) referred to life within a cosmos, an order than encompasses us, whether natural or divine. The designation connotes a degree of philosophical speculation, unlike the direct descriptions that Riley occasionally employs as titles, such as Composition with Circles. But whatever meaning we derive from viewing Cosmos will be no more intrinsic to it than its name. Attribution of meaning comes after the fact and requires our participation in a social discourse. Every object or event to which a culture attends acquires meaning; and Riley’s art will have the meanings we give it, which may change as our projection of history changes. Meaning, in this social and cultural sense, is hardly her concern.
The elegance and symmetry of this shallow bowl have much in common with Japanese ceramics and its fine texture reflects Len Castle’s profound love of nature and the alchemical processes of firing clay. There is a depth in the subtle colour achieved through a controlled technique characteristic of Castle’s work. Bowl Stemmed has been iron glazed. Castle was born in Auckland and has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Auckland. He began potting professionally in 1962 and was a founder of the studio pottery movement in New Zealand. Castle was the first New Zealand potter to have had solo exhibitions in Australia, the United States, Japan and Sweden. His work is held in numerous private and public collections, including the collection of the British Royal Family and the Victoria and Albert Museum.