This article first appeared as 'Painting offers a multiverse of symbols' in The Press on 21 June 2017.
Driving Without a Licence
Peter Robinson: I may be wrong about this, but I believe that we were the last generation to experience the primacy of painting at art school. What I mean by this is that when we were at Ilam, students had to compete to get into departments. As crazy as it sounds now, there was a very clear hierarchy: painting was the most popular discipline and afforded the most esteem, sculpture second, then film, print, design and photography somewhere down the line. Can you remember why you ended up choosing sculpture? And furthermore why you ended up being a painter? Do you think your training as a sculptor affected the way you think about or approach painting that is different to someone who was trained formally as a painter?
My favourite artwork is Michael Parekowhai’s Chapman’s Homer – no question. It symbolises the strength of the bull and the strength of Christchurch post-earthquake. I’ve been involved with the Foundation since early 2015 and love what the Foundation is achieving post-earthquake. I enjoy being involved with an organisation that is attracting people back into 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.
US V THEM: Tony de Lautour
Welcome to the low brow, high art world of Tony de Lautour’s paintings, sculptures and ceramics.
Joanna Braithwaite’s works often address the ambiguous relationship between animals and humans, particularly where animals are victims of exploitation. Here, she gives to a human the most obvious ability of birds - that of flight. But it is unclear which species is in control, suggesting an alteration in the usual balance of power. In 1999 Braithwaite moved to Sydney. Living near the airport, she became interested in the idea of flight - both physical and metaphorical. Many of her subsequent works focused on birds and winged insects and on flying, floating, levitating or, as here, ascending. Braithwaite was born in England but came to New Zealand in 1965. The family lived on a farm in South Canterbury. Braithwaite graduated from the University of Canterbury in 1985, after having received the Ethel Rose Overton Scholarship and the Sawtell Turner Painting Prize in 1983. Since 1984 she has exhibited widely both in New Zealand and Australia. Braithwaite lectured in painting at the University of Canterbury in 1998. She currently lives in Sydney.