A new exhibition at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū puts the focus on our natural environment in a very appropriate way – using and reusing familiar materials to create arresting art.
Opening on Saturday 28 November, Pauline Rhodes: Blue Mind is an intense, one-room display that offers an immersive abstract experience while focusing attention on the natural world, especially our oceans.
“Rhodes’ work is very in keeping with the idea of ‘taking only memories and leaving only footprints’ and Blue Mind highlights her long practice of salvaging and transforming a wide array of materials,” says lead curator Felicity Milburn.
“She repurposes driftwood, plywood, wool, cloth, glass, plants and more, sometimes using natural processes such as rusting, to create installations that encourage visitors to focus on colour, texture and shape.
“By introducing elements from the natural world into the Gallery context, she creates new relationships between them, the viewers and the architecture of the space. She wants to encourage us to look slowly and see deeply, and to recognise the world around us as something that is fluid and fragile.”
Pauline Rhodes is one of New Zealand’s most recognised and acclaimed installation artists, and since the 1970s her local area around the hills and beaches of Banks Peninsula has often been her focus.
“Like many New Zealanders, she has always had a strong connection with the sea, and has witnessed with concern how increasingly warm, polluted and acidified oceans have affected marine life,” Ms Milburn says.
“Blue Mind emphasises the importance of understanding the land and sea as interconnected, appreciating that life on earth depends on the health of the oceans.”
Blue Mind runs from Saturday 28 November 2020 to 7 March 2021 at Christchurch Art Gallery. For the curious, Ms Milburn, who has worked closely with the artist, will present a free talk on Blue Mind, how it was created and what it means on Wednesday 10 February 2021 at 6pm in the Philip Carter Family Auditorium.
It’s one of several exhibitions in the Gallery’s All Art All Summer season, designed to make everyone feel welcome this summer – with more Kiwi families exploring their own backyard, Christchurch Art Gallery is opening its doors to visitors of all ages and tastes. The season will launch officially on 5 December 2020.