Brought to Light
Finally, it's finished! It is now four months since we closed the doors on the previous incarnation of Christchurch Art Gallery's collection exhibition, and the intervening period has been a very busy time for all our staff. When Christchurch Art Gallery opened in 2003, the plan, reiterated in the Paradigm Shift document of 2006, was to refresh the hang of the collection galleries after five years. Since then the display has of course not remained entirely static, and visitors will have noticed regular changes as new works entered the collection, light-sensitive works were changed and small focus exhibitions created. But Brought to Light: A New View of the Collection is something altogether more-a refreshment of our entire collection display (not just what, but why) and a re-evaluation of the physical space of the galleries themselves.
Ricky Swallow is one of Australia's most renowned artists. As a sculptor he represented Australia at the 2005 Venice Biennale, and many of his carved wooden works are currently the subject of a survey exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. However, works on paper have always been a part of Swallow's art practice, and a new exhibition at Christchurch Art Gallery brings together a broad range of these playful and atmospheric works. Here senior curator Justin Paton considers Swallow's early interest in evolution and science fiction, and delves into the artist's more recent studies of musicians 'on the edge of dissolution'.