Grant Lingard has used a surprising material to make this sculpture of a pair of rugby boots, and has left us with something to puzzle over. Rugby boots could be seen as a symbol of what it means to be a Kiwi male, but the artist has turned this idea around to say something different here.
Perhaps the title offers a clue. Could the artist be telling us about his own experience, and getting back at schoolmates who bullied him and gave him a hard time for not playing rugby and for not fitting in?
The first encounter most Robert McDougall Art Gallery visitors have with the Sculpture Collection is passing Ex Tenebris Lux (1937), Ernest George Gillick's bronze figure of a reading woman, on their way to the Gallery's front entrance. This work's title and subject, symbolising enlightenment and literally translated as "from darkness, light", is an appropriate maxim for an art museum, but Gillick's sculpture has another, historical, significance. Originally sited within the Sculpture Court (now called the Centre Court) of the Gallery, Ex Tenebris Lux was donated in 1938 by local biscuit manufacturer Robert E. McDougall, who had gifted the funds to build Christchurch's public Art Gallery almost ten years before.