Working across sculpture, installation and watercolour, Zina Swanson employs pre-existing scientific and natural histories in order to examine our relationship to the natural world.
Zina has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions throughout New Zealand at galleries including City Gallery Wellington, Artspace, Christchurch Art Gallery, Jonathan Smart Gallery and The Physics Room. She has also been the recipient of a number of awards including the 2018 inaugural Grace Butler Memorial Foundation Award and The Frances Hodgkins Fellowship in 2013.
For the Friends Speaker of the Month Zina will discuss her work to date and recent residencies she has completed.
Georgie Hill and Zina Swanson: Breathing space
Strength, fragility and connection are at the heart of the second Rolling Maul exhibition, which features works by Georgie Hill and Zina Swanson.
It is in that inch that we all live
‘People do get attached to works of art; perhaps even unreasonably attached.' When Dr Peter Gough began at the University of Canterbury as Lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1980 he may not have predicted that thirteen years later he would be called on to assuage an inter- departmental stoush—Chemistry vs. History—over a hotly contested Peter Ransom drawing.
In the early 1990s, Julia Morison used gold and shit in many works, exploring the idealised and base elements of human experience. She drew on the Jewish Sefiroth as a model for thinking about the relationship between the physical and the metaphysical. “Personally, I need to put some kind of order on experience for sake of sanity and negotiation,” she said. “The Sefirothic structure, or Tree of Knowledge, is really a metaphorical file and folder system for all; a conceptual paradigm for understanding everything. Putting that at the core of my practice gives me the freedom to admit everything and anything, micro and macro, metaphysical and corporeal, as legitimate content. It also gives me an interface to compose works.”
The title of this work, Dulia, is a Catholic term for worship given to saints and angels. Here Morison has pressed gold and excrement on to handmade paper balls, which are threaded together like the beads of a catholic rosary—an invitation to meditate on the relationship of the sacred and the profane, on a monumental scale.
The London Club
In September 2017, Gallery director Jenny Harper, curator Felicity Milburn and Jo Blair, of the Gallery Foundation’s contracted development services, Brown Bread, went to London, taking a group of supporters who received a very special tour of the city’s art highlights. While there, they further developed the Foundation’s new London Club. Recently they sat down together in Jenny’s office…
This article first appeared as 'Painting offers a multiverse of symbols' in The Press on 21 June 2017.
The new 6pm timeslot for the Friends Speaker of the Month series is proving popular, and it has been great to see so many of you coming out to hear from our fantastic speakers.
The new year started with the Friends’ fantastic summer trip, visiting exhibitions at two of Canterbury’s regional art galleries.
As we approach the first anniversary of the reopening of the Gallery, it seems like a good time to celebrate a year’s progress in the life of the city.
This quarter the Gallery will reopen. It has been a long time coming by anyone’s standard. Although we have maintained connections through the award-winning Outer Spaces programme and nomadic, trailed around temporary gallery spaces; being able to once more step into the Gallery’s own space is an exciting prospect. I am not alone in looking forward to having the Gallery back in its rightful setting and reacquainting ourselves with the fabulous art we collectively own.
Volunteer guide Rod McKay talks about his life, being an art tourist, and guiding Gallery tours.