Anxious Images

12 June – 14 July 1985

In New Zealand as in other parts of the world the past fifteen years have been a time of increasing social and political upheaval. We are confronted by complex issues and problems for which there seem to be no simple answers.

Unemployment has far reaching effects, both economic and social. The patterns of family life are changing, and the spread of feminist ideas is challenging traditional male and female roles. The demand for self determination from the Maori and other indigenous peoples of the Pacific cannot be ignored.

Our relationships with other countries are openly questioned. We protested at our involvement in the Vietnam War and the violence of the 1981 Springbok rugby tour was widespread. Many New Zealanders are now challenging our support for America's role in the nuclear arms race. We are caught in the tide of the world wide anti-nuclear protest.

A number of artists working in the visual arts have expressed in their work a concern for these issues. The seventy works in this exhibition are paintings, drawings, photographs and prints which make direct reference to political protest, social change, the poverty which comes from rejection of spiritual values and the often troubled relationships between people in families and in the larger community.

The artists are Philip Clairmont, Barry Cleavin, Jacqueline Fahey, Tony Fomison, Jeffrey Harris, Vivian Lynn, Alan Pearson, Peter Peryer, Sylvia Siddell and Michael Smither. Theirs are disturbing images: dramatic, beautiful, poignant, even witty. In the face of them it is difficult to remain neutral for they demand a response.

This will be a provocative and memorable exhibition.

('Anxious Images', Bulletin, No.39, May/June 1985, p.1)

Exhibition number 340