30 March – 7 May 1995
This exhibition from the well-established New Plymouth artist Don Driver comprises eleven recent wall reliefs. Using a circular (tondo) format these assemblages or constructions use found materials such as the wooden end of the telecommunication table reel, paint tin lids, bones, buckets and signs. Rich colours extend the structural energy of each piece.
A uniting factor is the concept of air flight, and in a way they revisit an early work by Driver. Almost 30 years ago he painted a mural for the New Plymouth airport to commemorate Kingsford Smiths' traverse from Sydney.
However, the double meaning contained in the titles such as Convex Planes, Wheeling Planes II, or Clashing Planes also point to intrinsic aesthetic principles being explored in the selection and arrangement of the diverse and colourful materials. This is an artist who uses materials not to depict something else but to express qualities in themselves, and there can be no doubting Don Driver's quirky sense of fun, or his specific art of selection and placement.
Don Driver, who was born in 1930, first came to prominence in 1951 when he won an award in a national sculpture competition held in Auckland. He has been regularly exhibiting outside Taranaki since 1963. It will be very interesting to see his latest series of work at the McDougall.
The artist will also be visiting Christchurch and will give an illustrated lecture on his past and present works at the McDougall on Sunday 23 April at 3 pm.
('Don Driver Circular Planes', Bulletin, No. 95, April/May 1995, p.2)
Robert McDougall Art Gallery - main gallery