Make August Arty at Northart
August is shaping up to be an especially exciting time to visit Northart.
There is so much going on - exhibitions, floor talks, seminars as well as our regular gallery time for kids on Sunday mornings. Currently there is a huge variety of artworks on display in the gallery, and there is more to come when we change over exhibitions in mid August.
Karl Amundsen, Paul Blanchard and Guy von Sturmer’s current shows are all very painterly and contemplative in nature. Each, however, has a very different approach to painting. Guy’s works demand we slow down and take time to look – and think. He comments: “They are rather empty, minimal, abstract expressionist strolls along the tide mark, sometimes at night, sometimes in the rain, sometimes on those still clear warm days when Earth seems a wonderful place to live.”
Karl’s works are as much about the nature of painting and ways of communication but are also powerful personal statements. He said: “Visually I’m playing with the ambiguity of space and surface - hinting at pictorial depth but at the same time bringing the eye and the attention back to the fact that we’re only looking at a flat surface with paint on it.
“In much the same way as a person who writes graffiti has no idea of who will see the message, by bearing my personal struggles, my personal insights, and my personal victories, I’m hoping to speak to someone I’ll never know.”
Paul Blanchard’s works in his Landscapes and Other Lies are filled with atmosphere and mystery; the obscured features and the smudged, dissolving paint of his head studies force the viewer to fill in the details themselves, as indeed do his landscape forms.
Natural Selection is a joint show of painting by Heather Grouden and jewellery by (daughter) Victoria Grouden. The ten paintings are of roses, used not so much for their symbolism and imagery, but for their unique unfolding sculptural forms. The jewellery is also very sculptural in form with flora and fauna forms predominating the sixty strong collection of rings, necklaces and bracelets. Traffic (across a drowned world) is very different again. Siân Davis’ works hint of an apocalyptic future once global warming takes hold. A series of ceramic boat forms, are like a parade of travelling theatres, much like medieval pageants and the ‘moralities’ they staged. They are made variously of paper clay, stone dust, cement, fine plastic netting and glass, many are partially glazed or coloured with oxides and stains. Glass artists Ron Reichs is taking a first foray into ceramics. His figurative sculptures provide a whimsical look at events which have impacted on our lives.
Also in the window spaces, an exhibition of drawings and works on paper by Robert Ellis, John Oxborough, Ross Ritchie Garry Currin and Simon McIntyre. These shows all close Wednesday 14 August.
Opening Monday 19, is a group show Tour by an ethnically diverse group of international artists many of whom are undertaking undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Elam and in the main gallery Waitemata series by Logan Brewer - is an exhibition of stainless steel and corten steel sculptural forms referencing the land, sea, harbour and sail forms. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of pastel drawings, which will be installed in the window gallery spaces.
August speakers in the Seminar series are Dr Len Bell, who will give a talk on the diverse social commentary of one of New Zealand’s best loved photographers Marti Friedlander on Wednesday 7 August, and a fortnight later artist Judy Darragh will provide insights into the concepts behind her use of materials and what drives her art practice.