Art News feature – Darryn George, Grant Takle, Viv Kepes and Janneth Gil
The light in the darkness
Two years on from the tragedy, Andrew Paul Wood looks at the way artists have responded to the Christchurch mosque attacks.
Artists Darryn George, Grant Takle, Viv Kepes and Janneth Gil are all Christchurch based artists who have each recently exhibited here at PG gallery192 in the last 7 months and have been consciously and subconsciously responding to this tragedy through their own individual practice over the last 2 years.
Darryn George’s latest paintings, although not initially referencing the attacks, resonate deeply with the sense of belonging, whanaungatanga, and hope. The Garden of Eden works display not a crowd but a congregation, gathered for a common purpose, as if seeking a return to an age of innocence.
Darryn George ‘Grasses, shrubs & trees‘ 15 Sept – 9 Oct 2020
Critiquing our society, Grant Takle often grapples with tough topics, seeking to illuminate social and political realities with his unique large scale, graffiti-esque, black and silver compositions.
Grant Takle ‘AFTER SHOCK‘ 20 July – 14 Aug, 2020
Most recently Janneth Gil and Viv Kepes exhibited ‘TRIBUTE‘ a coupling of two exhibitions, which through photography and painting aimed to eternalise the empathy, unity, love and solidarity that was extended to the Christchurch Muslim community.
Janneth Gil and Viv Kepes approached the task from different angles. Kepes chose to record the public’s grief and empathy manifest in the vast piles of flowers and tributes that accumulated outside the mosques and were later displayed in Christchurch Art Gallery. Gil addressed the violence itself, concentrated on the victims and their families, working in close collaboration with them in an ongoing archival installation project.