ANDREW BOND – The Golden Bough – 21 Feb–10 March, 2023
Cosmological nonsense or mythological mumbo jumbo are two descriptors that Andrew Bond would proudly associate with this body of work. Taking a cue from the ambiguous phrase ‘The Golden Bough’, Andrew has delved into its uses and meanings through literature and art, and filtered it through his own subjectivity to create paintings that journey through a non-existent mythical underworld. Using sources such as The Aeneid by Virgil, The Golden Bough by Sir James Frazer, and Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce, he has acted as a mixologist, picking and choosing bits and pieces of narrative, and then converting these into a visual language of Frankenstein typology. Hovering about the paintings is an arcane spirit of alchemy or mysticism that seems to hide within the cracks, rather than revealing itself in full view. The genesis of this work was to look at how gold leaf, as a material, acted and reacted with paint or more specifically with colour. As the paintings developed, the gold leaf element reduced in size but became more powerful in impact, until in the final versions, it was almost eliminated. Yet what traces of gold are left act as punctuation. Love of story sits at the heart of these works. In particular the unbelievable tales of magical realism where the rational butts up against the impossible. These paintings attempt to reclaim the fantastical as a legitimate place for art to reside. Andrew’s view is that painting has reached a point where it has become, in the words of Albert Oehlen, “Post non-representational”. A place where style, image and technique are less important than the active participation of creativity.
The Golden Bough is Andrew Bond’s masters exhibition
MFA programme, Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury, NZ
Artist talk: Wed 8 March, 12 noon
Andrew Bond and Barbara Boekelman will talk about their exhibitions