WIDE – group exhibition 4-28 Oct 2022
W I D E
A celebration of the panoramic format
In the street I was lost…
2020, acrylic and oil paint marker on linen canvas, 2100 x 7400mm
In this epic 2020 painting John Reynolds extended his ongoing ‘Lost Hours’ series, which pondered the fateful disappearance of Colin McCahon in Sydney on the eve of his Biennial retrospective, I Will Need Words, in early April 1984.
Pondering disorientation and blurred geographies, Reynolds rehearsed an elongated criss-crossing motif, suggesting precarious architectural profiles, or frayed lines from a ‘stairway to heaven’ tukutuku panel, signalling perhaps a kind of nervy or cryptic GPS historiography.
John Reynolds lives and works in Auckland and over the past three decades has established a reputation as a painter, a drawer, a worker or words and an installation artist. His work is rich with literary, religious, art historical and architectural allusions and ranges in scale from the intimate to epic. Reynold’s paintings, drawings and prints utilise materials in an expressive manner that moves between sensuality and austerity. His work is suggestive and evades locked meaning. It has the fluidity of the human mind.
2014, oil on canvas, 1020 x 2040mm diptych
Philippa Blair’s paintings are expressive and semi-abstract, reflecting the natural world and urban reality with references to organic imagery, cartographic mapping, high-tech, music and film. Colour, tone, mark and texture all resonate for her. They have sounds and are her language. Her paintings are not simply abstract. She reaches into the storehouse of lived experience to generate her work. Memory and imagination fill her world and her canvases. She approaches painting with concentrated presence – fresh each time.
Philippa Blair is a New Zealand-born artist who returned to Auckland in 2014 after two decades living and working in Los Angeles. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally for more than forty years. Her vision and commitment to the honest gesture of the painted mark is as strong as ever.
2018, 1624 x 914mm unframed
Tenki Manang panorama, Gangapurna in the clouds (Nepal).
Shot from just outside the front door of the most humble of lodgings. The home was owned at the time by Tiring Ong Ma, a woman of Tibetan extraction. Tanki Manang is a village development committee in Manang District in the Gandaki Zone of northern Nepal. There is a rough population estimate of 380 people.This image is part of a series of photographs that can be printed to extraordinarily large size. It is constructed as a panorama and comprised of tiles that are focus-stacked from front to back.
Mark Sharman was born and lives in New Zealand. He has spent a significant amount of time travelling the world. “I want to make you feel as I felt, while standing in all that glory”
2019-21, multi-media linoleum construction in 6 panels
1000 x 4800mm overall
Birds fly through plants and trees amidst a wondrous array of patterns on a flattened picture plane evocative of the dusty landscape of Central Otago in summer. Ogden’s works are refreshingly crafted from found linoleum with patterns evocative of times past while remaining free of specific historical constraint. Taking a machined, mass-designed product and, through a sort of rough surgery, makes it his own, and that if one is looking for ownership, the cuts are his brushstrokes.
Simon’s work draws heavily from his long held interest in European, English and American Modernism and Surrealism. His work interweaves artistic concerns with personal passions opening the door to a more varied dialogue, one that contains figuration and symbolic references to the landscape and the body. His interests move across painting, object making, design, printmaking, photography and drawing. Each of these areas of creative activity reinforces, feeds and extends the possibilities of his continuing artistic practice. He is an avid collector of materials and an obsessive viewer of environments, surfaces, history and forms.
2021, oil on canvas, 508 x 1524mm framed
This painting was part of a series inspired by Chris Pole’s journey into the Otehake Valley in Arthur’s Pass National Park during 2019. Back in the studio, he worked from photographs and his own memories of the trip to recall the scenes of bush, river and sky. Pole didn’t strive to give us any kind of objective picturing of the landscape, but instead, asks us to consider how our experiences of the world are mediated through images and other kinds of framing devices.
Pole’s practice shows a commitment to the investigation of both landscapes and cityscapes, using his own photographs as a starting point, but disrupting the spaces depicted to reveal the vagueness of human perception and invoke notions of falsehood and fragility. As Felicity Milburn explains, “By adopting an abruptly flattened perspective, Pole reframes a meticulously rendered cityscape as an oscillating wall of pattern and texture…As his painted city surges in front of us, it seems ready to break apart into fragments of pure colour, forming a strangely dislocating threshold that has as much to do with imagination and memory as with visual fidelity”
Above and Below
2020, oil on board, 600 x 815mm framed
‘I work by trying to get to the bones of the photographic image as the fundamental painting and then add and enhance until it takes on its own voice… The challenge is to try and make a coherent ‘fusion’ of techniques to produce a painting that straddles the balance between chaotic and harmonious’
With imaginative flair, Rebecca Harris invents pictorial worlds and invites us to explore them. Her use of oil paint is sensuous and skilled. In Above and Below the flat sheen of water stretches edge to edge. Beautifully rendered detail and pinpricks of colour, overlay oily fields of loose underpainting, scribed with the hard end of the brush for linear expression.
Port Levy Saddle, 2022
Boulder Bay Walkway, 2021
245 x 1010mm framed, edition of 5
Breaking free from the traditional photographic frame, with its discrete individual images; the walk from Taylors Mistake to Boulder Bay appears as a whole new world, yet strangely familiar. Stefan Roberts likes to push the boundaries of the photographic medium to explore different ways of seeing.
‘I have explored how the photographic frame, or the lack thereof, affects representation… The frame truncates the world, the viewer sees and interprets what they have been allowed to see. The image itself may have been curated from an unknown sequence of rejected images. By constructing my own camera, I have done away with the discrete frame. My images spill off the outer edges of the film as well as becoming serendipitously entangled with neighbouring perspectives. From a distance the strip appears as a continuous vista, but on close inspection, there is a journey, another subjective and mythical representation of place’
Stefan Roberts has exhibited widely throughout New Zealand and been the recipient of multiple awards. He currently teaches photography at Ara Institute of Canterbury.
Banks Avenue, Avonside/ Richmond, 2014. Tennis court behind cleared estate
Tim J Veling
2014, 930 x 430mm paper size unframed, edition of 5
For more than a decade Tim J. Veling has photographed the Residential Redzone in Christchurch, starting when houses were still being demolished, observing the clearances, the wildness, the mowing, the management. It became a meditative returning for him; a patient witness to change.
When looking at this photograph of an abandoned tennis court in Banks Avenue, you are reminded of what has gone before. You see what was once family land tracked by petrol-burning intrusion. With barriers gone, private space, now opened landscape, stretches in all directions.
The cornerstones of Veling’s practice are the psychological landscape and social-political environment. His work straddles the genres of fine art and documentary photography. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and currently lectures at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts.