New York Exhibition 2012
Flagstaff Gallery and our artists are taking a contemporary New Zealand Fine Art exhibition to New York City.
The exhibition at Agora Gallery in Chelsea starts on 24 April and runs to 7 June 2012
2 opening evenings, Thurs 26 April and Thurs 24 May 2012.
Join us on this journey taking our uniquely original, essentially New Zealand art to the exciting environment of New York City.
Please check in regularly for updates on the show.
Artists exhibiting at NY 2012 (click on the artists name for more)
Alexis Neal explores the form and function and traditional implications of the Whariki. Whariki, are traditionally laid beneath the mattress of an overnight visitor of distinction and the birth of an important child and placed beneath a coffin during the tangihanga as a mark of respect. These Whariki works talks about such occasions.
As part of her interdisciplinary studio practice which combines components of print, sewn feather canvases, these woven works address Maori traditional whakapapa in a contemporary context.
Richard Smith is known for his impeccable representations of boats and water prompted from an upbringing around marina life. "It is from these years and time spent in and around the marine environment that I gleaned my knowledge of boats and the mercurial quality and nature of water. This affinity with the local marine environs has had a formative and lasting influence on my art".
When looking at Anna Palmer's work one has a sense of a sea breeze, the piercing light, and the relaxed, exotic seclusion of the Pacific. Peering through lush botanicals onto boats and islands there is an element of decoration and drama in her composition.
The USS Saratoga was the first American aircraft carrier in the US Navy. She had a full career serving her country through many wars. "Able" atomic bomb, on 1 July1946, the first atomic bomb to be tested by the Americans in Bikini Atoll, did not sink the Saratoga. "Baker" Bomb, the second, underwater detonated bomb, finally sunk the USS Saratoga, now sitting completely upright in 171ft. in the warm clear waters of Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific.
Purely literal subject matter bores me. It belongs to the camera. I offer tribute to certain art styles which have subconsciously crept in to disturb the literal. They are the stained glass tradition, medieval panels and tapestries, illustrated manuscripts and Japanese wood blocks. There are no doubt others. I hope then that the wilderness themes in my paintings may be able to move the viewer from selected tangible subject matter to someplace within the contemplative dimension.
Emma's paintings offer the viewer a rose tinted reality. Her inspiration is wonderment at the world around us and the magic of many fine illustrators such as Quentin Blake, Maurice Sendak, as well as the bright playful paintings of many abstract painters thatalso influence her work. Emma originally wanted to convey the magic of the amazing autumnal colours in the small gold mining village of Arrowtown, NZ, which the artist calls home.
My fascination with the cultures and environments of the Pacific Islands gives me the opportunity to explore colour relationships, pattern and form. Behind each painting lies a story of sun and heat, warm inviting shapes and forms and the serenity of life in the Pacific. Direct and colourful, they are a celebration of people and places which have the power to entice and engage the senses.
There has not been a time when I have not drawn, encouraged by my father who maintained a constant supply of offcut cartridge paper - no mean feat in Post War Glasgow. I was fortunate to gain an apprenticeship as Lithographic Artist with a large Glasgow publisher. In those early years a sound foundation of training in the graphic arts was created and this honed a critical awareness of colour, which rounded off a first class grounding in design. I am constantly aware of form and the inherent beauty of watercolour pigment settling on paper, whether painted directly, glazed or mixed on the paper and left alone it glows with an inner luminosity. Form to Content/Content to Form.
DaniŽlla is passionate about the Pacific, its vibrant colors, life and landscape. Her subjects explore her own Dutch culture and the adopted Samoan culture belonging to her husband. Domestic scenery dominates her paintings; women and children in a variety of homely activities emphasize a relaxed and gentle intimacy that celebrates kinship and cultural relationships. This imagery extends beyond the personal and refers to subtle tensions within Pacific and European ties, expressing the rich, but sometimes, fraught relationship of dual heritage. DaniŽlla presents the viewer with dreamy tropical worlds in which time is suspended to capture a delicate personal moment with an otherwise impersonal figure, prompting questions about what we see and expect to see.
Within the realm of Tongan culture 'Koloa' is defined as textile arts. Women have focused on the production of bark cloths; mats, waist garments and woven basketry and these are still amongst the most prestigious material objects to the Tongan people. Threaded throughout my work is a visual process that documents the transformation of raw material to woven treasure. I am exploring layers and marks with a confidence that is intuitively led. The work remains sectionalised as tradition proclaims, but the palette combines the energies and colours of a modern Pacific landscape with the subtlety of customary barkcloth.
Fraser has a long relationship with the islands of Tonga, in the South Pacific, where he has lived off and on for the last seventeen years. He is known for his distinctive, bold colour palette and whimsical imagery.
Heavily influenced by his work in illustration Fraser's paintings demonstrate a narrative, which contains strains of mythology, spirituality and surrealism. Forms are stylized into figures that in their simplification heighten the Illustrative, almost primitive quality in his work, recently described by a friend of his, as "standing in liminal space and finding a form to represent what was there".
Influenced strongly by advertising, pop culture and print media, Compton's art is regularly found to be playful or cheeky. Though this is becoming his recognisable style he is not often bound to a particular motif or subject.
The idea or thought of drawing 'life' has stuck with Compton and influenced his subject matter significantly. While this is the basis, Compton subscribes to the idea that artworks often are the view that your window doesn't have. Compton likes to deal with the images of life but also the unseen thoughts, questions and quirky take on the norm. Often the objective of the work is to create a conversation, whether it is with words as the image or purely illustrative, between the work and the viewer.
My realist/figurative works are nearly always rather whimsical in nature- I always like to have a touch of the surreal - and possibly the subversive - creeping in somewhere to make things other than they might first appear.
Sometimes it's simply a "what if" situation that stirs the imagination.. to take something commonplace and ordinary, and give it a twist. I'm intrigued by the happy and pleasing accidents that continue to arise in these paintings, as colours and shapes come together in ways that I hadn't quite expected.
Waiting For Spring
I think we all understand the feeling of wanting to hibernate at some point in our lives, to be in a little peaceful world of our own. Not to run away but just to wait till its time for action again. Sometimes the most productive flowering comes after a period of quietness.
Return To Me
To me this painting is a love story but not a sad one. There are times that lovers have to be apart because of circumstances. If the one you are leaving has the only key to your heart and is keeping it safe until you return then it actually gives you the security and the sense of freedom to soar.
Tony Allain has been painting for over thirty-five years. He is a painter of light and movement. Landscapes seem to first exist for him as colour and composition rather than as static landmass. His subjects do not stop at landscapes, he has a wide range of varying scenery, from marine and cityscapes, through to still life and figures. He seems to be attracted to subjects that will be best suited to his brisk impressionist style, and always have a sense of impressible underlying vigour. Predominantly he uses pastels, also suited to his lively style, although he is equally capable with oil paint. Tony is originally from the Channel Islands and trained in the European tradition of landscape painting, which can be seen in his choice of colours and touch, which he applies to his images as he interprets his new home in New Zealand.
When I paint I'm in my own wee world.
I begin with a wash of strong primary colour then hurriedly add figures: hybrid creatures, the Anubis, the falling angel, the party animal with his ubiquitous syringe, the genetically-engineered man with an extra head for good luck, and the Crawlin' King Snake.
I populate the canvas with them.
I work spontaneously, adding volcanoes, sky scrapers, cabbage trees, dunnys, pirate ships, freezing works- motifs from my distant past, visions of fun and fury, and stuff that I have just heard about on the radio.
Soon there is a cacophony of colour and sometimes a figure, or an animal, or a tree, may be scrapped off and replaced with something else. This happens until the painting feels right.
Then it tells me what it is, and I add the title.
I want to create new worlds
This is the life.
The work that I am producing for Flagstaff Gallery's New York show will be a series of fictionalised portraits of the imagined pets of artists renowned for being part of the New York art scene. Artists have always been inspired by the work of those who have preceded them. The choice for the contemporary artist is to deny these influences or to embrace them and I have conspicuously favoured the latter. I have chosen artists for whom the relationship to New York was crucial. I have referenced each of them by creating portraits as they might have painted them so the Rothko's dog is painted using Rothko's palette and composition while the Andy Warhol's dog features a repeat pattern of dog food cans a la the famous Campbell's soup screenprints. The works are intended to be humourous but are also serious attempts at loving homage to the giants upon whose shoulders I long to stand.
My current paintings comment on the contemporary human condition.
They have an authenticity because they are based on quick line drawings of real people in real situations. There is always a risk element to the paintings because of the unpredictability of the paint. This gives the line a spontaneous energy and electricity.
I paint black line on white background or white on black background. With the "nude studies" paintings I use colour on a black background. Red line overlaid on the blue line creates a three dimensional illusion so that the images float over each other. The glossiness of the black enamel brings the image of the surrounding environment into the painting.
"For westerners, the tattoo has always been a metaphor of difference". Margo DeMello - Bodies of Inscription.
"One of the most popular images was an anchor and interestingly, most of the wearers had nothing to do with the sea. It was used as a symbol of hope and constancy and was often attached to a loved one's initials".
David Kent - University of New South Wales.
Ever since I was old enough to draw I have published symbols of my inner thoughts on my skin. To get attention, to try and communicate my raw, child like feelings to the passing world. Ornate, flower infested tributes to a pretty girl. Roaring lions engraved on the back of my arm. Trapped in a child like daydream of instant status and desperate rebellion. An endless procession of indigo angels that tried in vain to express my often intangible thoughts and feelings. Hopeful meanderings and passing expressions of my various, culturally enmeshed fantasies, some fulfilled, others forever out of reach. This is the inner life that my new paintings tap into. These are tattoos that I wish I had. The procession will go on and on. It places my naive, romantic fantasies on the wall and for a moment and makes them feel real.
Kit MacGregor is a master of the evening calm and twilight that decorates the Southern New Zealand landscape. According to him they are "atmospheres that resonate powerfully, taking me to the land of dreams where anything is possible and nothing is fixed or certain".
Whether it be New Zealand's poetic light or a lack of control in the painting process, which Kit has described as much as "pain and frustration as it is joy", uncertainty has become something of a personal philosophy for Kit. "There is an old Chinese saying - Uncertainty maybe uncomfortable, but certainty is ridiculous.
Kit allows the image to retain the imprecision of his hand, the inaccuracy allows for autonomy in the painting that is essentially human. There seems to be such a sense of pleasure in the application of paint to canvas with luscious gestural brushstrokes, transforming the rugged hills surrounding the rural township of Oamaru where he lives, into chunky dabs and smears. "I actually enjoy the application of oil paint especially when I'm pushing wet into wet; it's quite delicious. So making light burn out of darkness is a great joy‚Ä¶I find myself looking in amazement at my surroundings thinking I just don't have enough time left to do all I want to and my mind is racing way ahead of what my brush can achieve".
Coastal Grove Little Barrier Island
Little Barrier Island is a wildlife sanctuary and, as such, access is prohibited to the public. This painting typifies the coastal margin of the island which has no sand beaches but is ringed with a continuos boulder bank that separates the sea from tall cliffs. Where there is enough space between boulders and cliffs, hardy and beautiful indigenous bush flourishes.
The two islands of Little Barrier and the more distant Great Barrier have always been refuges for the outdoor adventure enthusiast. Like taking a trip back in time the islands represent an escape from the modern world pressures. This was front of mind when creating this image.
In all my work a story develops as I paint. In this piece Deep Red is the prominent colour representing passion and strength. The Gold leaf of the moon giving a element of preciousness to the piece. The botanical two moons are full of imagery of New Zealand native plants, with the native Fuchsia twisting in and out through the mid ground. The feature of the piece is the sacred Kotuku or White Heron, she looks up towards a native orchid floating down towards her. The orchid represents her fertility and the continuation of her precious species.
In this piece Dragonflies native to New Zealand float 'en masse' upwards, some lurk in the shadows some are bolder, reaching for the heights of the little red one at the top. It is survival of the fittest against the challenges of life. Again gold leaf moons are reflected in the depths of the blue swamp and botanical imagery sets the scene.
Sean is an expressionist painter with a sincere exploration of mark making, colour and tone; applied to an image with the intention to provoke. Buildings and landscapes are a major inspiration for Sean, whose distinctive paintings of landmarks such as New Zealand's Auckland Museum, bring bricks and mortar to life with energetic stokes and vivid colours.
Humour is an essential element expressed in his paintings to transform the sometimes staid landmarks to structures that come alive with personality. New Zealand art critic, Warwick Brown said of Sean's landmark paintings: "He makes these time-honoured structures bend and strain, as if they are trying to break free of their foundations and go on a spree....Chen's odd of colours, active brushwork and lively paint surface result in strong pictures with staying power".
My new works are a collection of multiple images placed in visual formations. They are expressions of the environment of nature & natural elemental objects. The markings indicate journeys or movements in a spiritual or metaphysical quality. I don't engage politically in my work, the use of bold colour is a source of joy & exuberance to me
The work is a coming together of different marks, scratches, brush strokes and stencilled lines and how these exist as objects in fictional space, sandwiched flat between the glossy, flawless finish of Perspex sheets.
Going beneath the surface of the ocean is a surreal concept in itself. It is a place we don't belong, yet for thousands of years man has tried.
When I started to explore the depths with my camera, I discovered a very different world from the one in my head. A place where the most feared animal can be beautiful, peaceful. Juxtaposed is one mans obsession with the deep, pushing all boundaries further into the unknown.
New Zealand Free Diver William Trubridge: William Trubridge (born on 24 May 1980) is a world champion and double world record holding free-diver from New Zealand Trubridge currently holds the world record in the Free Immersion and the Constant Weight without fins disciplines, and is the first human ever to break the 100m barrier unassisted.