Channel: Northart in September

We have another very busy month planned for Northart with lots of great art to look at, think about, and enjoy!

Come Monday 9th September we open seven new exhibitions:  painting, bronze sculpture, thangka (paintings on cotton and silk applique), frottage, video and object art. Subjects as diverse as landscape, still life, kauri dieback, re-generation and religious iconography all feature.

Conservation Week falls in September, and preservation, conservation and regeneration is a strong theme of several of the exhibitions. 

Greg Piper’s exhibition, ‘Nature’s Voice’, highlights the fragility and beauty of our environment. “Living close to Kauri Glen in Northcote,” he comments,“I have seen areas of this reserve closed to the public due to Kauri dieback.…  I have used naturalistic depictions [in bronze] of piwakawaka and pekapeka, suggesting that they are the guardian spirits (kaitiaki) of our mammals and birds. Māori tradition has these creatures as diurnal and nocturnal messengers operating between seen and unseen worlds.… The fantails and bats appear as harbingers, heralding calamity over the environmental space that really belongs to them. They are truncated and fixed to the wall as if coming out of ‘thin spaces’ – a Celtic concept of the close proximity of terrestrial and invisible existence. These native creature spirits bring a timeless past of knowing with them, and also suggest the sovereignty of nature by their golden crowns.”

Sonja Drake’s works also point to the fragility of nature. Her paintings “focus on the earth in moments of transition and transformation, seeking to reveal the precarious line that divides creation and destruction. While observing the complexity of the natural world [she] reflects on the interrelatedness of everything in the environment – all energy and matter, and the tenuous and delicate balance of life.”

Earlier this year, Laura Donkers was artist in residence at the Kaipatiki Project. ‘Re-generate’ was filmed during a a community restoration day carried out as part of the Awataha Greenway Project, at Kaka Reserve (Jessie Tonar Scout Reserve) on Kaka Street, Northcote, in May 2019.

She also presents ten frottage works, made using pastel, charcoal and graphite in a rubbing motion on thin paper, laid against the last native trees in the Okuti Valley Reserve, Banks Peninsular, South Island during a visit in 2016.   

By contrast, Devonport artist, James Davidson’s work is landscape-based and centred on his daily walks with his dog. He comments, “Sometimes on the walk I think about the cosmos, humanity and the origin of morality. Other times we just walk. Also, I have heard that dogs think in smell pictures, and I think about this too. I wonder what they look like. Then we go home and I try out different colours.”

These shows and more are on display at Northart from 9th September through to the 25th.

Opening a few days later is ‘Singing to the Dead’, a group exhibition that acknowledges and celebrates ideas, events, artists and people from the past that are pivotal to the invited artists. A drawing show by John Oxborough and cibachromes from the ’80s by Warwick Brown open at the same time.

By: 
aidan@benefitz.co.nz