Six to See in September

After what has been a rather dreary few months, things are looking up: Spring is just around the corner and, more importantly for Northart, the carpark at the back of our building has been returned to us so visitor parking during weekdays is no longer the problem it was. 

This month is a good time to visit Northart: There are six exhibitions to view, each conceptually and materially very different from the other.

John Nicol is having his first solo exhibition in a number of years (and first at Northart) and while there are a several series of works from the past decade in the show, one, the ‘Ghost Tree’ paintings will resonate with all those interested in and concerned with our environment. Of this series he comments: 

“Many of the ills of our world are of deep concern to me, but it is difficult to address these in any meaningful way directly in my work. However, ‘the Ghost Tree’ paintings are one of the times when I have found a way to more directly express my concerns… The death of the Kauri is a terrible possibility, with which I have a close tie. I grew up in Dargaville, which prided itself on being the Gateway to the North and the Waipoua Forest. I was about seven when I first encountered Tane Mahuta and the sense of awe in its presence is still with me.”

In an adjacent gallery, Mary Donald’s nine woven works provide an opportunity to rethink botanical concepts, with the weaving and lashing techniques employed reflecting the past and the present, the environment and humanity. Exhibitions by Rick Allender (marquetry), Diane Brand (jewellery) and Martin Ward (ceramics) complete the line-up of solo exhibitions. All five shows close on September 12. 

Opening the following Monday, September 17, is ‘Urbanscapes’, which showcases parks and streets, backyards and front sections, around Auckland and elsewhere: Places that are ordinary and mundane, made extraordinary and special through compositional detailing and the liveliness of the handling of oil and acrylic by Janine Wills (Birkenhead), Frank van Schaik (Devonport) and Rosemary Theunissen (Mangere Bridge).

By contrast, Ginette Wang takes us to exotic places – Venice, Istanbul and Nice. Influenced by the Impressionists, her works focus on capturing the light, the spontaneity and the atmosphere of the scene using watercolour. Landscapes, buildings, people, markets, sunsets, harbours and beaches are her favourite subjects,  ‘places full of rich history, magnificent architectures and beautiful light. ‘A Moveable Feast’ presents scenes from some of her favourite travel spots in the world.  

Suzanne Vesty takes us on an inner journey. Her central interest is in “the feminine spirit that en-souls all life, all matter… it holds deeply what it is to be human.”  Working intuitively with spontaneous gesture and mark making to reflect emotional and sensory intent, her works in ‘Doxophony’ give voice to “this relentless, matrix of energy that infuses and informs the human experience”. 

And in the window galleries, through September until early October, is a delightful and whimsical exhibition of animals   - photographed, painted, and clay. 

For information on Gallery Time for Kids, and other public programmes including the monthly seminar and Movie Night.