Start with art

Northart starts off the year with festivities to celebrate Chinese New Year. We have two fascinating exhibitions in the gallery and a number of free workshops and other events happening during the weekends this February. 

In the gallery, ‘Accept Each Word Spoken with Love’ showcases the work of 12 young Asian artists – some recent graduates, others in their final years of studying at tertiary art institutions.  Miao Xu, who curated the exhibition, used a poem, ‘Logos’, by American poet Mary Oliver as a starting point: 

Why worry about the loaves and fishes?
If you say the right words, the wine expands.
If you say them with love
and the felt ferocity of that love
and the felt necessity of that love,
the fish explode into many.
Imagine him, speaking,
and don’t worry about what is reality,
or what is plain, or what is mysterious.
If you were there, it was all those things.
If you can imagine it, it is all those things.
Eat, drink, be happy.
Accept the miracle.
Accept, too, each spoken word
spoken with love.

“Language”, she explains, “shapes the way we think and transforms humanity ….

The use of language requires that we constantly adjust and reinvest words and their meanings with the practical intention of increasing communal harmony and significance.  It is not necessary to define the boundary between English and Asian languages, or to overcome the imposed cultural context by highlighting the importance of transcultural communication. This exhibition showcases the honest heart and purest love for art, in the language of twelve young Asian artists. If you are here, accept each word spoken with love.” 

‘Homeland’ in galleries 4 and 5 is of work by more senior artists, all members of the New Zealand Institute of Chinese Fine Arts, who work in more traditional styles and themes, both Western and Chinese. Bangzhen Deng and Lu Bo who are well-known to local audiences, will both be exhibiting. For information on the workshops and other events, please visit www.northart.co.nz/publicprogrammes. 

Northart’s large window spaces make a great display gallery and exhibitions are changed at regular intervals. Viewable 24 hours per day, they are very popular with passers-by as well as other visitors. Currently on show are a number of figurative and representational works by Matthew Carter, Ross Ritchie, John Oxborough and Frank van Schaik. 

The Chinese New Year exhibitions continue until 20 February. Opening a few days later is the Northart members' summer exhibition, with a wide variety of paintings and ceramics and works in other media.  Alongside these will be a fundraising exhibition organised by Northcote College, which will include works by current students, teachers and supporters, with all proceeds going towards a school trip to New York. 

‘Gallery Time for Kids’ has resumed for the year – see www.northart.co.nz for further information, or contact the gallery. 

Channel Magazine