What's On in November

JUST OPENED
RUBICON
On until 13 November
 
The four mid-career artists exhibiting in Rubicon – Graham McFelin, Patrick Malone, Grant Whibley and Shruti Yatri – have maintained a close connection since their art school days in the 1980s. While they often meet to discuss art and share experiences, each has an independent direction and language, which makes for a compelling and diverse show.
 
For Graham, his work in the show is a new beginning: Abstract, multi-layered, geometric paintings using templates and recurring elements, with soft edges and paint modulation preventing colour from being subordinated to geometrical forms. Patrick’s interest in geometric abstraction, on the other hand, started at Elam Art School, where a leaning toward recycling and limited funds encouraged him to use wooden packaging palettes as ‘canvas’. “It later became apparent to me I could develop this into my own visual language.”
 
Grant counters a handful of the 180 landscape paintings and drawings he developed between 2002 and 2006 with pencil works produced this year. “There is something essential and meaningful for me about the woman in the room theme which I’m working through. It’s an idea that seems to avoid the darkness and the presence of the past of my landscapes.”
 
The arrival at Shruti’s boarding school of three Tibetan orphan children who had fled to India after the invasion of their country in 1958, ignited an acute awareness of the plight of the Tibetan people in the artist, and has had a lasting impression on his work. 

ONE WEEK TO GO
OUR PEOPLE
Closes 6 November
 
The three winners and 22 finalists in the inaugural national secondary school portrait photography competition, presented by the Gerrard and Marti Friedlander Charitable Trust, are all on show in gallery 5 until next Wednesday. Entries were received from as far afield as Southland and Wellington.

LAST DAYS
YOUNG AT ART
Closes 6 November
 
The talents of local secondary school photographers can also be seen in a series of photographs by senior students at Birkenhead College in gallery 4, alongside a selection of small mixed media sculptural assemblages and collages.

IN THE WINDOWS
PORTRAITS & FIGURATIVE CERAMICS
On display 24/7 till 13 November
 
Accomplished ceramicist and highly skilled Ilam-trained painter Heather Grouden presents a series of portraits in oils as well as ceramic heads and figures, in the gallery’s window spaces. They will be replaced in mid-November by a selection of paintings from recent shows.

RANDOM ORDER
NANCY SYNNESTVEDT
11 to 27 November
Opening event Sunday 10 November at 5pm
 
A lifelong fascination with vibrant colour and its interactions with structure underpins American-born artist Nancy Synnestvedt’s approach to the works in her solo show. As to its title, the former Kristin School art teacher says ‘Random Order’ refers to the “irregular beauty of hand-painted lines and an organising principle that relies on the satisfying qualities of asymmetrical balance.” All artist profits from sales will go to MentorEd, a community-led programme that provides one-to-one support for children facing challenges that impact on their school life.

OPENS MID-NOVEMBER
POCKET EDITION. SMALL WORKS FOR LARGE WALLS
18 November to 15 December
Opening event Sunday 17 November at 5pm
 
One of the most anticipated shows on Northart’s busy annual calendar is the affordable small works exhibition, ‘Pocket Edition’. This year 32 artists have been invited to variously paint or draw up to 10 pieces each in oil, acrylic, pastel, pencil, gouache, watercolour or ink, all on the same postcard-sized Hahnemühle paper. The format of the cash and carry show – covering a wide variety of styles and subjects – remains intact throughout, with sold pieces replaced with stencilled photocopies.

GALLERY TIME FOR KIDS
FAMILY PORTRAITS
Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 November
11am to 1pm
 
Taking their lead from Heather Grouden’s portraits in the window gallery, children will be guided to create their own family portraits (of just a few members, or the whole whānau, including pets) in the fun November art-making sessions for five-year olds and over. They can bring along family photos or create portraits from their own imagination. A suggested donation of $2 to $5 covers all materials, and children should be accompanied by a parent or caregiver.