Mystery in art, pottery collection

BOLD BLOCKS OF COLOUR: Artist Jan Linlater’s painting Cloud Nine is among works exhibited by the Gisborne Artists Society and Gisborne Pottery Group at Tairawhiti Museum.
INTO THE LIGHT: Artists often work in seclusion so an exhibition such as the Gisborne Artists Society (GAS) and Gisborne Pottery Group show at Tairawhiti Museum is an opportunity to showcase what they do, says GAS chairman Chris Smith.
“You do so much at home and your painting ends up leaning against a wall. It’s good to have your work seen and to gets some feedback.”
The Gisborne Artists Society and Gisborne Pottery Group exhibition is on now at Tairawhiti Museum until September 24. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell

WE shouldn’t be surprised by now at the experimentation, confidence and depth of works produced by members of the Gisborne Artists Society and Gisborne Pottery Group. New Zealand is long past the cultural cringe that lasted up to the 1970s, followed by the cultural quest for a Kiwi identity and the Maori “renaissance”.

What is surprising about the combined exhibition that opens tomorrow is the amount of mysteriousness in the collection.

Among woodturner Bruce Smith’s pieces is a bowl turned in a large piece of deep-grained pohutukawa. Concentric circles radiate from the bowl’s circumference and a smooth beach-stone is fixed to the uneven base of the work. The stone has a practical function: it stabilises the work but brings an element of the enigmatic to it as well.

Ian McKelvey’s Waipapa Point solar prints, one of which features a highly textured but dark image of a fallen tree trunk and canopy, are at once luminous and intriguing with a hint of menace.

Waipapa Point 1 sits well with Heather van Wyk’s fluid, black and white, ink and resin work Silver Flow.

One of the most esoteric works is Helene Carkeek’s The Sacrifice. Central to the oil-on-board painting is the torso of a woman whose trunk ends in root-like snakes. Among various occult and astrological symbols in the work is the trident-like image for Neptune on her forehead and a pentagram by her right arm.

Text on either side of the figure alludes to superstition borne of poverty and fear.

The exhibition includes ceramic sculptures, pottery, still life paintings and landscapes, including Jan Linklater’s paintings in bright blocks of colour of Rotorua’s Redwood Springs. The enigmatic does not escape Linklater’s eye either.

A work called Don’t Go There, in which a naked man tries to drag a reluctant horse into the forest, recalls Gisborne artist Brian Campbell’s surreal and sometimes cartoon-like animals.

WE shouldn’t be surprised by now at the experimentation, confidence and depth of works produced by members of the Gisborne Artists Society and Gisborne Pottery Group. New Zealand is long past the cultural cringe that lasted up to the 1970s, followed by the cultural quest for a Kiwi identity and the Maori “renaissance”.

What is surprising about the combined exhibition that opens tomorrow is the amount of mysteriousness in the collection.

Among woodturner Bruce Smith’s pieces is a bowl turned in a large piece of deep-grained pohutukawa. Concentric circles radiate from the bowl’s circumference and a smooth beach-stone is fixed to the uneven base of the work. The stone has a practical function: it stabilises the work but brings an element of the enigmatic to it as well.

Ian McKelvey’s Waipapa Point solar prints, one of which features a highly textured but dark image of a fallen tree trunk and canopy, are at once luminous and intriguing with a hint of menace.

Waipapa Point 1 sits well with Heather van Wyk’s fluid, black and white, ink and resin work Silver Flow.

One of the most esoteric works is Helene Carkeek’s The Sacrifice. Central to the oil-on-board painting is the torso of a woman whose trunk ends in root-like snakes. Among various occult and astrological symbols in the work is the trident-like image for Neptune on her forehead and a pentagram by her right arm.

Text on either side of the figure alludes to superstition borne of poverty and fear.

The exhibition includes ceramic sculptures, pottery, still life paintings and landscapes, including Jan Linklater’s paintings in bright blocks of colour of Rotorua’s Redwood Springs. The enigmatic does not escape Linklater’s eye either.

A work called Don’t Go There, in which a naked man tries to drag a reluctant horse into the forest, recalls Gisborne artist Brian Campbell’s surreal and sometimes cartoon-like animals.

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