Ten exhibitions to see in Christchurch in November

Judy Darragh, Stainless, 2010-2011.
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Judy Darragh, Stainless, 2010-2011.

New gallery spaces, pop-up exhibitions and arts projects are taking place in Christchurch throughout November, confirming once again that 2016 has seen an expansion in arts venues and events in the city, providing ample opportunity to spend quality time in its galleries and public spaces.

SCAPE's 2016 public art programme, Presence, officially closes on November 12.  Take a self-guided tour from Restart to the Arts Centre, Botanical Gardens and Hagley Park. 

Among SCAPE's new projects, Judy Darragh's installation Stainless, absolutely shines.  Responding to the glitz of her visit to the LA Car Museum in the United States, Darragh's transformation of kitchenware in Stainless at the Wynn Williams House, 47 Hereford Street is a spirited and damning response. A makeover of stainless steel that virtually stimulates all the senses simultaneously.  Stainless furthers Darragh's impressive track record for artworks and installations that insist on controlling the spaces that they occupy.

Julia Holden, The Lord Lyttelton (Al Park)
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Julia Holden, The Lord Lyttelton (Al Park)

Lyttelton musician Al Park has been reborn as Lord Lyttelton (1817 – 1876), the English politician the local port was named after.  Film maker and painter Julia Holden has given Park a make-over and photographed him as the dour conservative English politician. 

The resemblance is uncanny.  But Park is only one of a number of residents whose identities have been altered by Holden for Lyttelton Redux, a series of portraits recreating historical figures from Lyttelton's past. 

Her subjects also include artist Hannah Beehre as watercolourist Margaret Stoddart (1865 – 1934).  These painterly photographs are displayed at Lyttelton businesses until March 2017. 

Brendan Adams, Bottle Forms 2, Canterbury Potters Association
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Brendan Adams, Bottle Forms 2, Canterbury Potters Association

Guest potter at the Canterbury Potters Association 43rd annual exhibition at the Canterbury Museum is Brendan Adams.  

A graduate from the Otago Polytechnic, Adams has been exhibiting for almost 30 years, with vessels that work the territory between traditional earthenware and playful figurative sculptures. 

In 2016, earthenware rules at the Canterbury Potters exhibition.  Make a point of seeing the earthen beauty of ceramics by Nicky Loe, Natalie Sweetapple and Chikako Neale before the exhibition closes on November 13. 

Jason Grieg, Forgotten Countries.
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Jason Grieg, Forgotten Countries.

Jason Grieg's new paintings and prints in The Goat Keepers Guide To God's Infinite Spectrum at Chambers Gallery are his most emphatic works to date.

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Here is a painter fine-tuning his skill in making unknowable and captivating images.  Meticulous in their attention to detail, and colourful and dramatic, Grieg's paintings should immediately tick all the boxes of any artistic formula for accessible narratives.  Yet, in spite of all the evidence these works display towards being user-friendly, paintings like Forgotten Countries take us somewhere else.

Possessed by a sustained silence and stillness capable of stopping the gallery visitor in their tracks, the works in The Goat Keepers Guide to God's Infinite Spectrum also deal to the archetypes that inhibit them with a curious mix of gleeful respect and mischievousness.  Genuinely unnerving.  Grieg's exhibition closes November 12.

Hamish Allan, The Money or the Bag,
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Hamish Allan, The Money or the Bag,

Hamish Allan's Decipher at L'estrange Gallery in Sumner asks the gallery visitor to do just that; interpret and identify, finding meaning in "visual signals". To date, Allan's work has acknowledged its awareness of Surrealism and Salvador Dali. 

Expansive landscapes in which anything might float into view.  Yet, Allan avoids the grand theatre of self-conscious weirdness that typified Dali painting. Instead, The Money or the Bag sees the artist pare back his subjects. 

Paper bags with ladders leaning against them and paper birds drifting alone above the land, all convey the idea of a fleeting moment in time, a tenuous and touching sense of reality and the environment.  Decipher closes November 13.

Manon van Kouswijk, 1488 Beads 16 Colours 7 Materials 1 Ceiling,
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Manon van Kouswijk, 1488 Beads 16 Colours 7 Materials 1 Ceiling,

Manon van Kouswijk's installation of beaded necklaces suspended from the ceiling of The National gallery is an immersive and enchanting experience. 

1488 Beads 16 Colours 7 Materials 1 Ceiling collapses the divide between the gallery visitor and Kouswijk's work through a close encounter with her necklaces.   A graduate from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and then head of its jewellery department, Kouswijk says that, "the beaded necklace, [is] that thing I have been revisiting for more than 20 years….. But then again, when things look similar the differences between them become more evident". 

In its conception and experience, 1488 Beads 16 Colours 7 Materials 1 Ceiling positions itself as heir-apparent to the legacy of minimalist art.  It is at The National until November 19.

Jacquelyn Greenbank, Mayoral Tongue Chain
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Jacquelyn Greenbank, Mayoral Tongue Chain

The group exhibition FRONT ROOM is at NEXT gallery from November 25 to 29.

As its title implies, it reconsiders the domestic space where "the posh things are, or maybe items that are best forgotten but impossible to throw out". 

It is an idea well-suited to the six participating artists.  Jacquelyn Greenbank, Julia Holden, Kristin Hollis, Cheryl Lucas, Sandra Thomson and Sue Upritchard conceive and make work that often promises the reassurances of house and garden.  Yet, they also have a way of drawing us in and leaving us with more questions about domesticity than they are prepared to answer.

Colin McCahon, The Canoe Mamari, 1969
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Colin McCahon, The Canoe Mamari, 1969

Gow Langsford Gallery's pop-up exhibition at the Tannery JAFA runs until November 20 and brings together selected work by artists from the gallery's stable. 

Highlights include Colin McCahon's The Canoe Mamari (1969), Gordon Walters' Tautahi (1971) and Jeff Koons' Split Rocker (2013).  McCahon's use of words and their subtle ebb and flow across the four panels of The Canoe Mamari is among the best of his word paintings.  

And in its own way, Koon's Split Rocker is no less convincing. Connecting half the head of a rocking horse and toy dinosaur, Split Rocker is deadpan, authoritative and unknowable – yet entirely unforgettable.

Displacement by Exile
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Displacement by Exile

Previously at New Regent Street, The Auricle Sonic Art Gallery has reopened at 336 St Asaph St. Until November 24, Exile, "an avant-garde collective based in Banks Peninsula", have installed Displacement. 

A sound project framed around the big questions about life:  "When do we become conscious / aware of our displacement in this world? Is it a startling realization, or rather a deeply engrained knowledge within us us all?", 

Displacement also promises "Electric Guitar. Sans (human) interaction".  That alone makes it worth visiting.

Donna-Marie Patterson, Drawing Memories,
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Donna-Marie Patterson, Drawing Memories,

The Ilam School of Fine Arts annual group exhibition Select, was established in 2009, and supports emerging artists by showcasing the best, most stimulating and inventive examples of its final year and postgraduate progammes.    Over the past seven years, its Art Acquisition Committee has purchased works for the University's collection by the exhibiting artists.  This year's exhibition again provides an opportunity to see the fresh responses of emerging Christchurch-based artists through a diversity of arts practices and ideas.  Select is open until December 8.

 

 - Stuff

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