Our first online exhibition for 2022 features new works to the gallery by Alexis Neal, Belinda Griffiths and Weilun Ha.
Alexis Neal’s new prints are an extension of her ‘Ka mua ka muri’ series; looking back to move forward, using up-cycled plates, reshaping them to create new forms and new narratives. The shaping of Taonga/artefacts, personal adornment and weaponry has been a long-standing interest for Alexis. The influence of the natural world seems obvious, not just in the materials used for such items, but in the bird like forms that have inspired weaponry and tools shaped for a purpose. “The design and function are skillfully blended, with the suspension hole doubling as the eye of the bird”. Icon nga taonga, Te Papa press 2004-5. Elements of blood red adorn the work as a reference to Hei tiki, in human form. Artefacts hold wairua, a sense of identity, act as a portal into our past, a piece of history that tells us a story, who might have created it and where did its journey begin, a taonga/treasure, handed down to who?
Belinda Griffith’s new body of monotypes continues to explore loose gestural mark-making, capturing moments of stillness and reflection. Belinda is based in Auckland, New Zealand. Working within the disciplines of painting and printmaking, her art explores the expressive power of the gestural mark. When coupled with depictions of the human form, this push and pull between mark and form has the potential to dig deeper and communicate something of the human experience that becomes instinctive and visceral. Her practice is an ongoing exploration of that potential.
Weilun Ha explores the ideas of personal stories in symbolic objects; diversity in cultural motifs; and gestures of fragility in life philosophies. Weilun talks about one work, Afterlife of an Artist as a homage to one of his heroes, Bill Hammond.
“My first ever artist models in college were Michael Tuffery and Bill Hammond. I repainted this painting half a million times. It wasn’t until I was a winner of the Wallace Arts Awards in 2016 that I got up close to seeing the real painting over the dinner tables at Rannoch. I stared at it deeply, seeing all the layers and details, then I realised that the space and figures were a play on the scale of objects, it made it ambiguous. A pristine landscape with figures that looked over the land. It was a spiritual piece for me, filled with myths and legends. It got me looking deep into myself to why I wanted to learn Chinese painting; I wanted to see my ancestry give the same sort of message. Nothing but ink and water my humble medium worked on mark making and symbolism. It made me think of finding my roots.” – Weilun Ha
All works are available to view in the gallery – please get in touch to make an appointment.