Te Hīkoi Toi: The artist as obstinate

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Geoff Dixon's latest enactment    astatine  Bowen Galleries

Michael Marzik/Supplied

Geoff Dixon's latest enactment astatine Bowen Galleries

This movie festival play I’ve watched a fewer works successful the ‘‘portrait of an artist’’ section. What a tough, inspiring clump of outliers.

Artists doggedly, trailblazing autarkic paths - dropping pearls on the mode that person changed the mode we spot the satellite and, successful turn, however we spot ourselves: 19th period photographic pioneer Eadweard Muybridge; writer Kurt Vonnegut, songwriter Leonard Cohen - banging his caput connected the edifice level crying “I can’t bash it” penning Hallelujah successful his underwear - and the singular singular communicative of Cairns-based NZ creator Geoff Dixon. Determined oddballs all.

Just arsenic determined arsenic Dixon person been his trader Bowen Galleries, exhibiting his enactment since 1989. In the movie we spot Dixon making 1 of his latest works and it's connected the partition arsenic you participate Bowen. A bright, curdling assemblage of toys breaking retired of woody vino boxes, doused successful enamel overgarment - it speaks loudly of our attraction of the satellite arsenic play thing. Plastic dinosaurs are successful a chaotic yet elegant Laocoön-like maelstrom, congealing conscionable arsenic they effort to escape. Space rockets alert and the satellite world is simply a breached egg, oozing ovum whites. The apocalypse arsenic a Jackson Pollock-fried Toy Story.

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A dainty of the movie is observing the tender, longstanding relationship betwixt Dixon and Euan MacLeod. Dixon has been a exemplary for MacLeod’s painted gentle elephantine figures for years, and 1 of them features alongside enactment by 8 artists successful Anton Hart’s Profile of An Artist.

Work by Anton Hart, Sam Duckor-Jones and Euan Macleod astatine  Bowen Galleries


Work by Anton Hart, Sam Duckor-Jones and Euan Macleod astatine Bowen Galleries

Hart has based cylindrical 3D printed sculptures connected the heads of these artists - similar 360 grade cameo brooches - and exhibited them alongside creation helium has collected by them implicit the years. Carved retired of achromatic soil with an concern sheen, it posits artists arsenic being arsenic instrumental successful our nine arsenic the heads and cylinders of a large machine. Hart’s plan flair is evident successful the installation - I emotion however a Sam Duckor-Jones’ fig looks down meditatively, mug successful hand, connected his ain sculpted head. In Hart’s amusement the creator is simply a vessel, spinning, seeing afloat surround.

LIkely arsenic obstinate and agelong successful the bony arsenic Dixon is the creator Derek Cowie. Both artists studied plan successful the mid 70s. Cowie went connected to beryllium represented by Peter McLeavey successful the 80s earlier heading overseas. He returned to Wellington successful 2016 and is present having his 3rd solo amusement astatine Page Galleries.

Derek Cowie's Winslow Cup astatine  Page Galleries.

Michael Mahne Lamb/Supplied

Derek Cowie's Winslow Cup astatine Page Galleries.

Cowie’s interest is besides clime change, with a postmodern sensibility to revisiting classical nostalgia-full paintings and home objects, charging up home memorabilia with caller biology energy. Up-large Cowie luxuriantly, exuberantly paints ginger jars, teacups and jugs. With painterly accomplishment helium creates tasteful elegiac paintings for the home, yet his vessels are upturned similar doorbell jars, oregon broken, featuring jagged edges. They are incapable to clasp fluid arsenic they erstwhile did.

Not each the imagery coheres arsenic powerfully for me, but galore of the vessels glow with beardown reflection connected our times. Rather than conscionable transcript American creator Winslow Homer’s iconic representation of a thresher successful the field, Cowie paints airy bouncing disconnected the object, renewing the impressionistic vigor of the representation with his mark-making. Subtle remark connected our modern harvesting of the land.

A inactive  of a video by Denise Batchelor astatine  the Parkin Drawing Prize exhibition.


A inactive of a video by Denise Batchelor astatine the Parkin Drawing Prize exhibition.

The Parkin Drawing Prize accumulation opened this week. In the divers scope of artists presented determination is overmuch of quality, and fewer are represented by dealers oregon shown successful large nationalist galleries. They excessively are obstinate. Recognition for artists similar this is fewer and acold between, truthful hats disconnected to patron Chris Parkin.

I similar that it’s near up to the artists to specify drawing. As accustomed determination are immoderate inventive interpretations: Denise Batchelor’s video of a snarl-up of snails emerging themselves signifier a vas creating slimy trails, the shadows formed by Rachel Hope Peary’s manus crocheting oregon Roberta Queriroga’s Divorce Dress, successful which her wedding formal is collaged with wedding images, pencil and golden leaf.

Resolutely outlier, Locust Jones, similar Dixon depicts a satellite going to hell. In the beautifully titled ‘Isolation is atrocious for business’ helium presents a frenetic descent amusement of painted signs going excessively accelerated excessively read, acceptable to chaotic drumming and a rant wherever unusual words similar ‘5G’ and ‘tiktok’ are conscionable discernible. It's a astute reflection connected the intelligence anxiousness, accusation overload and pileup of conspiracy theories of our times.

It’s large to spot past winners' enactment exhibited. Though I bespeak however en masse the magnitude of conceptually driven monochromatic abstract works look clever yet safe. This year’s winning enactment Sian Stephens’ ‘Liam Cutting His Hair After an All-Nighter’ is rather different, uncovering humour and quality successful mundanity. Stephens boldly experiments successful mixing up drafting techniques to bring affection for a person physically alive. With surreal disconnections that someway bent together, a caput of hairsbreadth becomes a lively mophead, astatine likelihood with the wrinkled item of engaged hands and the glorious ripples of a striped shirt. Drawn connected brownish card, the satellite beyond meantime is arsenic drab arsenic stationary, and the airy shining extracurricular arsenic achromatic arsenic toothpaste.

  • I W.A.S. A C.O.G, Derek Cowie, Page Galleries until August 6. Parkin Drawing Prize, Academy Galleries, until September 11. Profile of An Artist, Anton Hart, until August 21.

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