Graham Fletcher

Untitled (Lounge Room Tribalism) 1st February 2009

Untitled (Lounge Room Tribalism) 1st February 2009 by Graham Fletcher

Artwork Detail

This painting shows what Graham Fletcher describes as a ‘concept space’ – a space where he can create worlds to his own liking. By contrasting Western modern architecture and design with objects from other cultures, Fletcher raises questions about cultural ownership and authenticity.

Of the Lounge Room Tribalism paintings Graham Fletcher has commented: “I try to suggest within these dynamic spaces the complex relationship that exists between the West and non-Western cultures, which of course may take on social, economic or political aspects.”

This work is unusual in that it looks from the exterior to the interior of the home and shows that the view is a night scene. The décor has all the ingredients of a New Zealand modernist home – stained timber framing and sliding windows with rattan blinds. The dark wooden tribal carving is not shown to be immediately identifiable with the sculptural traditions of West Africa or Polynesia, although it could conceivably relate to both traditions. This ambiguity is deliberate and shows how the artist us aware that while recognition of what is tribal may be immediate, specific identification is not a widely known knowledge.

The carefully drawn night lighting with its mixed shadows increase the dramatic mood of the painting, while further reinforcing the question: ‘who lives here?’

Untitled (Lounge Room Tribalism) 1st February 2009
Graham Fletcher
Production date
oil on canvas
1500 x 1200 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2012
Accession no
Other ID
X2012/7 Old Accession Number
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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