Greer Twiss

No Sun, No Rain, No Radiation

No Sun, No Rain, No Radiation by Greer Twiss

Artwork Detail

An eerie, post-holocaust stillness clings around this leaden tableau, creating the atmosphere of a tomb. In Tony Green's words: 'Put together a tent, an abandoned Teddy Bear, a burnt-out model biplane, and an easel with a picture, inscribed with a cautionary reference, and the scene is set'. The cautionary reference is the title of this work, which Twiss had seen stencilled on the crates for works of art from the northern hemisphere. Lead has a double action - a silent poisoner, and also a shield against the effects of radiation. Twiss works at the point of this paradox. His soft, pressed lead canvas tent may protect its inhabitants, but touch its smooth, cool, malleable softness and you risk contamination. Priscilla Pitts has noted the connection between this 'stilled-life', and the still-life tradition in painting, which includes the concept of vanitas with its meditations on death and the brevity of our mortal lives. A leading New Zealand sculptor, Twiss is known for nimble shifts in subject matter and materials, manipulations of political and social ideas, and memorable, surprising works. Made when New Zealand's nuclear-free policy was hitting world headlines, this little shelter at the bottom of the world seems a sadly flimsy defence against a threat to the whole planet. (from The Guide, 2001)

No Sun, No Rain, No Radiation
Greer Twiss
Production date
wood, lead
1505 x 2050 x 4000 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1986
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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