The art works featured In Shifting Light represent how different artists have responded to New Zealand landscapes - landscapes of history and imagination, landscapes that contain public and personal symbols and landscapes as sites of social and personal experiences. As such, the exhibition concerns itself more with reflections on meanings of landscapes than with the artistic genre and reminds us that landscape is essentially a social construct.
New Zealand and Pacific Art, senior curator, Ron Brownson says, that throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, the diverse landscapes of New Zealand were a principal theme within our visual art. Many painters were fascinated with our landscape's shifting and diverse lighting situations. They contrasted time of day with the specifics of a place. This exploration let artists encounter New Zealand's topographic drama.
"When James Trevithick looked shoreward in his remarkable painting Auckland Harbour by Moonlight, from the North Shore (1881), he had no pre-conception that this nightscape would become one of the first visions of a moonlit Auckland. Generations later, Buster Black would reveal how mystical the city's street lighting appears when viewed from the Waitakere Mountains," says Brownson.
This collection-based exhibition brings together 40 works across a variety of medium including a poignant Ans Westra photograph taken at the Early Settlers Museum in Dunedin, the mysterious video and CAD topographies of Mladen Bizumic and paintings by Charles F Goldie, Ralph Hotere and Colin McCahon. These works reflect landscapes as sites through which to define ourselves as a people and place - light and darkness conveys the spiritual and emotional responses to these sites.
- Curated by
- Ron Brownson
- New Gallery
- Free entry