'Pieces of a Dream'
Group Exhibition with Ann Braunsteiner, Fleur Woods, Frith Wilkinson & Hannah Melville
17 October - 16 November 2019
Opens Thursday 17 October from 5.30pm
The artists will be joining us at this special event
It's when the mind is free to wander, that the interesting things happen. Four contemporary women artists, four very different ways of interpreting the world through their chosen media. The feel of the works dip into the lyrical, the mysterious, darkness, strangeness and beauty. Each artist has their own strong aesthetic which creates a lively dialogue within the gallery.
Melville paints on board and her work draws from her continuing research into a variety of traditions and cultures, including antiquity and folklore from all parts the world as seen through a contemporary female and feminist lens. The magic of the natural world is intensely present with flora and fauna taking on both symbolic and structural significance. "Transformation and transmutation are the keystones of my artistic practice...nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything transforms. My painting is a witches brew, a glamour spell of magpie pieces, yet it has a finely tuned intention and a defined if somewhat secret narrative. There is a sharp pointy point to my paintings."
Melville's ceramic works are terre cuite (terracotta) polychrome. She employs the ancient method of hand burnishing (polishing the unfired leather hard pieces with stones or shells) to smooth and patina each work. "Made by hand, eye and spirit for hand, eye and spirit my terre cuite polychromes resonate with the elemental earth, water, air and fire nature of ceramics. The magic of the artefact and the fetish of the votive effigy and collectable figure is something I wish to access and imbue my pieces with. Terre cuite (the substance achieved by firing red clay) is iron rich as our own blood is iron rich, and it's aliveness and malleability is recognised in creation stories throughout human history."
Hannah Melville studied painting at Elam and at COFA in the late nineties and earlier this century. During this period she exhibited at Anna Bibby and Mori galleries in Auckland and Sydney. Moving to France in 2003, where she lived for fifteen years, she gained her Diplôme de Céramiste at the CFA des métiers d'art Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie and expanded her art practice to include terre cuite polychrome. In 2018 Melville had a solo exhibition at Black Asterisk, Auckland. Hannah Melville works in studio in Devonport Auckland.
Fleur Woods is a self taught contemporary mixed media artist based in Upper Moutere. "Stitched Paintings is the term I use to describe my style of work. I paint blank pieces of linen in abstract washes then add botanical / illustrative details in with acrylic paint / gouache / ink , finally I add texture through stitch. Coming to stitch as a mixed media artist I have taught myself a variety of embroidery techniques which probably don't follow traditional embroidery guides but work for the kind of mark making I enjoy creating. Stitch for me has become a bit of an obsession which marries my love of detail, colour, texture and allows hours of quiet reflection and Podcast binging".
‘Galaxies & Roses’ brings stitch to Fleur’s canvas studio drop cloth. The drop cloth has over time collected the story of much the happenings in the studio. Rather than a throw away as it was intended, this piece of cloth is now a treasured object that carries years of creative evolution. For Fleur, roses are like a love story in themselves. As a favourite flower they hold memories that can be relived anywhere at anytime, like a time capsule in the universe for rose scented moments.
Ann Braunsteiner’s art practice, be it paintings, writings or as here presented in Mixed Media/Collages, is concerned with the human psyche and the layers of reality we exist within. For ‘Pieces of a Dream’ Braunsteiner considered the philosophies of Carl G. Jung [1875 – 1961]. His dream theory, and its given analysis between the conscious and unconscious mind of our day to day life, felt like a logical connection. Jung believed dreams are an essential part of the unconscious in reaching a wholesome existence within our conscious reality – a process he called individuation – which assists our psyche towards developing differentiation and individual personality - an important part towards a balanced and healthy life. By using a Mixed Media/ Collage approach, layering images, text and transparencies, Braunsteiner’s work represent the unconscious, often unconnected information brought to the surface, rearranged/analysed and made valuable during dreams.
Ann Braunsteiner, born in Austria, has lived in Nelson, NZ since 2009. Her background is in Biochemistry and Biotechnology, but she has seriously pursued her art practice since 2011.
Wilkinson lives in Golden Bay where she is surrounded by New Zealand's special ecosystem. The flora and fauna, insects and birds, ocean and planets, all influence Wilkinson's paintings. Figures feature too in a haunting and fragile composition. A woman gazing upwards is central in this series of four watercolours. She is cloaked in delicate moth's wings and looking to the moon.
It is rare for Wilkinson to exhibit outside of her remote Rinopai studio so her work is especially welcomed in this group show. Previously she has exhibited in Christchurch and Auckland.