Debuting at the 2022 Art Fair is The Central Art Gallery , which opened in the Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora in Ōtautahi Christchurch, five years ago.
Simon Edwards’ works, (whether collages, landscapes, charcoal drawings or earlier paintings of cloud formations) all extend beyond the representational, regionalist and realist genres and instead become studies of the sublime and the mythological – places which we seem to know so well, yet can’t quite identify or lay claim to. They are at once familiar yet mystical, somewhat like the New Zealand landscape itself.
“The work places itself somewhere between a modernistic reliance of the essential qualities (of the materials and the methods of painting) and an awareness of the traditional forms of the landscape…the work becomes a result of what is happening on the surface at the time and building on chance effects that present themselves, contributing to a sense of space distance and movement.” ²
Situated within the Christchurch heritage site, The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora , The Central Art Gallery extends a long-established relationship between creative communities and this space. The Central occupies the Old Library Building, formerly part of Canterbury College’s School of Art (now Ilam School of Fine Arts) where artists such as Rita Angus, Dame Ngaio Marsh and Jacqueline Fahey attended university.
Lonnie Hutchinson (Ngāi Tahu, Samoan) is an artist whose didactic practice has explored themes of whakapapa, ancestral knowledge, and the ways in which they inform contemporary issues. In this way Hutchinson’s work informs the present moment without being bound by limitations of linear time interpretation. The artist has commented on her practice saying;
“Intrinsic to each series within my art practice, I honour tribal whakapapa or genealogy. In doing so, I move more freely between the genealogy of past, present and future to produce works that are linked to memories of recent and ancient past, that are tangible and intangible…I make works that talk about those spaces in-between, those spiritual spaces.” ¹
Images: Installation view, Celebrating 5 Years. Lonnie Hutchinson, After Hibiscus Cave: Markings from the Ancestors, 2022. Powder-coated aluminium. Dimensions variable.Simon Edwards, Kekerengu Dreamtime #7, 2022. Oil on ACM panel, 660 x 740mm. Images courtesy of the artists and The Central Art Gallery.