Contemporary Edge

Colour and Commentary with intensity and edge - Group exhibition

Brad Novak, Michael Smither, Roy Good, JS Parker, Fatu Feu'u, Wayne Seyb, Manu Berry
15 February - 16 March 2019

Preview: 15 February 6pm

Our late summer exhibition blazes with intensity in both colour and commentary, from seven artists, prominent and emerging, diverse in practice and media. More detail on these artists below the images.

We welcome a new artist to The Diversion – urban artist Brad Novak aka New Blood Pop, whose edgy paintings and prints sit sharply at the nexus of fine art and street art and makes commentary about the influence of tech in our lives. He’s the first NZ born artist to exhibit (in Canada) alongside the legendary pop and urban artists Banksy, Warhol, Haring and Lichenstein.
That edge carries through to vivid works by Michael Smither, Roy Good, JS Parker, Wayne Seyb, Fatu Feu’u and Manu Berry.

A stunning JS Parker oil on paper, Eschscholzias, captures the blazing light of the Californian poppies which lie in drifts along Marlborough riverbanks where he used to walk and fish. He brought in the colour of the rivers too, but wanted to bring the composition back to pure abstraction by embedding the blue in squares pushing into each corner of the painting. This work was a precursor to a large oil on canvas of the same title, also 2001.

Alongside this, Michael Smither also draws inspiration from the light and landscape in Light through the Trees, based on the water seen through the silhouetted pohutukawa trees opposite his home on the Coromandel peninsula. The large Red Reflections screenprint is based on a similar concept from a much earlier painting, of late afternoon light behind boats at Okahu Bay, working with colour opposites in his colour harmonic series, ideas carried through into the Pleasure Boats sculptures.

Roy Good’s inspiration is more cerebral, in vivid handpainted works on canvas and board, playing with 2D and 3D planes of colour. A new major book on his work, Parallel Universe, is available in the gallery and is complimentary with any of his paintings.

Wayne Seyb is one of the most direct painters of landscape, here Wellington Harbour seen from Island Bay looking north; rich impasto work with high energy. Also strongly gestural using intense colour and metallic gold paint, Fatu Feu’u continues a series about the need for family and community to embrace young people, in a painting named for his son, Tuiteva Coming Home. We have three others in this series available.

The quietest corner of the exhibition is reserved for the master of woodcut, Manu Berry (Dunedin), with a new series giving an individual perspective on native birds. These very small editions (only three) are hand worked with small variations between the editions. Some editions have sold out but some may have a last of edition available.