Four artists explore the fine line of sustainability
Graham Bennett, Denise Copland, Bing Dawe, & Robyn Webster
10 August to 8 September 2016
Sculpture, paintings and monotype prints tracing the fine edge of sustainability; seductively beautiful, they urge a message of balance, and care.
Denise Copland (Dunedin) is well known for her intricate prints underscored by historical and contemporary notions of survival, and here includes surreal, intriguing paintings (right) based on survival instinct when life teeters on the threshold between life and death whether through ‘Nature’s fury or by misfortune, or through wide spread industrialization’.
Robyn Webster (Christchurch) brings the idea literally close to home, based on shifting notions of the earth and nature as ‘home’, alongside woman as ‘home’; and our treatment of that ‘home’… ‘Our disregard for “nature” is so ingrained it’s not even noticed until it appears to strike back at us…’ Webster melds contemporary fine art with handmade tradition in finely wrought hanging sculptures and monoprints using harakeke (flax) fibre, often abstract and always intriguing.
Bing Dawe’s recent works focus on the tiny native Galaxiidae fish, kokopu, including NZ whitebait, at risk because of water degradation and habitat destruction. The Christchurch artist’s distinctive bronze/steel sculptures, featuring their presence and absence in sublimely beautiful wall sculptures, link them to the galaxy, lifting their importance, size and significance to a universal scale.
There is often a wire in his works, which can represent a divining rod, or a dangerous spike, or even the wires of electricity generation impacting our rivers. There’s a bonus for Marlborough art lovers and environmentalists: a painting evolving from the Save the Wairau campaign, highlighting the peril of water issues to the black fronted tern.
Graham Bennett (Christchurch) has anchored many exhibitions at The Diversion (and internationally!) with sculptures that bring vast concepts to a scale of individual reckoning. His new works (below) do all that, on an intimate scale, as exquisitely crafted as ever in wood, brass, steel and stone: teetering, poised, forever seeking balance, and raising more questions the further the viewer pursues the idea.
This quartet raises many questions; we look forward to encountering your responses to this challenging, yet visually elegant exhibition.