• Frances Atkins, 2018
  • Shannon Gleeson
  • Salama Moata McNamara
  • Mark Whippy, Red Flag, 2018
  • Rosemary Theunissen, Receding Tide, 2018
  • John Nicol, 2018

Plenty to ponder at Northart

Northart has made a great start to the year, with the month long installation of ‘Malcolm Harrison. A Celebration’.

A spectacular exhibition of art quilts and stitched work by one of New Zealand’s foremost textile artists, it attracted a large and very committed audience, as well as a great attendance at the floor talk and various other associated events. If you didn’t see it, you can later this year at the Whangarei Art Gallery and in 2019 at Uxbridge. 

Currently in the gallery is a Northart members’ show. We normally start the year off with a members’ show, but this time around it got bumped down to February.  But was it well worth the wait! While members’ shows are always very special events, highlighting as they do the achievements of the painters, photographers, print makers and craftspeople who make up the group, this year seems particularly diverse and lively.  Also currently on show is a group painting show: abstract works by Karenna Mollard and Suzanne Vesty and abstracted landscapes by Jo Dalgety and Cath Williams. Both shows close at 4pm on 14 March.

Our sixth annual ‘XIV Stations of the Cross’ exhibition opened on Friday 2 March and will remain in the gallery windows spaces until Easter Monday. Given our excellent lighting system it is viewable 24 hours per day – indeed the works seems to gain focus and drama in the evenings,  so it is well worth a contemplative walk around at that time. It will remain in situ until Easter Monday.

‘Drawings’ opens Monday 19 March. A much looked forward to annual event, the show will include 17 invited artists – including well known artists such as Robert Ellis, Simon McIntyre, and Ross Ritchie - with each artist exhibiting two works on 1000 x 760mm high quality paper sponsored by Gordon Harris, The Art and Graphic Store. They will be exhibited unframed and all will be available for purchase. For a full list of participating artists please go to www.northart.co.nz

Opening the same day is ‘Of Veils and Sails” a two person exhibition by Salama (Moata) McNamara and Shannon Gleeson. A graduate of Northland Polytechnic in Applied/Visual Art, Shannon has mostly exhibited in the north; we are delighted to present her first significant exhibition in Auckland. Writing about her show she says:

“I have a curious admiration for chaos…. It reveals things I wouldn’t have thought to look for [and] I give it as much freedom as my pre-programmed mind will allow. And then I draw the line. I am thinking of the land when I make this work, particularly our land, green, soft and sharp, full of textural contrast. And the heat that formed it. I chose to work with wax. It has to be one of the most chaotic materials I have ever used ….”

Salama has been making, learning and teaching for the past 30 years and her works in this show follow from a research focus on veils and unveiling. From a Maori background (Nga Puhi, Te Mahurehure) she has a strong understanding of a world ‘ki tua o te aria – beyond the veil’, alongside a religious belief that sees her taking on the veil (hijab), and the works give us, as viewers, insights into cultural and religious difference and in/exclusion. “In making this art, I am engaging in a continual process of covering and uncovering, both in the work and in this ‘self’. The works [I hope] reveal, hold moments of this process on surfaces that in themselves conceal and reveal something of the spaces in which they are displayed.”

So there is plenty to see, to ponder, to enjoy at Northart this March - don’t miss visiting us. 

Issue 85 March 2018