Indepth Arts News: |
"The Feather Trade: Denis O'Connor, 7 Found Poems"
2001-03-30 until 2001-04-29
City Gallery Wellington
Poetry is the touchstone for an ongoing series of works by Denis OConnor,
which will be marked by a weekend reading by Wellington writers later next
year. This exhibition, designed specially for the 360 space, features seven
sculptural wall-pieces made from exotic materials such as blue lace agate,
pink and white quartz, lime onyx, teak and slate. The installation is
complemented by a distinct colour scheme for the walls, devised by the
Poetic texts, literature and history are a frequent source of inspiration
for OConnor, along with ideas drawing on his Irish ancestry and New Zealand
as a nation of immigrants and voyagers. The seven works have their links
with the titles, book covers, and verse by prominent Wellington writers.
Bill Manhire, James Brown, Vincent OSullivan and Elizabeth Knox will read
on Sunday 29 April at 3pm, at 360 / Michael Hirschfeld Gallery.
In creating a sculpture, OConnor might start with a personal experience,
then a fragment of poetry or evocative found object, weaving back and forth
through memory, history and time. For example, the idea for the shows title
work The Plumassier, (The Feather Trader) came from seeing an arrow-motif on
the tiled wall of La Chapelle Metro Station in Paris, which evoked for the
artist the concepts of migration and internal journeys.
Three years later, in 1999, I saw a Plumassier, a wizened woman of 90 odd,
trading feathers in her lair of stone and faded cardboard boxes in
Barcelona. Andrew Johnstons book of verse Birds of Europe followed, to
complete the narrative for a slice of exotic transparent onyx covered with
plummage-like striations, that had leaned against my bedroom window for
several years, illuminating a golden dawn light.
OConnors work is included in all major public collections throughout New
Zealand, as well as international collections. The Feather Trade is
presented within the programme 360 - a full perspective on Wellington Art,
which is generously sponsored by Designworks.