Indepth Arts News: |
"How natural is nature? How wild is wilderness? Works from the Pacific Rim"
2007-05-26 until 2007-09-02
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
New Plymouth, ,
NZ New Zealand (Aotearoa)
“How natural is nature?” ‘How wild is wilderness”? Drawing on the ideas of biologist Tim Low, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery’s upcoming exhibition New Nature investigates the endlessly mutating shifts between the natural world and the varied cultural, political and symbolic readings of nature. Opening in New Plymouth on 26 May 2007, New Nature is curated by Gallery Director Rhana Devenport and features the work of 13 leading artists and collectives from around the Pacific Rim: Cicada, Fiona Hall, Yee I-Lann, I-TASC (Interpolar Transnational Art Science Constellation), Yeondoo Jung, Kuribayashi Takashi, Rosemary Laing, Lin Tianmiao, Jon McCormack, Caroline Rothwell, Joe Sheehan, Tang Maohong and Michael Zavros.
These artists, working from Japan, China, South Korea, Malaysia, Antarctica, Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, explore the visual and conceptual constructions of nature as phenomena in a constant state of flux.
Devenport says “New Nature looks at the impact of human habitation, nature as ‘tamed’, ‘interpreted’ and ‘framed’ and something deeply impregnated with metaphorical and poetic meaning.
“It also investigates the reciprocal influence of the environment on community and ecology“.
Secret gardens, erotic landscapes, poetic visions, revisions on the picturesque, the ravages of weather, the acculturation of nature, artificial life and the possibilities of land as a liminal non-territorial space are all referenced in the exhibition.
The works in New Nature harness gardening, carving, carpet design, painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video, drawing and new media both within the Gallery walls and beyond. Works leak out of the Gallery building with Fiona Hall’s Mown inhabiting a nearby memorial park and I-TASC’s sound-emitting sculpture Groundhog located on the New Plymouth foreshore.
Mown is comprised of 1,500 native Aotearoa New Zealand plants in a vast configuration that raise questions of militarism, land and memory. Groundhog is a sculptural model of a solar and wind powered weather and communications station deployed by I-TASC in Antarctica earlier this year. The collective’s offerings in the exhibition also include audio and video works.
New Nature will be complemented by a catalogue and a comprehensive and varied programme of public events allowing further examination of the issues alluded to in the exhibition.
Devenport says “the ambitious programming associated with New Nature reflects the Gallery’s leading role as a site for dialogue concerning pressing cultural issues”.
The events schedule includes a ‘Microclimates’ youth workshop run by Australian collective Cicada, a workshop with New Zealand artist Joe Sheehan, exhibition talks, film screenings, artist-led garden walks, discussions of environmental issues and an in-depth analysis of wilderness in relation to Mt Taranaki.
In presenting New Nature the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery acknowledges the generous support of the Govett-Brewster Foundation, Radio Network Taranaki, Brookfields Vineyards and Parks, New Plymouth District Council.
| || |