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Indepth Arts News:

"Sandra Schmidt: Hinterland II"
2007-10-10 until 2007-11-18
City Gallery Wellington, Hirschfeld Gallery
Wellington, , NZ

Sandra Schmidt’s East German roots are ever present in her new exhibition Hinterland II which opens on October 10 with icy colours and forms. Unlike her 2006 exhibition Hinterland, which was rich in imagery of heat, pressure and friction, Hinterland II’s cool hues and references to ice and water represent inhospitable places, either metaphorical or real, as well as subtle ongoing links to her 1980s childhood in East Germany. The Formica boards used for her permanent marker drawings in Crystal were once table tops that were commonly attached to the top of fridges in East German homes. Due to the communist political system of the time, the table-topped-refrigerator served as an essential multi-functioning, space-saving device that was seen in identical form in many kitchens.

Schmidt’s works are made up of many small, often identical units which build up into wall or floor-based installations; a system which unifies her diverse use of material. Her striking abstract wall panels are made from Hama beads, a children’s craft material, painstakingly built-up into coloured shapes and then melted together to form hardened backless paintings. As each bead retains some of its pixel-like shape after heating, the abstract forms that are created encourage multiple interpretations; from computer pixels to knitting patterns, to pointillist paintings.

Schmidt’s colour palette has a retro feel about it; dull, pale hues are placed beside vibrant primary colours, with the effect of playfully clashing and shimmering against each other.

Born in Zwickau, East Germany in 1976, Sandra gained a Masters in Fine Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden, Germany in 2004. Her most recent solo exhibitions include: Hinterland at the Mary Newton Gallery, Wellington, 2006; Soliloquy at Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington, 2005; and Divided Skies at Whakatane Art Museum, 2003. Schmidt is represented by Mary Newton Gallery, Wellington.

City Gallery Wellington’s Michael Hirschfeld Gallery is dedicated to exhibiting and promoting the work of Wellington artists.

IMAGE
Sandra Schmidt,
Membrane, 2007.
Courtesy of the artist.


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