Gallery Talk


19 July · Admin

In Shift Christchurch artists Donna-Marie Patterson and Kay Hunter explore unique connotations of mark-making and expression. Where Hunter’s quiet compositions use a rich and intuitive layering of shape and depth to organise space into isolated and intersecting forms, Patterson’s filaments distill the rhythms and transformations of the natural landscape, referencing artistic responses to the sublime alpine environment of the South Island.

The two artists mark out different locations of artistic intention and development of practice. The show then poses these questions: What distance does one allow between craft and the context surrounding that crafting? Is it possible to control
this context, narrowing it down for minimal expression or expanding it to encompass additional meaning?

Hunter seeks to maintain a separate existence between artistic working and worldly concerns, limiting herself to instinctual responses to the forms and the materials she works with. Like Hunter, Patterson uses minimal forms but encourages the viewer to read into her delicate drifting lines. Her works presented here are evocative of flow and fluctuation in ephemeral thoughts—personifying natural shapes.

The way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe… The painter’s way of seeing is reconstituted by the marks he [or she] makes on the canvas or paper. Yet although every image embodies a way of seeing, our perception or appreciation of an image depends also upon our own way of seeing.
John Berger in Ways of Seeing, 1972

Kay Hunter studied at the Canterbury University School of Art under the tutorship of leading New Zealand artists Russell Clark, Rudolph Gopas, Bill Sutton and Ivy Fife. Graduating with Honours in Painting, she focussed largely on landscape, simplifying
the geographic forms into a sparse vocabulary of colour and form. Over the last few decades, while retaining elements of landscape, her work has become increasingly expressionistic, focussing on spacial arrangement, structure, a minimal palette and degrees of paint viscosity to achieve quiet but perfectly arranged compositions.

Donna-Marie Patterson is currently studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours at the University of Canterbury. Her sculptural and drawing practice draws from natural New Zealand landscapes and prior artists who have been influenced by its sublime beauty such as Petrus van der Velden and James K Baxter. Patterson uses repetitive forms and in a limited range of materials throughout her work to express environmental connections.

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