Gallery Talk


27 July · Katrina

In Waiting, Christchurch artist Sandra Thomson presents the signs and symbols associated with the pervasive belief in prophetic movements and doomsday predictions, from the New Testament’s Book of Revelations to contemporary beliefs anticipating the Second Coming or more secular beliefs in environmental catastrophe or technological mayhem.

The works shown here build on the central premise of apocalyptic belief: the waiting. For this, Thomson applies the concept of a waiting room with a series of finely drawn wallpaper drops examining some of the warning signs that reveal the end time is imminent. Some portents are Biblical in nature: war; famine; plague; and pestilence. Others, showing the adaptability of end-time prophecies, are contemporary: nature out of kilter as a result of climate change; disease in the face of bacterial resistance to modern drugs; war with the threat of nuclear warfare and the memory of Hiroshima; and fear of new technologies, as seen in sign of the beast forewarnings attached to computer, GPS and smart card technology as well as post-9/11 security systems.

A graduate of the University of Canterbury’s School of Fine Arts, currently teaching at the CPIT School of Art & Design, Sandra has developed a significant career as an artist/printmaker. Her work, featured in a number of group and solo exhibitions as well as publications and recognised through numerous awards, explores the socio-psychological aspects of gender, faith and religiosity.

“Most societies have narratives of the cataclysmic destruction of the earth, the annihilation of evil and the creation of paradise. For the religious, this is seen as inevitable, meaningful and part of the divine plan. There is now a growing belief in a secular apocalypse. It is also seen as inevitable but for the secular the destruction is meaningless, there is no redemption and no hope” – Sandra Thomson, 2015

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