Deep Gold – Henry Turner
Drawing inspiration from his own journey to the Subantarctic Islands, south of New Zealand, Henry Turner reimagines the steep cliffs, abundant vegetation and wildlife of this remote environment into a mythological, at times psychedelic, setting. The paintings in Deep Gold depict scenes from the accompanying narrative of sailors stranded on an otherworldly island – wonderous and bountiful but terrible and volatile. We follow their journey though the paintings and witness the unwinding mystery of the place, controlled and watched over by an almighty being.
Turner mixes the Subantarctics with classical and romantic iconography, contrasting enlightened civilisation with the untameable wild. This conflict echoes throughout the exhibition as it does in the historic ecological influence of humanity on the remote islands.
We experience the splendor of these landscapes through the vibrancy of colour in Turner’s saturated pallet of gouache paints. He captures the emotion of each scene, be it the dazzling displays of turbulent panic at sea or the relief of the caverns and land. His use of layered sharp, striking, opaque brushstrokes adds to the vivid nature of these depictions.
Painting, frame and story are inseparable, each building upon the other. The specially designed frames with rounded corners and overlaid paintings add to the extravagance of the exhibition. Turner invites his audience to indulge in these works and explore the mysteries within.
Henry Turner draws content from his experiences of the natural world. With a strong knowledge of the classics and art history, Turner fills his works with an evocative iconography of references and figures. Painting, framing and storytelling are closely linked to create complete objects.