signs & symbols
group show

3 - 28 July 2018

Artists have always employed codes to tell their stories. Codes can be text, script, numbers, abstractions, gestures or crosses. In 1948 Vladimir Nabokov wrote a short story called Signs and Symbols which is a masterpiece of inventiveness. As it unfolds, the reader learns many details of an unnamed couple's life, they have a son who suffers from a condition where "the patient imagines that everything happening around him is a veiled reference to his personality and existence". By means of the intricate and circuitous structures of the story, Nabokov pulls the reader between the physical, tangible world and the shadowy, shaped, invented world. In much the same way the artists in this show employ ‘veiled references’ to articulate their concerns, and visions, to pull us between their physical world and a shadowy invented one.

In Signs and Symbols Max Gimblett shows a skull at the centre of a quatrefoil, Richard McWhannell shows a self-portrait and skull, Gill Gatfield, Roger Hickin, Robert Ellis, Peter James Smith and John Madden employ the cross as signifier of love, redemption and death. Richard Lewer uses simple text to make a profound statement. John Madden uses repeated numbers to remind us of how many men died inside the Pike River mine. Glen Wolfgramm shows us the swelling importance of the word Taha, meaning number one in Tongan, but also according to Islamic belief it is the name of a secure secret held by God. Paul Jackson shows a priest heavily tattooed, Peter Wichman shows us Pan, god of the wild, a satyr, connected to fertility and spring, but also considered to be the god of theatrical criticism. Kathy Barber and Wes Fieldhouse use personal marks, abstractions to convey thoughts and emotions, but they are shadowy, invented, something to pull us into their mysterious world. Stephen Allwood paints moths and beetles, Nabokov was a great collector of moths, like artists and writers, insect collectors use nets, they record details, the place and date of capture, the species, everything is written on cards, everything held by pins. The physical, tangible world and the shadowy, mysterious one, brought together to tell their stories.

Peter James Smith Fallen Cross (2015) oil on linen 760 x 620mm

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Kathy Barber Gion (2017) oil glaze on board 970mm diameter

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Peter James Smith On Science (2012) oil, enamel and timber 700 x 300 x 180mm

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John Madden Never Be Forgotten (2016) oil on canvas 600 x 600mm

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Simon Allison Portrait (2016) wood, lead and oil 540 x 300mm

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Glen Wolfgram Taha (2018) acrylic on board 1800mm dia.

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Wes Fieldhouse studio work in progress 2018

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Richard Lewer, Rise Above Them (2009) acrylic on peg board 690 x 610mm

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Gill Gatfield Aroha (2017) Indian black granite H 200 x Dia 300mm Ed.10

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Max Gimblett Foil Skull (2009) screen print with foils on paper 785 x 490mm, framed

SOLD

Artwork title, 2010. Oil on canvas. 121.5 x 107 cm

AVAILABLE

Artwork title, 2010. Oil on canvas. 121.5 x 107 cm

AVAILABLE

Artwork title, 2010. Oil on canvas. 121.5 x 107 cm

AVAILABLE