Murray Green   Peata Larkin    Simon Morris    Jeena Shin   Elizabeth Thomson    Clinton Watkins

8 February – 8 March 2008

Two Rooms opens the year with an exhibition of six new gallery artists; four abstract painters concerned with process, pattern and material; Simon Morris, Jenna Shin, Peata Larkin and Murray Green; sculptor Elizabeth Thomson, and video/sound artist Clinton Watkins.

Crosstalk, a title courtesy of Clinton Watkins, is an electronic or musical phenomena referring to acoustic interference. In music it is the leakage of sound produced when the sound of one instrument is amplified in the microphone placed in front of another. This may or may not be a desired effect. This exhibition, rather than looking for links between these artists, explores some of the interplays that occur in contemporary art practice.

Simon Morris’s paintings are elegant sparse abstractions made according to a predetermined process that maps the passing of time. He has established himself as a leading proponent of geometric abstraction with a strong interest in its history. His works intentionally restrict scale and palette, but have expanded the notion of geometry to include the dimension of time. Works showing in Crosstalk, exhibited first at Prospect, Wellington City Gallery 2007, are entitled:Blue line here to there 2 hours 30 minutes and Blue Line here and there 2 hours and 24 minutes. His practice also encompasses site-specific wall drawing and installation.

Jeena Shin also utilises geometric forms but uses the ancient craft of origami to create spatial and contemplative paintings. A preliminary drawing is made using a three- dimensional folded paper Marquette. Her use of colour is sparse – only black, white or yellow. Layers of intersecting planes are built up creating subtle compositions exploiting light and shadow. In this exhibition she will create a work directly on the wall.

Peata Larkin’s sculptural paintings also capture the light, but in a more direct way. Using mesh to create a pattern and paint to hold it in place she creates tapestries with small apertures to allow light through. Her works play with interactions of light and shadow and the space the painting occupies. A fundamental component of her work is pattern making and repetition with diverse influences but strong references to Maori history and art, genealogy and the representation of star constellations.

Murray Green creates organic works of resin and paint. His interest is in the intrinsic qualities of his material, allowing it to dictate the final outcome. The underlying surface of the support is built up with dense layers of paint which is then left to ooze, drip and slip from the support. To contain the moment, resin is poured over the sculptural like drips creating a tension between the controlled and uncontrollable.

Elizabeth Thomson, one of New Zealand’s foremost sculptors has for twenty years been creating exquisitely crafted works which orchestrate the area between two and three dimensions, and the boundaries of art and science. She is interested in the repetitive pattern looking to the abstract formal and the harmonious properties in nature for her compositions. With inventive use of materials; bronze, blown glass, beading, fibreglass and resin, she distils, reconfigures and re-presents an altered perspective. “I like my work being read photographically, a filmic moment – a photographic truth – optically, and as a sensory experience.”

Clinton Watkins works with sound performance and installation and is a practicing recording artist of minimal music. His moving image works have dealt with repetition and time continuum and his photography has an almost painterly quality. In common with those artists concerned with process, concentration and ritual; resulting works are contemplative and hypnotic. His work has been described by Dane Mitchell as a kind of “cinematic hypnosis” his music ebbs and flows. He has created a new work for Two Rooms to be shown in the media room.

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