Opening event Tuesday September 11, from 5.30pm
Sanderson Contemporary Art, Auckland
In Paris Kirby’s latest exhibition, ‘Fertile Ground’, small-scale painted reproductions of iconic works by artists including Rita Angus, Dorothy Richmond and Doris Lusk are inset in each of Kirby’s large-scale paintings. The inserted reproductions serve both as an inspiration for the artist’s chosen palette, and as a reference point for her exploration into Aotearoa’s colonial and art historical past.
‘Fertile Ground’ proposes a parallel between the colonial notion of unease (isolation and nostalgia for a distant motherland) and the contemporary alienation of neo-liberal societies. Kirby nods to the creative endeavours of her female forebears while musing on the natural and social impact of the process of colonisation.
The painted ground we see connecting these inserted reproductions acts as a site of possible revelation, pitching a subjective topography of Aotearoa’s painting/painted landscape. Fluid strokes and painterly layers offer a formal contrast to the rectangular bounds of the historical references. The artist’s abstracted topographical mark-making acts as a map that spills over, bleeds into and connects the inserted reference points.
These large-scale landscapes are immersive, difficult to negotiate and at odds with themselves. Perhaps paralleling the disorder and confusion of post-colonial Aotearoa. Kirby’s use of gold throughout each of the canvases in the series elegantly connects each piece also operates as a signifier of commodification of both art and the land.
Image courtesy of Sanderson Contemporary Gallery
Sanderson Contemporary Art
Date(s) - 11/09/2018 - 23/09/2018