07 Sep 2016

This content is tagged as Pacific arts .


Archives and Archetypes Prophecies and Hypotheses

Three new solo exhibitions open on 8 September at Corban Estate Arts Centre by celebrated Coromandel-based sculptor Chris Charteris, and contemporary Auckland-based artists Benjamin Work and Kenneth Merrick. On display until 23 October, this set of exhibitions features paintings and sculptures that explore traditional Polynesian art forms, historic expeditions to the Pacific and hybridity in popular culture. The three Pacific artists have all been supported by Creative New Zealand for art projects in the past.

Contemporary artefacts by Chris Charteris is a collection of sculptural and adornment pieces that resonate with the old world and the new. Charteris draws on his own diverse ancestry to reflect on the interconnectedness of cultural forms in a time of increasing globalisation. Influenced by Pacific Island patterns, tools, ceremonial objects and body adornment, the artist celebrates these traditional art forms and brings them into the present day. His works can be viewed as modern day artefacts and will be displayed in a museum-like style.

Also influenced by museological practice is artist Benjamin Work, whose experience of viewing rare 18th and 19th century Tongan artefacts contained in international museums has influenced his latest painting series. Work has developed a bold visual language that relates to historic events and symbolism specific to Oceania. This exhibition looks closely at cross-cultural encounters between European explorers and the people of Tonga; exploring the subsequent effects of trade and exchange on the nation. His new paintings also reflect his research into historic accounts, with particular focus on prophecies surrounding Captain James Cook’s expeditions to the Pacific as described in Dame Anne Salmond's popular book The Trial of the Cannibal Dog. During this exhibition the artist will be involved in an Oceanic art project at The Met in New York.

Corban Estate Arts Centre studio artist Kenneth Merrick’s art practice forms a basis for broad enquiry into an eclectic range of ideas, mediums and techniques including drawing, sculpture and sound. His latest exhibition FLWS & AFCT extends from an evolving interest in archetypal imagery, hypothetical spaces, pattern and form. Arising from unlikely unions that occur during the process of making, each artwork develops in unexpected ways as a flawed variation of the intended object and image.

As part of the exhibition, on Saturday 15 October there will be a free joint artist talk with Benjamin Work and Kenneth Merrick who will discuss their exhibitions, with the added bonus of visiting Kenneth’s on-site studio. There will be two free art making session for families based on the exhibitions on Saturday 10 September and 9 October. These exhibitions will be part of the Auckland Artweek 2016 programme.


Exhibition dates: 9 September to 23 October 2016, open 7 days a week, 10.30am – 4pm
Entry: Free, all welcome