SatARTday!

Ronnie van Hout's Quasi on the roof of Christchurch Art Gallery.

Spring has certainly sprung this week, the weather has been stunning! I have missed the winter though, I feel like we didn’t experience much of it in the east of the country. However, the lack of a proper winter won’t stop me from enjoying the spring.

James and I had a bit of a spring in our step on Saturday so we decided to have a bit of an art crawl. There are plenty of great little gallery spaces to visit around Christchurch and I try to make the most of opportunities to visit them when I am not working. We popped into Chambers to view the current group show Battersea, which I really enjoyed as a whole. I particularly liked Tim Middleton’s work Command and Thomas Hancock's three works depicting objects in a minimalist fashion. Check them out when you get the chance, the show runs until 10th September. 

The National gallery next door to Chambers has a really visually captivating show on at the moment by Crystal Chain Gang duo, Leanne Williams and Jim Dennison, who are contemporary cast glass artists. This is their second solo exhibition at The National. There’s a lot to behold in each work, so be sure to take a closer look. My favourite piece was Ground Control, it has somewhat of a kinetic quality to it, frozen in time.  I love how they have successfully used plaster and glass together, it creates a very alluring aesthetic. Along the way we also took in some street art around the city, there is so much to see. One of my favourites is the Flox mural on Welles St. It is a sumptuous display of colour and design.

Detail: Wild South- Young Mountains by Scott Flanagan

Next up was CoCA. It was great to see so many people enjoying the gallery and so many families too. There were several works that I spent a while with; among them Jacquelyn Greenbank's shame poles Squatch, Scott Flanagan’s Wild South- Young Mountains, (Detail pictured above) and Tim J. Veling’s D,P,O., (which I found very moving). Follow the links below to learn more about these fascinating works or better still, go check out the exhibition. If you haven't been to CoCA since the reopening you won't be disappointed by the commanding space.

http://www.coca.org.nz/exhibitions/contemporary-christchurch/squatch/

http://www.coca.org.nz/exhibitions/contemporary-christchurch/wild-south-young-mountains/

http://www.coca.org.nz/exhibitions/contemporary-christchurch/dpo-2014/

We finished up at Christchurch Art Gallery, which is always a pleasure to walk though. I have been hoping to visit again since the July opening of Fiona Pardington’s impressive display of work. Where did the time go! I was thrilled to finally see the show and I intend to go again before it ends in early November. There's a vast array of her photography and different bodies of work from over the years, prepare to spend a while there if you want to take it all in.

Upstairs, the Christchurch art gallery currently have a show on that is of particular interest to me and my continuing body of work. Bad Hair Day focuses on- you guessed it- human hair! Through the variety of work selected for the exhibition it investigates visually the nature of hair, how this affects human behaviour etc. albeit in a very lighthearted manner that only scratches the surface of what I know to be a very rich topic of discussion.  I enjoyed the interactive aspect of the exhibition which, despite the fact that it was aimed at children could equally pique adults interest and opinions. The interactive aspect took its form in several printed A5 cards available to take away and which had various artworks from the exhibition on the front of the card. On the back of each card is information about the featured artwork and a short questionnaire or activity to participate in, either at the gallery or later at home. So, it is a great show to take kids to and open their minds a bit, particularly about a subject that rarely gets much attention.

All in all it was a great day out! I'd love to repeat it once a month and visit a few more galleries next time. As you can probably tell I enjoy a wide variety of art, I feel in good stock of inspiration...

Reflection in Scott Flanagan's work: Wild South- Young Mountains. I am taking in Tim J. Veling’s D,P,O. Image captured at CoCA.