16 May - 9 June 2012
Preview: Tuesday 15 May, 5 - 7pm
Mind-blowingly complex and impossibly intricate images colonise the paintings in Chris Heaphy’s new exhibition Maukatere. Although each symbol could be interpreted in multifarious ways, the viewer is challenged to consider the sum of their parts in a rich array of colour and densely layered meaning. The eye oscillates between the elaborate imagery and the greater composition, and both in the act honing in and panning out, ever increasing images-within-images are revealed.
In a new approach Heaphy has painted mini vistas within his otherwise flat symbols. They offer a new depth of perspective and act like portholes into another dimensions. The landscape subjects are ambiguous as, while they could be recognised as distinctly New Zealand Mountain ranges, they are painted in a style that recalls the tradition of landscape painting.
Among many and varied images mountains appear to emerge from out of a haze that hovers or floats in a dream like presence, provoking ideas of journey and memory. The exhibition title Maukatere or “Floating Mountain” also refers to the mountain of the same name, near Amberley in the South Island. The mountain holds particular resonance for Ngai Tahu Maori as the summit is believed to be the starting point for departing souls on the journey to the afterlife. This is Heaphy’s second solo exhibition with Gow Langsford; the first was Sea of Tranquility in 2008.
Read T.J McNamara's NZ Herald review here.