John Pule’s exhibition, Another Green World, presents works painted in both New Zealand as well as Fiji, where Pule has been in residence in recent months. These works represent an extension of Pule’s “cloud” series, employing a palette of earthy and acid-greens, together with inky blacks. Interestingly Pule has revisited the use of un-stretched canvases which hang loose on the wall, emulating traditional Hiapo (Niuen tapa cloth). This shift in both colour and presentation pays reference to much of Pule’s work from the 1990’s, while the content and imagery of these paintings breaks new boundaries and ideas.
Pule’s highly detailed and narrative paintings explore issues concerning the effects of migration, colonialism and religion. Often concerned with the direct influences of these elements on the Pacific community, Pule has recently begun to incorporate more global issues such as war, social displacement and the influences of dominate nations such as the United States. These works recognise that the disruption and collision of cultures in society is a current and ongoing concern, not an issue
“The brush-stroke figures are eye-catching but one should then call to mind the manically repetitive graphology of a Keith Haring or the compulsive stylisation of a Jean-Michel Basquiat in order to understand Pule’s works as a cleverly devised system which treads a fine line between mechanical repetition and visual cacophony and anarchy. Pule constantly uses different graphical means. Like an anthropologist, he collects objects of all kinds: his pictures resemble miniature ethnological museums. Here and there one feels the pure joy of the artist’s improvisation. Creases and etchings can be seen alongside rubbed, smeared and deleted patches, but everything takes place in a dedicate and subtle manner – and with ironical control.” (Philippe Ray, John Puhiatau Pule, Galerie Romerapotheke [exhibition catalogue], 2005)
Pule was selected as a participating artist of The 5th Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art at the Queensland Art Gallery in Australia (opening in December 2006), as well as Turbulence: the 3rd Auckland Triennial (opening in March 2007), curated by Victoria Lynn.
Two limited edition lithographs were also released to coincide with this exhibition, as well as an accompanying illustrated catalogue with writing by Nicholas Thomas. You can see details of the catalogue on our publications page.