Chris Heaphy’s new exhibition The Here and Now explores our perception of place and time. The paintings appear to be flat images of coloured flower arrangements, or brightly coloured dots, ordered on a white background. Looking closer, they float between a world of recognizable images and abstract or symbolic meaning.
Heaphy provides us with a way to observe and contemplate our place through the past, present and future, to capture the essence of ‘now.’ The silhouettes employed show flowers in various stages of their life cycle, from buds to full bloom to decay. Together they suggest cycles of mortality: birth, life and eventual death. Flowers are used by different cultures to celebrate various occasions. Heaphy uses silhouettes of leaves and flowers from plants such as the lotus, and the beautifully austere arrangements of Japanese Ikebana [flower arrangement], where shape, colour, placement and the spaces between each of the elements are highly considered.
The carefully arranged and executed dot paintings titled ‘Here on Earth’ and ‘Heaven’ appear at first to be an abstract grid of coloured dots on a white ground. On further inspection, subtle images can be seen under the surface of each dot. The disruption or shift in meaning between people and different cultures has been a constant in Heaphy’s work. In his latest series, Heaphy suggests that all is not as it first appears, and meanings are not always easy to define. He reminds us to live for the moment, in the here and now.