The two bodies of work speak to each other and to the particular way artists respond to the world translating and recreating what they see and think. The works in this exhibition are works in translation: from one media to another and across technologies, cultures and eras. Here we see strange objects inhabiting landscapes that are of our world and not; virtual realities at once sublime, enigmatic, alien and curiously cinematic.
Kate Woods, exhibiting for the 5th time in the gallery, draws on found imagery and memories of things seen, read and created herself to construct digital collages which play with human interventions in the natural environment. The paper cuts which are the starting point for this new series, sit over her carefully selected traditional and ubiquitous depictions of landscapes. With their surprising distortions of scale, they provide a grid to ponder afresh at our relationship with the land. The original objects or images that the paper cuts are based on are also products of transmuted influences from different cultures and eras. For example, the painted carvings in Papercut are drawn from a photo Woods took at the Summer Palace in Beijing while on an artist residency in China. Her signature collages question representations of the real and suggest portals to alternatives.
Showing for the first time in the gallery in Wellington, morts_reports operate in a space between the real and the fictional with the images having their genesis in surf cam images that constantly monitor wave and weather conditions at popular surf beaches around New Zealand. Mort, the lifelong keen surfer, regularly checks these webcams. Mort, the artist, is called to play with the imagery reviewed almost daily. Screenshots, complete with their download dates, are put through a series of translations using various mobile phone applications including OCR (Optical Character Recognition), Google Translate and a Font app. New visual forms created by the confused apps, not designed to interpret raw visual data, are then imposed by Mort back into the original seascape. The apps also provide the texts that become the titles of the works. morts_reports is an ongoing digital project on Instagram: selected images have been printed for exhibition.
Press release courtesy Bartley + Company Art.