The title of the exhibition operates materially and poetically to open out possibilities of meaning. Like the The Moody Blues song that the title brings to mind, it is a love song – to language, to lists, to taxonomical processes, to order, to calm. Here white words shimmer on white satin. White works, with just a splash of colour in the white gallery, operate almost as a secular prayer for a gentler, kinder world.
This new body of work came about after a reading of The White book by Hang Kang, which opens with a list of white things. Strangely familiar, this resonated with an earlier artwork of Mary-Louise's: Off-white pages, a handmade publication, created in the 1980's apartheid era, listing dictionary meanings given to white. The new work may be seen as over-scaled book covers with the title projected on the surface, a cinematic sleight of hand with the curtain waiting to be opened to the politic hidden behind.
Mary-Louise has been working at the forefront of text-based conceptual practice in New Zealand for over 30 years. Using text in lieu of imagery, her work speaks to the visual while refusing the prevalence of images and their authority over contemporary imagination. She has an impressive history of exhibitions and and has created several permanent art works in public places in Auckland and Wellington.
Press release courtesy Bartley & Company Art.