We finish the year by presenting a group exhibition with a focus on small sculpture.
Surface Effect brings together four artists working in a range of natural and non-natural sculptural materials — bone, clay, concrete, aluminium, resin, coral, stone and marble. The surface treatment and techniques used by each artist differ; carving, polishing, glazing, CNC routing, casting etc., creating an array of textures, patterns and effects.
Chauncey Flay is a sculptor and lives and works in Ōpunake, Taranaki. Chauncey works with a range of natural and non-natural materials, such as greywacke, marble, bricks, coral, obsidian and cement.
Sourced from around Aotearoa and the Pacific, Chauncey is familiar with the stories and histories embedded in them all: Greywacke from the Osterns Quarry in Otorohonga; coral dug up from various building sites in Rarotonga; concrete and marble fragments from Government House in Wellington (originally from Takaka Hill); and historic bricks from earthquake damaged homes.
These materials all contain an architectural history and context, showing traces of use, evolution or decay. By transforming them, through the process of breaking, filling, polishing and putting back together, Chauncey creates a new aesthetic from their reconstructed forms.
Julian McKinnon is an artist and writer based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.
For the past four years, Julian has been working on a PhD at Elam School of Fine Arts, addressing the influence and friction that digital technology brings to painting. His research explores the relationship between abstract painting and narrative — looking at science fiction as a framework for painting theory. These new works were created during his PHD studies.
The works combine aluminium relief, created using CNC technology (a type of computer-aided design and fabrication machinery) with acrylic resin and paint to produce hybrid artworks. The works are 'hybrid' in that they combine machine processes with conventional hand painting, and bring together traditional materials — gesso and acrylic paint — with industrial materials — aluminium and resin.
The pathways that the CNC cutting tool follows are software generated — one can control them to an extent, but the software determines the most efficient track. This seemingly random pattern creates strange brush strokes that are endlessly evocative. The materials Julian chooses all have distinct properties and looks; aluminium is highly reflective, resin is translucent, and paint and gesso are opaque, versatile, and reminiscent of cultural history.
Sam Kelly, originally from Wellington, now resides in Taranaki with her husband and three boys where she co-owns a contemporary jewellery workshop/gallery — The Jewel and the Jeweller.
Sam has been making jewellery from cow bone for the last 12 years and over the past 2 years has moved into larger scale bone sculptures. Preparing the bones for carving requires a lot of heavy duty scraping, boiling, soaking, knife sharpening and more scraping. The bones are then carved predominantly with tiny jewellery burrs, files and other delicate tools which form part of a jeweller's workshop. Only recently has Sam begun to incorporate more traditional carving techniques into her practice.
Bone holds a fondness for Sam as a material, both for its relationship to the human body and to art and jewellery. It has strong associations to the 1980s New Zealand jewellery movement (Bone, Stone, Shell), and important cultural associations with the use of whale bone by Māori for fishhooks, tiki and toki.
Sam snatches ideas out of everyday life, finding inspiration from an array of found objects, patterns and images. Working intuitively, she uses the bone as a raw canvas, repetitively marking it to create a new unique 'finish'.
Glenn Barkley is an artist, writer, curator and gardener based in Sydney and Berry, New South Wales, Australia.
His textured and tactile works draw upon the history of ceramics, popular music, poetry, the garden and conversations about art. His work has distinct conceptual and formal relationships with English and European porcelain, folk art traditions, and studio pottery of the 20th century.
Earthenware is Glenn's material of choice, initially gifted to him by his mother. His vessels and replica busts often have 'fancy curved handles' and are covered with stamped medallions, prunings and stumps, baubles of colour or 'pox', and obsessive indentations. These indentations are all individually made with a skewer and wooden tool, one at a time — Glenn finds this obsessive and addictive. He sees each new work as an obsession that once complete allows him to move on to another.
The pots are highlighted with saturated pastels and other colours reminiscent of a bountiful summer garden, with Glenn liking his work to a "compost pile of sorts".
Glenn also uses language in his work, either directly on the vessels, or in the titles – the song lyrics or verses of poetry running into each other, like in the work ifnotnowthenwhen.
Press release courtesy Jhana Millers.