Laxmi in front of her paintings
Francis Atkins Mr Colin Ised
Arriving at the 12x12 Format show at North Art was like stepping into a home furnishings store. You could probably go along and find a nice painting to match your drapes. Thank God I didnt come across any pohutukawa paintings (a sight that is known to instantly cause my teeth to grind in a silent fury) as I would have probably run out the door, screaming incomprehensible derivatives of the english language, whilst ripping eyeballs from sockets.
I can't say that the 12x12 format is a particularly interesting surface to be working on, let alone having to confront 99 of them all in one space. Which is what I thought would be rather exciting about the show, the fact that you'd have to work around and out of such limitations to produce something interesting. However, not many people really tried to challenge the 12x12 format either, choosing to 'embrace' it as a very tedious paint surface instead. Which is fine, if the painting itself wasnt so tedious as well.
The only thing somewhat challenging about this show were a few of the entries done by our fellow AUT comrades, pictured above, (and I say this coming from as objective a place as i possibly can), including an old soldier of yesteryear Francis Atkins (who took a break from uni as of last year but I heard will be returning sometime). I spotted her work a mile away, and was glad to see she was still practicing even out of AUT as i was always a fan. Was particularly tempted to buy her painting (3rd picture down) at a very reasonable price of only $150, however, the tightening of my purse strings in an attempt to save money for my impending trip (like squirrels hoarding nuts for winter) put an end to any cash spending.
Spotted: a rather boring Van Gogh/Cezanne combination, instantly transporting me back to the 'Whitecliffe Days' (see post below) and also IGCSE Art in 5th form where we spent our days painting this. Either trip alone is not a pleasant one, let alone a freakish hybrid of two.
I think Thomas said he saw a painting of a capsicum as well. How very lovely! A capsicum! I wonder what colour it was. Red? Green? Yellow? I could talk all day about a capsicum painting, I really could.
Thomas and I also remarked about how some of the paintings, particularly the two of the interior/exterior of boats, weren't too bad, if only they had an extra say...10 layers of paint on them? Some people had an um...good?...application of paint, but others really needed to prime their canvases some more and as we said, get a little more heavy handed with the paintbrush. Paint is your friend. Do not be afraid.
This show has me using the word 'good' as an adjective.
I can say however, the opening night had some very tasty savoury mini muffins and sausage rolls which were rather 'mmmmmmmmmmmm' inducing.
But we do not come to these shows for the food! No we do not.
Anyway, I guess it's all relative. This show serves a purpose for giving opportunities to artists who perhaps have part-time practices in between their day jobs etc. It is only a pittance to join to North Art which guarantees you a spot in a show like this as well as a chance to show in a selective exhibition another time in the year. And I was told that this exhibition normally sells very well, which means that for every critic, there are many people who would most happily gain something from the fruits of this show. Which is lovely...you know, art going to good homes and all...but is that what art is about? I don't think the answer to that question is as simple as yes or no mind you. Hmmmm...
Interesting to compare this show to the National Drawing award (they both run on the same sort of 'level playing field' idea using the limits of format and the fact that everyone is exhibited).
To end on a nicer note, a picture of a dog, snapped at the exhibition. Awwwwww, my 12x12 contribution (I do realise it is not 12x12).
I think my mum would rather like this show.
p.s. Lookie at the affection shown by the Barrs. Muchas Gracias Over the Net! We also like Bruce Lee and ping pong. And we most definately like Nunchucks...