May 20 - June 23 2021
8 artists from New Zealand and Japan present work that redefines current notions of landscape in art and our evolving relationship to it.Spanning painting, photography, ceramics, video, sculpture and hand drawn animation, this exhibition is a fresh reimagining of our visual, physical and emotional sense of place.
Featuring: Tracy Porteous, Grant Whibley, Kosuke Masuda, Sophie Scott, Shannon Courtenay, Scott Johnson, Emma-Kate Moore, Marc Blake.
Shannon Courtenay creates artworks with a sense of realism that verges on being indistinguishable from the original stones found close to her home and studio in the Cardrona Valley. Closer inspection reveals the objects to be cast stoneware, capturing every nuance and surface detail from nature, yet playing with illogical notions of repetition, weight and depth.
Hung on the wall like paintings, Courtenay’s large Surface of a Rock work reverses the traditional trompe l’oeil of painters by instead flattening a 3D object into seemingly impossible thin slices of stone surface. This work reveals a fascination of history shown on the surface of a rock. Years of movement, travelling for miles from mountain to river, but also staying still while rushing water softens edges and creates lines. This work is a study of one large rock that sits near the Cardrona River. The patterns on the rocks surface mimic the rawness and texture of the mountains that they came from.
With the smaller Cardrona River Rocks works, Shannon’s work incorporates hundreds of immaculately rendered stones. As individual artworks, the installation can be singular, or collective, with each space determining the quantity and configuration. This project is a continuation of work regarding concerns for the rivers of Aotearoa New Zealand, beginning with the artist’s “Dry Riverbed” 2019 Elam Graduate Show.
The Cardrona River begins at the Crown Range and continues to flow through the Cardrona Valley. Once full of life and swimming holes, a part of the river now dries up every summer due to overallocation of permits. The permits for drawing water from this river were issued over 100 years ago in the days of gold mining. The permits are due to expire this year.
“I 'borrowed' the nineteen rocks from Cardrona River to make moulds. This process allows me to create a replica and the actual rocks were then returned to where they were found.”
To help support Shannon’s family’s new animal sanctuary “Kind Farm” in the Cardrona Valley, $5 from the sale of each Cardrona River Rock will be donated to directly help care for the animals.