A highlight of my recent visit to Auckland, where I took in the Auckland Art Fair, and a stunning exhibition by Fiona Pardington, “A Beautiful Hesitation” at the Auckland Art Gallery (a marvellous example of 21st century design complementing late 19th century French Château style), was my visit to Gibbs Farm.
This stunning property, replete with manicured pastures, undulating hills and an unusual coterie of animals (we saw a giraffe, a trio of zebras, a lone emu, llamas, and not forgetting, some very healthy looking sheep), is home to an extraordinary collection, of large scale and invariably, commissioned, sculpture.
Major works by the likes of Graham Bennett, Chris Booth, Daniel Buren, Bill Culbert, Neil Dawson, Marijke de Goey, Andy Goldsworthy, Ralph Hotere, Anish Kapoor, Sol LeWitt, Len Lye, Russell Moses, Peter Nicholls, Eric Orr, Tony Oursler, George Rickey, Peter Roche, Richard Serra, Kenneth Snelson, Richard Thompson, Leon van den Eijkel and Zhan Wangmajor inhabit this immensely picturesque landscape.
This is collecting on a grand scale, and Alan Gibbs et al are to be congratulated on their commitment to contemporary art.
Gibbs Farm is located in Kaipara Harbour, 47 kilometres north of Auckland, New Zealand.
I recently had the good fortune to visit an extraordinarily entertaining exhibition at the Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI). Manifesto is a survey exhibition of pre-eminent moving image artist, Julian Rosefeldt (b. 1965), a Berlin-based artist, renowned for his visually opulent and meticulously choreographed moving image artworks.
Utilising various selected art manifestos, such as those of the Dadaists and Futurists, and the writings (or musings) of artists such as Claes Oldenberg and Sol Le Witt, as his source material, Rosefeldt’s Manifesto ultimately questions the role of the artist in society today, as much as the relevance of such art historical ephemera. Australian actor, Cate Blanchett, performs the manifestos as a series of striking monologues, taking on various guises of some thirteen characters: ranging from the cosmetically-groomed American-accented newsreader to an obnoxious party guest, to a serene and homely, primary school teacher. Always charismatic, Blanchett manages to make these often complex, ambiguous and at times, nonsensical ‘diatribes’ both amusing and thankfully, highly accessible.
Julian Rosefeldt: Manifesto
9 December 2015 to 14 March 2016
Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI)
I was so pleased to catch Pat Brassington’s latest exhibition, Just So at Arc One Gallery, in April, particularly, given her recent win for the Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize 2016.
Working predominantly in photo-media, Pat Brassington is recognised as a leading exponent of Australian contemporary art. She has developed a singular practice that draws on ideas from psychoanalysis, feminism and Surrealism, consistently producing visually- and psychologically intriguing work. For this exhibition Brassington takes her title from Rudyard Kipling’s famed Just So Stories, a collection of short and highly-fantasised tales on the origins of animal phenomena.
As would be expected, amongst the fifteen new works, there is a persistent sense of the uncanny, the dream-like and downright unknown so characteristic of Brassington, that permeates her often beguiling and at times disquieting imagery. But there is also beauty and a decidedly wry humour to be found. Brassington is a brilliant artist: provocative, alluring, and mysterious, all of which makes for a terribly seductive viewing experience.
Just So: Pat Brassington
8 March - 9 April 2016,
Arc One Gallery, Melbourne