Reviewed by John Daly-Peoples
Terry Stringer, Aspects
Ann Robinson, Lightwell
Until November 29
Reviewed by John Daly-Peoples
Both Ann Robinson and Terry Stringer have art practices that stretch back 50 years to their time at art school. Over that time they have continued to produce innovation work and have been at the forefront of the development of New Zealand glass art and sculpture.
Both artists draw inspiration from the natural world, Stringer with an emphasis on the human form while Robinson on biological and organic shapes.
Robinsons use of natural forms incorporates the shapes of seed pods, leaf and fern forms into her cast glass pieces. There is a strong geometric base to most of her works with an interplay between rigid geometry and the abstracted forms of botanical shapes and patterns.
There is also an emphasis on strong colours which derive from Nature, the yellow glow of the sun, the greens of the bush blues of the sky and sea and the reds of sunset and the volcanic earth. This ability to capture the essence of light and colour is a remarkable technical and aesthetic accomplishment
In the exhibition two works show the influence of natural forms with “Capense, Curved Vase ($26,000) and “Folium, Curved Vase” ($29,000) where ferns frond shapes are embossed on the dynamic flowering, organic form
There are two works which are much more geometric in form, the red “Geometric series “ vase ($35,000) and “Wedge between Earth and Sky” ($42,000). The geometric nature of the two works and the square indentation in their middle gives them the look of ceremonial objects. The technical masterly is most evident in “Wedge” where the edges become almost slivers of glass.
Two works are in her distinctive flying saucer like bowl shape. The darkly red “Transit” ($40,000) features what initially appears to be a drop of blood on the curved surface, but as the title suggests it is a link to The Transit of Venus so the bowl itself becomes a model of the solar system with the red lump as the orbiting planet. There is also a narrative element to the large bowl “Storm – “Scape, Landscape Series” ($28,000) with its striated surface featuring several seabirds.
The Terry Stringer bronze works continue his interest in the depiction of figures where there is a tension between the two dimensional and three-dimensional. As in most of his work there is a playful challenging of the viewpoint of the viewer and the concepts of perspective. The viewer perception changes as they move around the works revealing and concealing aspects of the forms.
This interest in the intersection of sculptural form and architecture is obvious in “Icon Head in Architecture” ($28,000) where two heads and hands are set within an architectural fragment. This work references figures in Greek pediments as well as Michelangelo’s “Slave” sculptures where figures struggle to emerge from blocks of marble.
In one work, ‘The Balcony Scene’ ($4000) which features Romeo and Juliet the viewer is required. to upend the work so thar the lovers hands entwine. Entwined hand also feature in Remember Head ($35000) and “He Her Here There”($5500).
The artist also plays with the visual puzzles of the Italian Giuseppe Arcimboldo who created imaginative portrait heads made entirely of other objects such as fruits and vegetables. With his “Arcimboldo Mask ($4500) Stringer creates a slight optical illusion where leaves becomes eyes.
The largest of the works in the show is “Art, Truth and Beauty” ($45,000) which features a large, almost primitive head, similar to some of Picasso’s portrait busts, connected to a classical facade