Elliot Collins, Moureeses (L) and Pipiriki (R), 2019. Oil and acrylic on linen, 70 x 50cm. Courtesy: the artist and Tim Melville Gallery, Auckland.
In the gallery’s final exhibition for 2019, Solastalgia, Elliot Collins presents the viewer with three wall-based text installations accompanied by nine paintings in acrylic and oil on linen.
Solastalgia is a new word used to describe the feeling of distress associated with environmental change, especially when it occurs close to one’s home. The changes in the environment may be due to natural processes, such as drought or flood, or human-induced processes such as climate change and urbanisation.
Collins’ new paintings are abstracted representations of photographs taken during his travels around Aotearoa New Zealand. Pulsing with colour and light, and evocative of Colin McCahon’s French Bay paintings of the 1950s, each canvas recalls the sensation of a particular place.
For Collins, however, the refracted planes also represent displacement, nostalgia and a longing for a time before. Collins writes: “Maybe these painted landscapes escape you. Or maybe they’ve changed so much you just can’t remember. Maybe, soon, vague recordings of shape and colour are all that will be left to describe their location and sensation. Maybe we need to see and breathe the landscape – now – before we forget what it looked like and how it felt.”
Exhibition opens 6–8pm Tuesday 19 November 2019