It’s hard to avoid landscape in New Zealand – practically and conceptually. One doesn’t have to move far from home before you find yourself ‘in’ it, forced to negotiate its edges and ravines, its clifftops – allow for its wild meteorological flux, accept its emptiness, respect its geological rawness, and simply get to grips with its simultaneous offerings of pleasure and risk. Then if you plan to spend any time in it, you are compelled to acknowledge something of its deeper symbolic loading, knowing that its darkness can be significant, and invites a physical and psychological vulnerability. These provocations are not completely peculiar to New Zealand of course. For each of the artists in this exhibition, choosing to respond to landscapes inescapable presence, either as a painter or photographer, gives them the opportunity to confront the allure and fear, the sense of significance that the landscape generates.
I would like to thank the artists for their willingness and enthusiasm to be part of this exhibition. Modest as they are, these projects matter to us and often seem to deliver something unexpected and meaningful.
Participating artists: COLIN MCCAHON, HELMUT FEDERLE, GEOFF THORNLEY, GIDEON RUBIN, ELIZABETH MAGILL, BOOMOON, FELIX FOREST.