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Previous Exhibitions - Gus Fisher Gallery

Anne Tonga
Grills is part of an ongoing photographic investigation that explores nifo koula (gold teeth) a popular and relatively new form of Tongan body adornment. Gold used for nifo koula are often second hand jewellery pieces such as rings, earrings or necklaces melted down to create gold covers. For many recipients gold is sourced from heirlooms such as wedding rings that infuse gold teeth with layers of meaning and memory. The process of recycling is a metaphorical process where values, memories and genealogies are refashioned into new forms of body adornment.

This new gendered series examines nifo koula as symbols of Tongan beauty faka’ ofo’ ofa (Tongan beauty). In Tongan culture beauty, faka’ ofo’ ofa, goes beyond the surface of physical attributes and is deeply embedded in social and moral values that uphold and emphasize family, kinship, church and a nationalist ideology based on a constitutional monarchy. Grills explores faka’ofa’ofa through the eyes and voices of Tongan women living in New Zealand revealing the changing notions of beauty.

History in the Taking: 40 Years of PhotoForum
Founded on 12 December 1973 as an incorporated society to promote and sponsor the use of photography as a means of communication and expression, PhotoForum is best known through the eponymous magazine which was first published in February 1974. Membership peaked at 250 in the 1980s, and now numbers around 150 photographers. Founding editor and PhotoForum director John Turner lives in China, and is still involved in the publications issued under the organisation’s imprint.

Past and present members include Megan Jenkinson, Robin Morrison, Rhondda Bosworth, Laurence Aberhart, Mary Macpherson, Max Oettli, Jenny Tomlin and Peter Black. This exhibition, curated by current PhotoForum Director Geoffrey Short and Sam Hartnett of the Centre for Art Studies at the University of Auckland, this exhibition is a tour through the organisation’s archives. At the end of the exhibition period, the Rim Books publication, PhotoForum at 40: Counterculture, Clusters and Debate in New Zealand, written by Nina Seja will be launched.

Christine Webster - Therapies // Georgie Hill - Feint

Gus Fisher Gallery is pleased to present works by Christine Webster and Georgie Hill. Opening Friday 9 May at 5:30 pm.

Gallery One
"Therapies": new photography by Christine Webster
In conjunction with Milford Galleries, Dunedin and the Auckland Festival of Photography
9 May – 3 June 2014

Christine Webster’s photography gets under the skin with its unsettling beauty and unnerving, direct gaze at subjects usually left in the dark. For over 35 years, her work has examined the way in which the female body has been constructed historically. In Therapies, she re-imagines the age of the crone, barren in body and pushed to the outskirts of a society that worships youth and beauty. In these recent photographs made in England, she has produced a sequence of images which evoke powerlessness, anguish and desolate beauty.

With tacit acknowledgement of the traditions of the English Romantic landscape, Webster sets her figures in a bleak world of bare trees, chill earth and oppressive skies. She writes: “Therapies places the subjects in, and alongside, a landscape which is not fecund and burgeoning with ampleness, but instead scarce, bleak and pared back to the essential dirt and mud”.

Christine Webster’s photographs, with their uneasy subject matter and lush production qualities, confront the viewer with their striking juxtapositions. Rich, textured interiors and stark, monochromatic exteriors mirror the tensions inherent in the minds and bodies of her subjects. The complex narratives in the 57 photographs which make up Therapies invite considered contemplation.

Gallery Two
"Feint": watercolours by Georgie Hill
9-31 May 2014
Opening: Friday 9 May 2014, at 5.30pm with opening speaker Aaron Lister, City Gallery Wellington

Derived from the same French word that gives us the verb “to feign”, feints are manoeuvres designed to distract or mislead an opponent. In fencing, a feint attack (or retreat) gives the impression that you will move in a certain direction when you may not be going to move at all.

“Ruled feint” is the kind of paper stationery that has pale blue horizontal lines drawn on it, and a red vertical margin to guide handwriting. The other spelling of the word, faint, is often used in describing colours which are neither strong nor dark. In watercolour painting, the colours which fade and become faint on exposure to light are called fugitive colours. Typically these are red: madder, vermilion and carmine lake. The latter is produced from the bodies of insects.

In this suite of watercolours, Georgie Hill creates a surface of disruptive patterns derived from camouflage to hide signature seating designed by modernists Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann, Le Corbusier and modern Irish architect and designer Eileen Gray. To complement the narrative of loss and appropriation of work by women which her choice of imagery implies, she mimics the protective colouration found in nature where over generations a moth, for example, adapts to blend in with its surroundings to avoid predation.

Wasteland, curated by Tim Wagg

4 April - 3 May 2014
James Boswell / Alex Laurie / Georgie Roxby Smith / Mason Vincent / Joseph Waddingham
Wasteland began with a proposition to explore issues surrounding masculinity and its relationship with digital technologies. From these initial concerns, works have been assembled and created which look into a fabricated and uncertain contemporary masculinity.
The works exhibited are flawed symbols of status, attempting, but purposely failing, to depict power and identity through physical structures. They detail a barren environment, pixelated and covered in a fine layer of dust, in which abstract forms of violence break out regularly in fevers of confusion and struggle.
Conflicting and contradictory actions and attitudes flow through the exhibition: violence and kindness, isolation and connectedness, confusion and arrogance, digital anonymity and the physical body. These come together to create an underlying uncertainty and struggle; one which describes a situation many feel today in relation to the limited considerations of what it is to be masculine. In a space that was dreamed of as fluid and utopic, now there is wasteland.
Accompanying the exhibition will be a .pdf designed by Dan Nash and featuring writing by Cameron Ah Loo-Matamua, NZ Misogynist of the Day, Bridget Riggir, and Max Trevor Thomas Edmond. Available as a digital download.

Gabriel Lester
The Blank Stare - 2013

4 April - 3 May 2014

Out of the vault: works from the University of Auckland Art Collection

7 – 29 March, 2014

Scape: Deborah Crowe

7 - 29 March 2014

A Continuous Line: The Art of Dennis K. Turner curated by Richard Wolfe.

10 January – 1 March 2014

A Different View: Artists Address Pornography

23 August 2013 - 12 October 2013

This exhibition brings together 20 New Zealand artists with the intention of calling into question the gendered and other conventions of pornography. Showing new and existing works from painting to performance, by well established and emerging artists, the works in the exhibition space address sexism and racism within the production, representation and consumption of mainstream pornography.

Douglas Wright: Body of Work

31 August – 20 October 2012

Paper-jams: artists between the covers
9 March - 28 April 2012
Acknowledging the substantial history of text in art, Paper-jams looks sideways from that legacy to foreground those artists who address the page as a physical and political context rather than focusing on the content of the words contained within.

John Edgar
Ballast: Bringing the Stones Home
9 March - 28 April 2012

Reuben Paterson: Bottled Lightning
20 January - 3 March 2012

Hutton and Cotton: The McGregor Museum Revisited
An installation by Christine Hellyar
20 January - 3 March 2012

Crown Lynn: Pottery for the People
4 November 2011 – 14 January 2012

From Prague to Auckland: the photographs of Frank Hofmann (1916-89)

Looking Terrific: The Story of El Jay, curated by Doris de Pont
5 June – 17 July 2010

Julian Dashper: Professional Practice

Sean Kerr: Bruce danced if Victoria sang, and Victoria sang; so Bruce danced
3 September - 9 October 2010
23 July - 28 August 2010

Nuala Gregory: Exploded View
5 June – 17 July 2010

A Micronaut in the Wide World: The Imaginative Life and Times of Graham Percy
6 May – 25 June 2011

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