press release

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery’s latest suite of exhibitions showcases new works by internationally acclaimed artists Bill Culbert, Francis Upritchard and Jayce Salloum.

Jayce Salloum: everything and nothing and other works from the ongoing project ‘untitled’ 1999-2008 Curated by Mercedes Vicente

Vancover-based Jayce Salloum presents the exhibition everything and nothing and other works from the ongoing project ‘untitled’ 1999-2008, which sees the continuation of this multi-channel video installation started in 1999. ‘untitled’ addresses the social and political realities of individuals and communities affected by conflict, nationalisms, borders, global political shifts, self-determination, and interstitial space and time. Documenting through oral histories the lives and subjectivities of people in places such as Lebanon and the former Yugoslavia, these works offer an insight into the conditions of living between polarities of culture, geography, history and ideology. Conceived as research or reading - ‘a living archive’-, ‘untitled’ is made of an ongoing series of individual video projects that build over time. A new work started during this residency chronicles stories of Maori communities and individuals, their relationship to t he land in Aotearoa New Zealand and the resonance of history in their lives. This work will be part 6 to ‘untitled’, following the elegiac accounts of the First Nations people of Western Canada collected in part 4.

Francis Upritchard: Rainwob I Curated by Melanie Oliver

Gawky, abject and sentimental figurative sculptures populate a psychedelic visionary landscape in Francis Upritchard’s Rainwob I. For this new work developed during her residency, London-based Upritchard draws on the hallucinatory works of sixteenth-century figurative painters Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel, countercultural rhetoric, utopian futurism and the fantasies of survivalists, millenarians and social exiles. Combining aspects of the familiar, antique and ultramodern, the figures model the faithfulness of spiritual and alternative lifestyles, yet they also allude to the futility and compromise inherent to dreams. Occupying a single platform that fills the gallery space, this world can also be viewed over one’s shoulder from a domestic seating arrangement incorporated into one end. As the landscape peels away behind the viewer, ideas around time, hope, social and evolutionary change are brought to the fore.

Rainwob II will be exhibited at Artspace, Sydney, 4 - 27 April and Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne, 8 August – 5 September 2008.

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery’s Artist in Residence programme is presented in partnership with the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki and Creative New Zealand.

Bill Culbert: Groundworks Curated by Rhana Devenport

As a conjurer of light, New Zealand-born, London-based Bill Culbert orchestrates the transformation of humble domestic objects into poetic vehicles for ideas and states of being. His installations harness everyday light sources – lamps and fluorescent tubes – and exist as reminders of the power of material transience and immaterial imagination.

His latest exhibition Groundworks experiments with thresholds of light. It premieres three works for New Zealand audiences; with two created especially for the Govett-Brewster. Each inhabits its own space in the Gallery. Flotsam 1992 – 2008 comprises a visual score that rescues the plastic detritus of domestic living to form willing counterpoints within a field of coloured fluorescent light. View West Taranaki 2008 was created at the Govett-Brewster and is a remembrance of the special light that hovers at sunset over the sea viewed from New Zealand's West Coast. Flat Lighthouse 208, also made especially for this exhibition, is a meditation on the play of light as signs within buildings as it falls through the aperture of windows and radiates from artificial sources. All three works are filtered through the compression of the artist’s memory of place.

Jayce Salloum: International Artist in Residence
everything and nothing and other works from the ongoing project ‘untitled’ 1999-2008
Kurator: Mercedes Vicente
8. - 18.05 2008

Francis Upritchard: New Zealand Artist in Residence
Rainwob I
Kurator: Melanie Oliver
8. - 18.05 2008

Bill Culbert: Groundworks
Kurator: Rhana Devenport
1. - 18.05 2008

Len Lye: A Portrait Gallery
8. - 18.05 2008