In this archive

Nigel Brown: I am / We are

20th International College Exchange

Claire Jensen: Future Sands


Nigel Brown
I Am / We Are

Friday 29 June – Sunday 19 August

A retrospective exhibition by Nigel Brown, one of this country's premier contemporary artists for over three decades, I AM / WE ARE, opens at Percy Thomson Gallery this Friday night. We are delighted to have the guest of honour in attendance. 

This exhibition presents an unparalleled opportunity to see a visual record of Brown’s career - tracing his evolution of ideas, mapping his physical travels and emotional growth, and highlighting the development of his characteristic style; his work with its heavy outlines, bold blocks of colour, New Zealand iconography, and painted words cross the gamut from the poignant to the satirical.

I AM / WE ARE provides an engaging overview of Brown’s oeuvre to date. Works that prove instantly recognisable to the general public are featured alongside many that may be less familiar, offering a fresh look at Brown’s artistic scope.

While diverse in subject matter, together the artworks form a stylistically coherent exhibition with a focus on Brown’s distinctive use of symbolism and text. Themes include individual and collective New Zealand identity, liberal politics, our natural environment, and the family.

This is a visually impressive exhibition featuring several large-scale paintings, many from Brown’s personal collection.

What makes Nigel Brown’s art practice so appealing is his direct and personal articulation of the realities of the human condition. He is profoundly aware of the relationship between human beings and their environment. In his hands symbolism is a powerful and evocative instrument.

The fern, black singlet, dog and driveway, James K. Baxter and Captain Cook, all reflect his experience, his observations and his beliefs. He has woven these into a complex web over a period of more than forty years. In his early work he combined a tension and personal narrative centred on social issues in New Zealand topography. His later work included the socio-political world of the distinctly New South Pacific, while in his current practice, he continues to emphasise his vision of a New Zealand identity.

All artworks courtesy of Nigel Brown and Sue McLaughlin.
Exhibition curated by Jessica Mio and toured by Aigantighe Art Gallery.


Join Nigel Brown

for a floor talk on 
Saturday 30 June at 1pm
Percy Thomson Gallery, Miranda St, Stratford

Toured by Aigantighe Art Gallery


20th International Collage Exchange

Friday 27 July – Wednesday 25 July

Internationally renowned Taranaki assemblage and collage artist, Dale Copeland, has reached a milestone in bringing together her 20th and final International Collage Exchange (ICE) Exhibition to Percy Thomson Gallery.

The ICE exhibition, featuring 75 works, represents a number of international artists.

Each of the artists sends 13 works to Dale. Of the 13 supplied pieces only one goes on display at the exhibition and is for sale.

Each year a piece from each artist also goes into the permanent collection of a selected art institute. The rest of the pieces are exchanged between the participating artists. 

Dale has more than 500 pieces in her own personal collection. She admits she is delighted to get ‘first’ pick in the swaps and is justifiably proud of her impressive collection. 

It has been suggested that Dale’s collection could be the subject of another exhibition.

It takes about three months each year for Dale to co-ordinate the exchange and she is looking forward to a well-earned break after 20 years, taking back the precious time to concentrate on her own work. 

Congratulations Dale!

Image: The Everyday Housewife by Dale Copeland, Puniho, New Zealand

Marilyn by Joan Schulze, CA, USA

Playing Cards by Martha Whittemore, FL, USA

FRUIT PAID by John Nelson Arbuckle, WA, USA

Grow Where You’re Planted by Medis Kent, NY, USA

Claire Jenson, Petroplast 2018. Beach plastic, plastic packaging and steel fastenings. $3500

When molten lava flows to the sea and fuses with ocean plastics is creates a new substance known as 'pyroplastic'. This phenomenon was observed recently in Hawaii which hosts some of the world's most polluted beaches, the term was coined accordingly.  Here is an example of how natural and synthetic materials are melding to form alien ones here on earth.

Claire Jensen
Future Sands:
Sculpture inspired by and made from beach plastic

Friday 29 June – Wednesday 25 July 2018

Future Sands, an exhibition by Taranaki sculptor Claire Jensen who uses waste materials as art media, opens simultaneously in Gallery 2. 

This current body of work is constructed from plastic marine debris, combined with household and commercial waste plastics.

Jensen explores marine-based themes using morphic forms made from salvaged plastics joined and manipulated in experimental ways. 

She challenges the viewer to consider the detrimental impacts of human industry on the planet as it is pervasive in even the smallest of settings. As ocean plastics degrade into micro particles they are absorbed into the fabric of lifeforms and landscapes affecting us all in ways not yet fully understood.

Jensen works from her home studio in Opunake.


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