20 January 2012 to 3 March 2012
Venue: The Gus Fisher Gallery, The Kenneth Myers Centre, 74 Shortland St
Bottled Lightning highlights Reuben Paterson’s lively exploration of materials, starting with his glitter-on-canvas depictions of kowhaiwhai and fabric designs, and diversifying into a range of media including sequins, foil, diamond dust, shoes, gourds, video and installation. Guiding this is Paterson’s ongoing conceptual investigation into aspects of time and energy through the properties of light, which reflects the power of history, memory, whakapapa, spirituality and place. His work is a celebration of the future, interwoven with a melancholic consideration of the present as it slips into the past – like the faded glory of a much-anticipated party, gleefully recalled the morning after.
Kinetic energy has always been a key feature in Paterson’s works, whether it is the optical effects of painting, influenced by Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely, the spiritually charged dance of light and dark on reflective surfaces, or the kaleidoscopic distortions of his interactive and digital works. Fusing liquid, light and metal, his cultural patterns have evoked sacred diamonds, the social and ecological aftermath of gold mining, and the tidal pull of lunar forces. These remind us of the underlying power that ripples beneath the land we stand on with its ever-changing layers of history. Contained on a canvas like bottled lightning, they challenge our perception and control of the present as a state of flow, an analogy for capturing the elusive creative process as it shifts between boredom and inspiration.
Paterson completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Elam School of Fine Arts in 1997, followed by a Post Graduate Diploma of Teaching at The University of Auckland’s Faculty of Education. Although he has exhibited widely internationally and in New Zealand, this is his first solo public gallery exhibition in Auckland since Cameo Project in 2001 at Te Tuhi. He has had exhibitions at Pataka Gallery (2011), Dunedin Public Art Gallery (2007 & 2006), Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2005), and in New Zealand Fashion Week in collaboration with WORLD (2003). His work has been included in the Biennale of Sydney (2010), Asia Pacific Triennial, Brisbane (2009), Prague Biennial (2005), and in exhibitions at PLUG-IN Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg (2011), Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin (2007), and the Rarotongan Cultural Centre (2003), as well as public institutions throughout New Zealand and Australia. He was recipient of the New York International Studio Curatorial Programme Development Prize in the Wallace Art Awards (2005), a finalist in the Castteleon City Arts Council Arts Prize, Spain (2005) and the Moet et Chandon Arts Fellowship in Avize, France (1997).
Curated by Andrew Clifford. Reuben Paterson appears courtesy of Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne and Milford Galleries, Dunedin.
Saturday 21 January
Artists in Conversation
1pm: Christine Hellyar talks about her Hutton and Cotton project with fellow artist Andrea du Chatenier.
2pm: Reuben Paterson discusses his exhibition Bottled Lightning with artist Lonnie Hutchinson.
Saturday 28 January, 1pm
A screening of Reuben Paterson’s New Artland episode There Goes the Moon (2009), which documents the creation of a specially commissioned large-scale artwork. Presented courtesy Fat Productions and TVNZ7.
Saturday 4 February, 1pm
The Gallery will be closed for Waitangi weekend.
Saturday 11 February, 1pm
NICAI Deputy Dean, Peter Shand, looks at the legacy of fabric design and fashion in the work of Reuben Paterson, including his collaborations with World.
Saturday 25 February, 1pm
Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, Professor of Fine Arts, considers Reuben Paterson’s place in Elam School of Fine Arts’ whakapapa of contemporary Maori artists.
All exhibitions and events are free and take place at the Gus Fisher Gallery unless otherwise noted.