MIKE. Cath Watson has been the director of Glasgow Street’s Gallery 85 and A Gallery since the start of last year, unfortunately not the most auspicious time to shoulder a new undertaking. Despite all the Covid-related problems, Cath persevered with her vision of how the building should develop, while continuing the warmth of welcome provided by the previous occupants, the Rayner brothers. As you enter from the road, a turn right leads to Cath’s three rooms, a turn left to the tasty Cuba Belle. Their proximity must involve a certain reciprocity, art lovers dropping in for a coffee, café clientele nipping into the gallery for a quick peek.
Opened on April 23rd, an exhibition by Timon Maxey consists of landscapes of familiar sights in our area. Virginia Lake, Raukawa Falls, Gentle Annie, Durie Hill tower, Cooks Gardens- all are featured. Working from photographs and using acrylic paint, he has provided the viewer with food for thought, places we know seen from unusual positions. You have two weeks to see this show.
On a personal note, Timon’s father, John, was an accomplished actor, his thick black beard and sonorous tones adding gravitas to a role. In the mid-90s he played the part of Salieri to my Mozart, in the Repertory production of Amadeus, directed by Ross Gilbertson. It remains a treasured memory.
On the following afternoon, April 24th, a large crowd was in attendance at the I-Site, to listen to a talk by Richard Fahey, curator of Tender Brick, featuring the ceramics of Peter Hawkesby. Since retiring in 2015, after being the proprietor of a popular Auckland café, Hawkesby has returned to being a full-time artist. The Sarjeant brochure explains how he decided to create works without the use of the potter’s wheel, symmetry thereby yielding to manual and mental dexterity. A curly question! Which is preferable, a vessel formed on a wheel, attaining a perfect shape, or a hand-made one, with its implicit imperfections? My opinion, as a renowned fence-sitter, is that both have their values and qualities, with the actual item itself determining my feelings. For many years we have owned a couple of cups made by Paul Maseyk, their obvious flaws- or rather, lack of symmetry- are what make them so attractive to us. Oliver Morse and Aaron Scythe are two more practitioners of this format, moulding clay into intricate, interesting works.
Since I had time only for the curator’s talk, I intend to return to the I-Site to view the actual display. There is ample time, as it runs until mid-September.
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