20 SEP – 06 OCT.2018
LOCAL HAZE, CELESTIAL WAVES
A group exhibition by Helen Dowling, Jonathan Kay and Clare Logan
Something unseen floats over this land. It hovers between the waking and the dreaming, seeping out into the small actions of a day, suffusing the air like an intake of breath. It can manifest as a veiled haze, not unlike what is seen in Kirikiriroa in the chill of a winter’s morning. This wordless force finds its way into the lives of those who bear witness to it, and here, has been transmuted - through paint, a camera shutter, ghosting its way through digital devices. The artists in this exhibition carry echoes of this celestial wave within their works, this ripple in perception.
Clare Logan, 2018
Logan narrates her account of a shared experience, elucidating her feelings as opposed to a tangible reality. At first glance you may experience the desire to pin the exhibition as fiction, but we encourage you, take another look. Local Haze, Celestial Waves is a group exhibition, comprised of three artists; Clare Logan, Jonathan Kay and Helen Dowling. Brought together as individuals who touch loosely on similar themes within their practices, the exhibition considers the unearthly, the unsettling, the slippery, and the uncertain, within the everyday.
Painting on board, Logan reveals dreamscapes which rise as apparitions from the materiality of her media. Thick matt black comes to the fore, before repetitive slits of separated ink work their way through an irregular shape. Swampy and luscious, the works are contrived in a responsive manner, by pouring, brushing, and waiting for reactions to ensue. Logan describes the “…layers that accumulate like strata…[which] hint towards oozing geological processes”. Dark and luminous the works are grounded with a single moon which hovers above, anchoring us in the foreign twilight zone.
Kay’s microscopic images lead us into a different account of another terrain, and rather than alla prima in process, Kay’s photographic series speak to an alla prima environment; the Hadal. Deep beneath sea level, the Hadal is a place of crushing density, almost zero light and continuous environmental flux from hydrothermal vents across the sea floor. By photographing the sulphide deposits from these vents, Kay reveals many of our precious resources: gold, copper, magnesium, nickel, platinum, silver, zinc, cadmium and cobalt. Reminiscent of landscapes, these images conjure imaginings of a desolate wasteland comprised of crevice’s, fissures, valleys and peaks. Kay takes us down to this unknown land, to explore alongside Logan, a world unknown.
Transition Elements #4 by Jonathan Kay is the softest work from his series Transition Elements. Like one might imagine a translucent cell wall, hazy tones of yellowish white come in and out of focus along the edges of the membrane. You might look for some time, in wonderance of Kay’s work, before noticing the figure staring at you from the reflection, a portrait by Dowling. Local Haze, Celestial Waves holds three of these, all with an unidentifiable and unsettling quality. The human instinct is to search for personhood in a face, but Dowling never intended for them to be friends of yours.
Dowling’s contribution to the exhibition is more human than the others, as proposed inhabitants of the landscapes so vividly described by Logan and Kay. Vacant and cold, the figures reveal themselves through digital layers, to varying degrees. Using a pale, easy, luring palette, it takes a moment to realise these figures cannot be pasted into typical categorisations.
The practices of Logan, Kay and Dowling can be likened to a reconnaissance, not only of place and humanity but also of methods and materials. Here exists exploration and mystery, the known alongside the anomalous. We welcome you in, join us to experience this new terrain.
Logan holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts where she majored in painting (2013). Logan resides in Christchurch.
Kay holds a Bachelor of Photographic Design at Massey which he achieved with first class honours, before undertaking a master’s in fine arts (which he achieved with distinction) in 2013. Kay currently resides in Wellington and works as a lecturer at Massey University.
Dowling undertook a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Waikato Institute of Technology which she achieved with first class honours (2014). Following this, Dowling undertook her Master’s in Fine Arts at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design (2017). Dowling currently resides in the Waikato.