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Gallery visits

Jude Rae

Painting as Model

Two Rooms

19 March - 17 April 2021

I recently visited Jude Rae's current exhibition Painting as Model at Two Rooms in Grey Lynn. I was immediately taken by the work.

Jude Rae's stunning still life work exudes rich colour and shifting light effects . Each piece looks intently focused and entirely resolved with incredible clarity. But when you go up close you realise that the boundaries are blurred, edges are rarely sharp or straight, albeit very cleverly handled. I find this fascinating to examine as I am intrigued as to how the eye can be tricked and challenged to reconsider what it is you can see. The photos I took below describe the beautiful depiction of her domestic and industrial objects from a distance. The realism is incredible. And yet, if you look at my photos that get closer and closer you can see Jude Rae's work re-educates the eye and the mind!

I am also very taken by how she uses her linen ground which lays bare. Exposing her technical means of a white gesso which is then coloured with a thinly applied lay-in. Vertical brushstrokes and drips, over the rough surface of the linen weave resulting in a very textured finish.

I also love the raw exposed corners of linen on each canvas. I am really excited to try and incorporate this technique. I think it adds a sense of earth, a quality I feel brings a textural dimension to the work that enhances the overall intention of the work.

I am completely bedazzled by how Jude Rae can create such incredibly beautiful naturalism with such formalist abstraction. Its like a mirage, a trick of the light, but its just paint that is exquisitely handled.

From a distance, the fern inside this vessel of water looks so delicate, and again up close its so loosely handled.

Here again we see the ground showing through a thin lay-in of colour exposing the rough texture of the linen. The objects painted with such form and yet when we go in closer we see how clever she is...

This exhibition has been very enlightening for me as a deeper discovery into a painting technique that I aspire to.

Sanderson Contemporary

Damien Kurth

On visiting Sanderson Contemporary gallery, I was able to have a really good look at Damien Kurth's work, which was kindly brought out of the stock room for me to study.

What I love about his technique mostly is his palette. Its almost a contemporary industrial palette, slightly muted as well as earthy.

I also particularly like the simplicity of his composition, especially in his smaller works.

Damien also seems to enjoy the quality of the medium by making the distinction between abstraction and representation seem irrelevant.

Alan Pearson


Pearson was known for landscapes, expressive abstract works and, especially, his psychologically charged portraits.

At Sanderson Contemporary gallery I was able to view some of Alan Pearson's works.

I was amazed to see the dates on some of his sketches, dating back to 1978. The gallery has a large collection of his work. The Christchurch Art Gallery also held a major retrospection of his work.

Mostly I enjoyed studying the vitality of his brush work, there seemed to be so much authentic energy flowing from his pieces. After having seen a lot of still life paintings that day I really enjoyed his work. The movement and flow was so evident. I think this is also really important aspect in a painting.

Here are some photos I took of the work that was available for me to have a look at.

A very gestural nude with a quite a grey palette:

This dark abstract piece is very interesting as it incorporates the symbols of music, apparently Alan was a great lover of music and reading music. I can really see the movement in his brushwork in this particular piece.

Some really old figurative sketches with beautiful gesture as well.

I was most grateful, Anita Totha, the Gallery Manager of Sanderson Contemporary gallery brought all this work out of the stockroom just for me to have a look at it, as well as a collection of beautiful books for me to read about the artists.

Thank you very much Anita.


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