Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to eyeCONTACT, a forum built to encourage art reviews and critical discussion about the visual culture of Aotearoa New Zealand. I'm John Hurrell its editor, a New Zealand writer, artist and curator. While Creative New Zealand and other supporters are generously paying me and other contributors to review exhibitions over the following year, all expressed opinions are entirely our own.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hill interiors

Georgie Hill: Watchtower
Ivan Anthony
11 November – 6 December 2008

It is about a year since Georgina Hill’s first show at Ivan Anthony’s. She was in the back rooms that overlook K’ Rd then. Now she is in the front space by the staircase and foyer.

So what has developed in her work? It seems to have got bigger. The pages on which she does her watercolour and graphite drawings are larger now, and there is a more delicate colour sense using a pale blue. With the red less dominant things are less claustrophobic. There is still an odd disjointed spatial sense where the rendered wall-like planes and wavy, unpainted pencilled areas sit uneasily with the picture plane, but there is also a new expansiveness that lets her negative root/veinlike forms wander more over the page.

Hill’s images are totally obsessive and technically fastidious. Now there is a pulsing, rhythmical sense creeping in with the sections of delicately patterned pavingstone shapes, and the more imposing, red, pencil-hatched petal forms. The compositions seem less random and more orchestrated than previously.

With her strange negative wreaths and red heraldic motifs Hill successfully avoids cliché to create something quite individualistic. There is an odd unresolved quality that hints at a continuing process which keeps the work fresh. Nothing is too balanced, yet they don’t look unfinished either. They puzzle with their enigmatic, very private symbolism, while also remaining satisfying.

This artist deserves to be better known for these unusual, intriguing watercolours. Well worth investigating.

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