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.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Art in Kingsland

Peter Robinson: Closed Cell Construction
Jar, Auckland
Over six months duration

First of all, this is not a ‘drive by’ art show. You’ll see nothing that way. You really have to hop off your skateboard, wander over, press your snout against the big glass window and peer in.

Secondly, the exhibition is about light – natural that is – and form. Light which changes over the course of a day. Form which is crammed into this peculiar, cube-like space.

Robinson’s installation is a heap of polystyrene chains piled up to the ceiling. There are four types: the whopper, hefty, ultra-thick ones which are a new development from his recent Crockford show; the much smaller, more delicate links; and a variety of ‘negative’ lozenges that come in two sizes and which are strewn around the floor and on the occasional big link.

The theme continues Robinson’s interest in the legend of Prometheus, and in chains as a form of substance, an invented ‘material’ with its own unique set of physical characteristics that he can continue to explore.

Jar, with its funny little skylight tucked away on the righthand side, also allows lucky people like me who live close by, to observe the effects of direct sunlight coming in the ceiling and window in the late parts of the day. It will be interesting to see how the polystyrene responds to that, whether it will look opaque or translucent, and if the dark shadows of sunny days will make the forms more pronounced, and if overcast days dissolve them.

The earlier installation by Stephen Bambury was about reflected light in trays of oil, and what it did to the walls of the room. Robinson’s project is quite different in mood. His installation is about the mass he has inserted into the space, and how light can effect that.

(photos courtesy: Over the net and on the table.)

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