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, August 6, 2009

Apple's farewell to Dashper

Billy Apple: Julian Dashper tribute
Sue Crockford’s K’ Rd window
Until the end of August

We have here a classic Billy Apple installation, one that opened on the day of Julian Dashper's funeral service in Epsom. The work is more emotionally stirring than usual, being about loss, the pain and grief of losing a colleague. A salute to their life’s work – their achievements.

Death is represented by a narrow handleless door at the back of the window space, tucked into the righthand side of the rear wall. It is painted a deep shiny black. It is an oblong that could be a coffin.

The symbolism of the door means departure. A permanent leaving. Apple’s white Futura letters glow.

All the nuances that we expect from a class act like Apple are there. Look closely at the arrangement of the three rows: two of letters above one of numbers. Nothing is formulaic. Subtly tweaked adjustments prevail.

The outside edges of the three rows are not flush. The top and bottom lines match edges, but not the middle one. Top and bottom lean just a whisper to the left, middle leans to the right: a faint hollow in the middle on the left and a slight middle protrusion on the right. These are subtle details that keep the eye lingering. Particulars that if he were with us still, Julian Dashper’s eyes would linger on most of all.

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