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.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Recent Drummond

Andrew Drummond: About Rising and Falling
Antoinette Godkin
2 September - 3 October, 2009

This exhibition by ecologically motivated, seventies performance artist and sculptor Andrew Drummond, features a suite of drawings, some wall sculptures of gilded, balanced poplar branches, and a freestanding kinetic sculpture.

The latter, the slowly turning flowerlike About Rising and Falling - related to Len Lye’s Fountain with its turning, splayed out rod-petals - has an illuminated golden ball moving up and down a glass tube that is its stem. It is the key work here, striking with its allusions to the sun and to forms like plants or feathers, though its similarity to a fibre-optics table lamp is unfortunate.

Drummond’s airbrushed, gilded and pencil drawings on paper of geometric landforms have an austere architectural drama that grows on you, especially with the flashes of reflected light on the gold, silver and copper planar surfaces. They are slick, and vaguely fifties illustrative, yet the grey crystalline geometry on a pristine open plain draws you in, like a children’s sci-fi animation fantasy.

The wall reliefs allude to the delicate vulnerability of gold leaf in their sensitivity to wall vibrations and currents of air, for they are poplar branches tremulously balanced on steel fulcrums. Seemingly simple, these quivering gilded limbs allude to divining rods, feelers, spindly fingers and finials – warning devices that can help save us.

These understated works are Drummond at his very best. They are restrained yet loaded with poetic significance. Worth a trip to Lorne St to see.

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