Contemporary artist Colin Gibbs’ latest exhibition opens on Sunday, November 7 from 2pm to 4.30pm at the GibbsLang Gallery in Matangi.
More like two exhibitions in one, the show, which will run until January, displays two series of works inspired by Gibbs’ time spent as artist in residence at the Whanganui Awa School at Ranana on the Whanganui River Road.
Gibbs hails from Whanganui and he spends at least a week each school term in a room provided for him by the community, painting, drawing and talking with the children of the sole charge rural school.
The two series are called Mosaic of light – works in acrylic and oils on panel board, and After the rain – acrylics and polymer paint on canvas. Gibbs describes both:
Mosaic of light
Each season is a season of colours. No matter which season, a journey down the River Road reveals a mosaic of colours cascading from cliffs and embracing the hillsides. It is the sheer magnitude and intensity of such colours that on first glance are overwhelming and which perhaps cause us to not perceive the subtleties. The role of the artist is to dwell deep, to reveal that which words cannot infiltrate. These paintings invite the viewer to dwell in the rich mosaic of colours, lights and textures which encapsulate the journey down the River Road.
After the rain falls
This work was painted while I was in residence up the Whanganui River. The time I was there was just after persistent heavy rain, which resulted in a continually changing landscape – gushing waterfalls emerged from places where there had been none, debris, mud and numerous slips scarred the body of the land. Such images were full of paradoxes – a vigorous landscape, which has prevailed across time also revealed its fragility when confronted with the ravages of nature. In the work of the destructive forces which caused such disarray, there was insistent sprouting of new growth, signs of spring emerging from the dormancy of winter. Frequently mists blanket parts of the land as if they are protecting it until restoration and renewal is complete.
GibbsLang Contemporary Art Gallery is at 555 Matangi Road. Visitors are welcome to the exhibition opening. The gallery is open weekends, public holidays, and at times during the week (phone 829 5909 to check first).