When Shoe leaves Foot.
Nick Austin & Helen Maudsley
6th Mar 2015 – 2nd Apr 2015 · West Space ·
Opening: Thursday 5 March 2015, 6-8pm.
When Shoe leaves Foot. brings together the work of two painters, Melbourne-based Helen Maudsley and Dunedin-based Nick Austin into conversation with one another. Austin offers up an array of deceptively simple representations of humble objects for this exhibition: a map, a box and an incomplete crossword. We access the symbology of these images as fragments, a narrative in which Austin has withheld some of the key plot points. In contrast, Maudsley floods her paintings a complex web of morphing objects and forms that provide a web of reflections on the human psyche that the viewer is encouraged to explore. Rich and highly individual is the graphic language that floats in and out of Maudsley’s paintings, this is supplemented by her paragraph-long artwork titles that inform the visual analogies that occur in her paintings.
Nick Austin (b. 1979) lives in Dunedin and holds an MFA from Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland and a BVA from Auckland University of Technology. He was a member of the artist-run gallery Gambia Castle which operated in Auckland from 2007 – 2010. In 2012 he was the Frances Hodgkins Fellow at the University of Otago, Dunedin. Exhibitions include The town wrist watch, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 2015; Time’s Sieve, Peter McLeavey Gallery, Wellington, 2014; Total Dread, Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland, 2013; New Revised Edition, City Gallery, Wellington (group exhibition), 2013; Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Castillo Corrales, Paris (group exhibition), 2012; Last Ride in a Hot Air Balloon: the 4th Auckland Triennial, Auckland Art Gallery (group exhibition) 2010; Retirement, Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne 2009; Paperwork, Gambia Castle, Auckland, 2009.
Helen Maudsley’s work is tightly organised within the picture rectangle, with many drafts made beforehand to ensure the minimum of amendments are needed in the work itself, In her drawings shapes are constructed from thin lines and cross-hatching, shadowing worked up through dense webs of short pen strokes. Patterns are formed through repeated shapes and in the fine cross-hatching. From this, images of visual references are used as visual analogy. often the one image referring to many different meanings. The paintings use imagery in a similar way, but via the language of color and tone, and the call between like elements. The picture rectangle is vital. Robert Nelson has written of her work as “consummately lyrical,” and mentions that they “resolve their forms with impeccable balance” (The Age, 21 July, 2000).