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Out of Character – Mary-Louise Browne

Out of Character – Mary-Louise Browne
Free artist’s talk, City Gallery Wellington
Saturday 1 July, 2pm

‘A kind of fanatical album of female instruction, diagnosis, punishment and cure,’ is how Mary-Louise Browne’s work has been described.

She will be talking about her latest exhibition, Out of Character, at the Gallery on Saturday 1 July, 2pm.

Coinciding with the opening of Out of Character is the unveiling of a new work by the artist, in Civic Square, on Friday 7 July at 9.30am. Called Seven Steps to Heaven, the work is made up of seven granite steps starting with the word ‘Sea’ and ending with ‘Sky’. The sculpture was commissioned by Wellington City Council as its prize for winning Creative New Zealand’s inaugural Creative Places Award last year.

Mary-Louise Browne has used language as a medium for many years. In Out of Character, she presents large works on paper, and massive rugs which dominate the East Gallery.

The works are emblazoned with familiar phrases from film noir, Hitchcock movies and Daphne du Maurier novels. On a massive scale, the words tread an uncomfortable line between threats and “the reassuring language we keep for ourselves”, as writer Anna Miles has noted.

The artist has previously inscribed words and mottoes on mirrors, silver platters and stone. Her artwork Body to Soul is one of the works in the Botanical Gardens’ Sculpture Walk, located at the top of Norwood Path.

“Out of Character emerged from a strong interest in language and cinema,” says Browne.



“I started researching scripts and looking at films from the 40s to the present day. I noticed that some lines just kept coming up again and again, almost like archetypes.

“Often they were used in a non-threatening way but they become so, especially when used on a large scale. It’s like turning up the volume.”

Out of Character is a City Gallery Wellington artist’s project. It is accompanied by a catalogue. Admission is free.

For more information, interviews and images contact Anne Irving.

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