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Guise: New paintings by Pippa Sanderson

Idiom Studio, Wellington
18 October – 11 November


Bluff, 2001, oil on board, 150mm x 400mm

“They’re like a thought that’s on the tip of your tongue,” says Wellington artist Pippa Sanderson, about the odd, beaked creatures which feature in her latest exhibition.

‘Guise’, now showing at Idiom Studio, shows familiar scenes from Hawkes Bay, where Pippa grew up. However these landscapes are populated not with people but by masked, birdlike creatures she calls ‘numino’.

Their long beaks make the numino resemble gannets, and this isn’t accidental. The gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers, south of Napier, is an inescapable feature of the local landscape. However the figures in her paintings don’t fit easily into their environment, Pippa says.

“That’s where the disguise comes in – the creatures are trying to hide, and they’re also trying to fit in. It’s like the colonial experience of not feeling at home in your own country.”

Napier people will have the opportunity to see these paintings next year, when a version of this exhibition transfers to the Hawkes Bay Art Gallery. Pippa’s exploration of the New Zealand landscape will also appear in Lower Hutt’s Dowse Gallery from April, as part of a group show she is curating.

“The Hawkes Bay landscape has been in my mind for years; it’s where I was born and grew up. But for me landscape is really a symbol of our interior life. I don’t just want to paint hills.”

ENDS

For more information, photographs of artworks or to
interview the artist, contact Mark Derby, Idiom Studio,
ph. (04) 939 1215 or (025) 279 0491


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