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how palpable and mythical my life was becoming

the wind reminds me how palpable and mythical my life was becoming

New paintings by John Pule

Bartley Nees Gallery
147 Cuba Street, Wellington
29 April - 26 May, 2003
Opening Tuesday 29 April, 5.30pm
The artist will be present

John Pule is one of this country¹s most exciting and creative talents. His new exhibition at Bartley Nees Gallery allows Wellington audiences to see his new cloud/island paintings for the first time.

In these paintings, battleships, tanks, upside down trees and creatures and motifs, familiar from earlier works, float ethereally among blood-red clouds, or islands. These fantastical mindscapes reveal a broadening commentary by the artist to include current world events. The paintings shift between scenes of despair and mourning: tiny figures transporting the bodies of fish through the heavens, to scenes of hope and optimism. In the centre of one painting, a couple lie in a tight embrace, and in a different scene one figure assists another onto his shoulders to reach the branches of a fruit laden tree. A helicopter has landed promising hope and recovery.

John is also a poet and novelist and last year was Distinguished-Visiting Writer to the Department of English at the Univeristy of Hawaii. An essay, he wrote there, published in the 2002 Asia-Pacific Triennial catalogue provides insight into the ideas behind these new paintings.

"I imagined a Polynesian vision of bloody sweat of red clouds descending to earth; each cloud wiped so bloody rivers travel like soliloquy, manifesting imaginary customs on Aeolian soils, encouraging settlement as a form of compensation." (John Pule, When you returnŠ Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. Brisbane, 2002))

Pule arrived in this country from Niue as a two-year-old and the experience of the migrant, alongside issues around colonisation and the impact of Christianity on the Pacific, have been central to his work in both the visual and literary arts. "The heart of my story is about generating and making soil to stand on." (John Pule, When you returnŠ)

The exhibition comprises four large canvases, (each 2m x 2m), three small canvases and ten new prints. Six of the prints belong to what he describes as the American series. With graphic new imagery, these prints represent a strong statement on the spread of American influence both in global politics and popular culture.

We have attached an invitation to the exhibition for you. If you would like an image for publication, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Other Gallery News

Work in stock

Our office space continues to work very well as a second exhibition space to either expand a featured exhibition or to show work in stock. We have a large range of work in stock from the artists we represent so please feel free to look beyond the current exhibition at other work. Our website also offers an in-depth look at work that we hold. We aim to keep this as up to date as possible, and are constantly adding new works. In recent weeks, we have received a number of new works by Wayne Youle. Youle¹s work is selling strongly and we urge you to check it out. In the coming months we will be receiving new work into stock from Fiona Pardington, Natalie Robertson, Sara Hughes and Neil Pardington.

Dirty Pixels

This show, currently on at the Adam Art Gallery at Victoria University exploring art¹s intersection with the digital world, features a large and dramatic site-specific wall work by Sara Hughes. Taking the spot occupied by McCahon¹s Gate III painting since the gallery¹s opening, Hughes work, which took a week to install, is unmissable. More of her work (on a much smaller scale!) will be available for viewing at the Bartley Nees Gallery from the end of May when Hughes joins Monique Jansen and Esther Leigh in a group show. Sara Hughes is the 2003 Otago University Frances Hodgkins fellow in Dunedin.

The art in Whalerider

Many of you will have seen the New Zealand film Whalerider and may have recognised some of the artwork featured. This work was by sculptor Brett Graham, who has exhibited with us since 1995. Brett will be having a solo exhibition with us in October and he is also creating a major installation for the Adam Art Gallery at Victoria University. This exhibition, being developed in collaboration with PhD student Katerina Teaiwa, will centre on Banaba or Ocean island, which was extensively mined for phosphate by the British, Australian and New Zealand governments from 1900 to 1979.

Anne Noble in Auckland

Photographer Anne Noble¹s major retrospective ŒStates of Grace¹ is continuing its circuit of public art galleries across the country. The exhibition opens at the Auckland Art Gallery in June. In conjunction with FHE Galleries, the Bartley Nees Gallery will present an exhibition of Noble¹s recent work in Auckland opening at the G2 gallery on 1 June. For those of you based in Auckland, it would be great to see you there. Contact the Bartley Nees Gallery or G2 for more information.

Showing in Sydney

Simon Morris and Simon McIntyre will have work included in a group exhibition at the Conny Dietzschold Gallery, Sydney, in August 2003.

Regards Alison Bartley, Tim Nees. Sarah Farrar -- Bartley Nees Gallery 147 Cuba Street, Wellington Opening hours: Tuesday - Friday 11am - 5.30pm, Saturday 11am - 3pm Phone: 04 801 9795 Check out our website at

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