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Simon Morris and Sara Hughes 17 Aug. - 11 Sep.

Simon Morris and Sara Hughes 17 August - 11 September

Sara Hughes and Simon Morris: wall and canvas, the abstract and the real Bartley Nees Gallery, August 17 ­ September 11, 2004

Writing about Sara Hughes work at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery last year, curator Justin Paton described her work as teaching space to dance. An interest in how painting interacts with the space in which it is located is shared by both Sara Hughes and Simon Morris.

Colourful, vibrant and engaged, this new exhibition at the Bartley Nees Gallery shows two painters examining the operation of painting in the 21st century and shows that it can both reference the past and instill surprise and delight in new ways.

For this exhibition, the artists are creating works on the gallery walls and on canvas that show both their shared interests and their differences. The work of Simon Morris is born out of geometric abstraction but, unlike the historical tradition, it refers to the real world rather than simply to art itself. Sara Hughes work is inflected by abstraction but can be seen to be generated out of patterns that constitute forms in the world ­ from the dot to the paisley motif.

Simon Morris is a Wellington based painter and teacher at the School of Design, Fine Arts and Music at Massey University. He has established himself as New Zealand's leading proponent of geometric abstraction. His immaculately elegant paintings are cool and refined, spare and orderly. For Morris, painting is a tool of the intellect, used to communicate ideas, rather than a vehicle for emotional expression.

Morris has exhibited widely throughout New Zealand and has been included in exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney and Edinburgh. Major public exhibitions include 'Living Room; the third Goodman Suter contemporary art project' at the Suter Gallery in Nelson in 2003, 'Scape Arts and Industry Urban Arts Biennial' in Christchurch in 2002, 'Prospect', a major survey show of New Zealand art, at City Gallery Wellington in 2001; 'A Very Peculiar Practice', a major survey of contemporary painting at City Gallery Wellington in 1995 and 'Parallel Lines' ­ Gordon Walters in context at Auckland Art Gallery in 1994.

Sara Hughes is a young painter from Auckland who has been attracting a lot of attention in the past year or so. In 2003 she was the Frances Hodgkins Fellow at Otago University. Her work can currently be seen at City Gallery Wellington as part of the 'Prospect' survey of contemporary art. Thousands of her trademark dots, sqaures and brightly coloured formations of acrylic and ink on vinyl cut-outs have taken over the foyer and entrance way to the gallery. She was also included in the exhibition 'Dirty Pixels' which was shown in Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin in 2003.

Please find attached an invitation to the exhibition opening, which features two examples of the artists work:

Simon Morris, 'Three orange Lines' (detail), 2004 Sara Hughes, 'Never let me go' (detail), 2004

If you would like a higher resolution, print quality version of either of these images please do not hesitate to ask us for this. For more information, please contact Alison Bartley or Amy Wright at the Gallery.

-- 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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