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NZ art by Boggs on world stage

NZ art by Boggs, on world stage and in Ferner Galleries, Wellington

One of New Zealand’s latest international art award winners, Peter Boggs, will have some of his finest works on show at the Ferner Galleries exhibition in Wellington this month.

New Zealand-born Boggs won Australia’s prestigious Kedumba Drawing Award 2004 late last month. The Award, in its 15th year, is the premier event for drawing in Australia.

Boggs was one of 24 contemporary Australian artists in the invitation-only award. The four finalists had their submitted works acquired for the collection of the Kedumba Gallery, Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales.

Boggs has been invited to exhibit in Florence, Italy next year as part of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino - an annual festival held at the Palazzo Pitti and in the Grandino di Boboli.

His works that will be displayed in Florence feature the renown Renaissance Boboli Gardens and explore the mysterious qualities and universality of the historical gardens.

Four of the landscapes he created for the Wellington exhibition are based on the architecture that lines the Venice Lagoon and the associated island of Burano.

``His paintings capture the formal elements and geometry of gardens and other public spaces imbued with historical atmosphere and evoking something beyond mere the physical appearance of each landscape,’’ Ferner Galleries’ spokeswoman Natalie Poland said today.

Boggs said his painting was “an ongoing exploration of form and composition . . . The subjects are in the main simple forms and careful arrangements, invested with mystery, silence and hopefully some poetry, and out of that with luck, comes a sense of quiet introspection and contemplation.”

Boggs’ approach to landscape painting is described by critic Professor Sasha Grishin, head of art history at the Australian National University in Canberra, as “somewhat unsettling with the scenes appearing depopulated rather than devoid of human participants’’.

``This strategy forces the viewer’s attention onto the formal elements of the composition – the lovingly observed shadows, the strict geometric shapes and the precise perspectival structures. In a curious manner they become scenes of absence, in the sense that Jean Paul Sartre refers to the quality of absence within an existentialist worldview,” Grishin said. Boggs graduated from Auckland University’s Elam School of Fine Arts in 1972. He was taught by Colin McCahon.

Throughout the 1970s and 80s he taught painting and drawing in New Zealand, Spain and England and was awarded the Carnegie Travelling Scholarship to Australia in 1980.

Copyright 2004 Word of Mouth Media NZ

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