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Four New Zealand artists exhibiting in New York


Four New Zealand artists exhibiting in New York

29 May, 2014

From July 1-6, 2014 a slice of New Zealand will complement the contemporary art scene that is the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York, with four expatriate artists showing at Artifact Gallery in Orchard Street.

The title of the show comes from the latitude of New York in the northern hemisphere (40:67) which also happens to be the same for New Zealand, yet in the Southern Hemisphere – polarities in both physical and philosophical senses.

The artists are four New Zealand women who work in the varied disciplines of painting, photography and jewellery-making. They are: Sarah Elsby, Nikki Clark, Aphra Ellen, and Jodi Clark. Sarah and Aphra are mother and daughter, and Nikki and Jodi are sisters.

The featured works explore the shifting overlap between landscape and urbanscape; the intersection of these spaces is where the sombre urbanity of city life meets the abundance of New Zealand’s flora, an optimistic exploration of the natural world in an age of globalisation. A discordant harmony of city bustle and birdsong.

These four artists prompt the viewer to ponder their own position in the world and examine notions of identity, place and cultural resonance. What does it mean to be a foreigner transplanted to an international center such as New York City?

The artists have their own unique approach to expressing these ideas; Sarah Elsby uses watercolours on paper to explore the tensions between biomorphic and architectural forms. “The ambiguity of these forms is important; I am not seeking any representation but rather that the viewer experiences their own free associations and then the feelings and sensations that follow”.

Nikki Clark is a photographer, her work integrates the speed and excitement of the city with the spiritual serenity that comes from growing up with the tranquil Whanganui River as a backdrop. A new landscape is created as the overwhelming pace of NYC and memories of her homeland become interlaced and fluid. As Clark states, "The works play on the polar opposites of these two environments connected by similarity in the power and ever-changing personality of both landscapes".

Jodi Clark is a painter interested in how different symbols can be trans-cultural and trans-historical “arranged so they become abstracted from their original intent; taking on a new meaning and life while still triggering memories and nostalgia”. Clark has a love of design, pattern, color and mark, and uses line and composition to make strong statements of form and the complexities of symbolism. She believes the role of the artist is to facilitate the translation of culture, in it’s essence.

Aphra Ellen works primarily in gold and silver. She is influenced by the repetitive shapes and patterns found in nature suggesting natural rhythms. Each piece is handcrafted “I rarely plan my designs and prefer to experiment during the process of making a piece”. Her approach is playful and she finds irregularities and imperfections appealing inspired by organic forms and odd shapes.

Please come and enjoy some unique artworks created with a Kiwi perspective. Artifact gallery is located at 84 Orchard Street Lower East side, Manhatten. Gallery opening times: 12 til 6pm.


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