Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Paul Hartigan Exhibition: Helium


Date: 21 July, 2014

Depot Artspace is pleased to present an exhibition from Auckland-based contemporary artist Paul Hartigan. Helium looks at light, form and colour through Hartigan’s photographic and sculptural practice.

Helium brings together two ostensibly disparate parts of Paul Hartigan’s artistic output.

The Power Flower series stems from consecutive in-camera Polaroid exposures, each analogue snap taken of a different botanical subject at the Auckland Domain. Hartigan manipulates time, floral form and colour, as if he is doing violence to a perfect bouquet and arranging a display that is less, yet more than its constituted parts. The Power Flowers are a mashed-up map to a garden city – not a clear snapshot to guide you from A to B, but overlays that result from the milky haze of memory, pictured through the scent, light and texture that muddies in remembrance.

They play with the traditional beauty of floral depictions: the perfectly painted or photographed vase of flowers; the bouquet of cut flowers - each Polaroid exposure plucking the botanical image from its surrounds; the idea of pressed flowers, where the bloom dies but retains its form. They gain power from their layered intensity; the palms seem to explode; they become hyper-floral.

These bursts of colour and emanating light are mirrored in the neon works that make up the other half of Helium. With centres like plucked specimens they pulse as if alive. They may appear synthetic and man-made, but the neon inside these tubes is as natural as the flowers with which they share the room, an organic gas that provides the atmosphere with the colour that turns a sunset red. Harnessed and electrified, neon pollinates the spaces it illuminates.

Side by side these photographic and neon works echo each other’s form, colour and intent. They both pump out light, but in differently ethereal ways. The mist of photographic memory and the fog of neon light are both given breath, and in the one room, they breathe new life into each other.

Text by Don Abbott, 2014

Please join us for the exhibition opening of Helium in our Main Gallery on Saturday 2nd of August from 2 – 3.30pm. The exhibition runs from the 2 – 27 August.

GALLERY TALK: 2pm Saturday 9th of August with Don Abbott and Paul Hartigan in the Main Gallery.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Greening the Red Zone - Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea
  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

    Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


    Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

    Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news