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Craig Humberstone's New Exhibition the Seashell Flesh’

Craig Humberstone Unites History And Nature in New Exhibition the Seashell Flesh’

Devonport, Auckland The Seashell Flesh featuring intricate paintings by Auckland artist, Craig Humberstone will be adorning the walls of Depot Artspace from September 9th.

The Seashell Flesh is a series of oil paintings on historic slate roof tiles sourced from the central roof section of Highwic – the house built by Alfred Buckland in 1862 and now owned by Heritage New Zealand.

The slate tiles originated in the Welsh quarry of Penrhynn and arrived in Auckland as ballast on sailing ships in the 1800’s. In geological terms the slate itself is millions of years old.

The slate tile paintings portray plants, animals and other material from the foreshore, ocean, mangroves and the land beyond. Nature – living and dead, growing and decaying. Some things have been in position for many years; others are only temporarily visible as they will disappear with the next high tide or storm.

“The surface of the slate, its weathering and individuality is an integral part of the overall effect”, says Humberstone, “My intention is to record these ten fleeting images and preserve them, as well as preserve the slates themselves”.

Rendered in oil paint in a representational manner, the works are not attempting to be photographically realistic, but instead provide a factual and accurate recording. Alongside attention to detail, care has been taken to let the paint, textures, patterns and markings of the slate speak for themselves.

“Within the paintings is a suggestion of narrative. The objects are there as a result of specific events and continue to be affected by the relentless processes of nature, time and memory”.

New Zealand House and Garden magazine once described Humberstone’s style as, “small vignettes of arrested motion, just like a Jackson Pollock painting”.

The Seashell Flesh opens on Saturday September 9, at 2:00pm in the Main Gallery of Depot Artspace. The exhibition will be available to view until Wednesday September 27, 3:00pm.


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