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Recreating the surface at Toi Pōneke

31 October 2007

Recreating the surface at Toi Pōneke

Paintings on the straight and narrow will be on display at Toi Pōneke Gallery from 8 November, when Gill Newland opens her exhibition SurfaceWorks.

“People will see a series of vertically striped canvases, which may look the same at first glance. It may take time to see the differences - one alteration can completely change how the piece operates,” she says.

Gill focuses on material and process. She paints on raw canvas and pulls out some of the woven threads that bind the fabric. By altering the structure of the surface, creating ‘tone’, she teases the viewer into thinking there is an image.

“In these paintings, nothing is pictured. The material does all the work. What you see is a real change in surface and an illustration of process, not an image.”

Gill began working with paint and canvas in this way after she found some pink satin and began deconstructing it by fraying the material. “I was intrigued to see how completely different the material became, both in colour and texture. I wondered, what would happen if I did that to a painted surface?”

Originally from England, Gill moved to New Zealand 17 years ago and worked as a journalist. “I wanted to expose things as a journalist, and it’s the same with my art. I want to get inside the materials of painting and reveal things about it - to encourage people to look at painting in a different way.

“The lack of image in my work can be quite challenging for some people. But if they look at the work as a process rather than think about influences and know that it explores painting rather than the outside world, they will begin to engage with it.”

This exhibition, entitled SurfaceWorks opens at 5.30pm, Thursday 8 November at Toi Pōneke Gallery, Wellington Arts Centre, 61 Abel Smith Street and runs until Thursday 29 November.


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