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


You Are My Sunshine: Recent Figurative Art

Summer exhibition: "you are my sunshine"
Dec 9 - Dec 20 & Jan 6 - Jan 31
New work by John Pule, Wayne Youle, Shigeyuki Kihara, Ben Webb & James Morrison

Our summer exhibition showcases the many different modes of figuration in contemporary art practice and introduces three new artists to the gallery.

Shigeyuki Kihara is an Auckland based multimedia artist and performer who is of Samoan and Japanese descent. Recently awarded the 2003 Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifika Emerging Artist Award, Kihara will exhibit a series of photographic self-portraits from her "Fale Aitu/ House of Spirits" series.

In each work, Kihara has reinvented herself in different guises. As Jim Vivieaere explains in a recent article in "Object" magazine, the series "alludes to the Samoan comedic skits that are performed by males at festive occasions. The character of the performer becomes possessed by a spirit, and takes on a range of gendered personas. Kihara has used herself as the object in these works. Photographic portraits are morphed into different characters of her construction and fantasy."

James Morrison is an Australian painter based outside Sydney. He paints intricate fantasy landscapes in extreme detail. His work was featured in the Auckland Art Gallery¹s triennial exhibition Bright Paradise. You are my sunshine gives New Zealand audiences a chance to view his most recent painting. "The Council" and "Plotting" are quirky, animated and imaginative scenes.

Ben Webb has been painting figures and portraits since his first exhibition in Dunedin ten years ago. Arts writer David Eggleton has described Webb as an "anatomist of the human conditionŠ converting the dross of media overkill into fine-spun art". Webb has recently been based in Berlin, and will next year be living and painting in Argentina. His imagery is drawn from print and film media, anonymous and enigmatic faces, using a rare technique of oil and manganese pigment on canvas and paper.

The exhibition also features work by John Pule and Wayne Youle. Pule will be showing a new suite of six drawings, which reference his acclaimed love poetry, recent red cloud paintings and put a spin on the interpretation of the exhibition¹s namesake "you are my sunshine". Wayne Youle has now been showing at the gallery for fifteen months and will be having his first solo show with us in February. For our summer exhibition he will show three new digital photographs of plastic dolls. He promises that they will be "cheekily erotic".

In the office space / open stockroom

While you are my sunshine is on show in the main gallery space, we will also be exhibiting vintage figurative photographic work by Anne Noble and work from Fiona Pardington¹s acclaimed One Night of Love series in the office space.

Details of attached image:

Shigeyuki Kihara

"Aitu" from the series "Fale Aitu/ House of Spirits"

digital photograph


(in collaboration with Sean Coyle)


Bartley Nees Gallery 147 Cuba Street, Wellington Opening hours: Tuesday - Friday 11am - 5.30pm, Saturday 11am - 3pm Phone: 04 801 9795 Check out our website at

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>

Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland