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Invitation to Openness – Substantive And Transitive States

MEDIA RELEASE 11 September 2016


26 September – 4 December 2016

IMAGE CREDIT: Elizabeth Thomson, Invitation to Openness – Substantive and Transitive States, 2014. Photo: Elizabeth Thomson

Having previously exhibited at Whangarei Art Museum - Te Manawa Toi in 2015 as part of the touring exhibition Kermadec - Lines in the Ocean WAM is pleased to welcome back Wellington sculptor Elizabeth Thomson and her latest installation ‘Invitation to Openness - Substantive and Transitive States’.

Inspired by her 2011 trip to the Kermadecs where she was one of nine artists to voyage on the HMNZS Otago to experience the wildlife and islands of the Kermadec region and to contemplate on the way they effect the mind, body and spirit, this is one of her most ambitious installations to date.

In Invitation to Openness, viewers are afforded the opportunity to see the entire gallery inhabited by hundreds of bronze cast white moths which will occupy the space as if having arrived at their own accord, claiming it as their natural environment.

It was the moths on Raoul Island in particular that led to the creation of this work. Intrigued by their abundance and the way in which the moths occupied the buildings, surrounding anyone who stepped inside them did not give Thomson a feeling of nervousness or fear but instead she was left with a sense of calm inspiring her to create an immersive environment of her own.

Elizabeth spent countless hours creating the first wave of moths, each cast in bronze and flocked in white that were first released onto gallery walls in August 2014. Now numbering 500 this flock of moths invites you to step into the gallery space, be immersed in the installation and to suspend their disbelief.

Elizabeth Thomson says "While this new arrangement is the biggest moth installation I've undertaken, it is more understated in its presentation. These white moths will have a ghostly presence, evoking a sense of unease but also mystery and wonder—like an apparition or vision, a pure moment in time and a reminder of our fragility and transience. Invitation to Openness is an invitation to suspend disbelief and preconception leaving the viewer open to experience a heightened sense of awareness of just being”.

Developed and toured by The Dowse Art Museum, with the support of Creative New Zealand

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