title Meditative mixture
publication Nelson Mail
description Review by Gail Tresidder
date 08:11:2006
painting Twenty-nine days, Tasman Bay

"Excellently executed and part of a sequence of recent three-dimensional work, this can be seen as the result of active meditation."

Anna Leary's new installation Twenty-nine days, Tasman Bay, is positioned

above the water windows in Reflections Gallery. It hangs as a gentle curve, is deceptively simple and has much meaning.

For Leary's grandmother, it is a skipping rope for dolphins. For me, it is a slice of our moon's circular journey around the earth, big things, and also little things of nature that are lovely. Like the shape of mussels, the colours inside a paua shell and the feathers of a kingfisher.

Looking down on Tasman Bay from her studio and considering the meaning of time, Leary created a four-pod formation, one on each day of the lunar month, September 23 to October 21. As I understand it, the symbolism reflects earth's natural rhythms, contrasting with the often uncomfortable, regulated way in which we humans live.

Colours from dove grey through shades of blue - wedgewood, turquoise, aquamarine and lavender - reflect the light and the water. Excellently executed and part of a sequence of recent three-dimensional work, this can be seen as the result of active meditation.

Leary is a fine painter of delicate acrylics and I hope she will continue with these as well.

John Crawford is arguably New Zealand's best living potter and his works on paper are also of quality. It is a treat to see both aspects of his art, with five paintings hanging behind three large irregularly shaped vessels. "You are what you know, what you see, what you do" is Crawford's on the wall statement. His imagery is very personal and I learnt a lot about him by looking at it. He remembers his father with love, his mother with love and tenderness. He delights in his home at Ngakawau, the coastal environment and the treasures he finds on the beach.

In his carefully crafted and layered paintings, Crawford uses muted, earthy colours contrasted with vivid flashes of brightness. He delineates physical surroundings in a metaphysical way, the results of his thought processes and memories made actual in his pots. Of these, Cloud Needle Thimble with its little written titles, delights. The other two vessels, Out to Play and Funnel are also beautiful and deserve thoughtful consideration.

This combined exhibition, although not large in quantity, is certainly worth a visit.