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title Glimpses of the real and surreal
publication Nelson Mail
description Review article
date 31:12:2010

Anna Leary's Beauty of Time is exquisite. The lunar form brings a three-dimensional perspective to her just-hatched monarch butterflies, their colours not yet fully realised, shining softly on a background of shimmering green, blue and crimson.



Red Gallery is hosting two exhibitions of work from artists featured in the recently launched Nelson Regional Arts Guide. The first opened last week, and Gail Tresidder went along to review the work on show.



As Hamlet said to his friend Horatio, "there are more things in heaven and earth ... than are dreamt of in your philosophy" a perfect description for this amazingly diverse collection from some of our best artists.



Birds, plants, animals and fish feature in a large proportion of the work. There are paintings of ethereal beauty and art that is strange, tactile pottery and covetable jewellery. Some of the work is clever, some satirical, some realistic.



Anna Leary's Beauty of Time is exquisite. The lunar form brings a three-dimensional perspective to her just-hatched monarch butterflies, their colours not yet fully realised, shining softly on a background of shimmering green, blue and crimson.



Using digital images on aluminium, Network by Cindy Flook gives the impression of rivulets of blue, purple and musty green, depending on the angle, and is very fine.



Relatively new to the region, Julie Stewart's atmospheric Clements 2011 oil on linen is instantly appealing. The subtle shading of rocky canyon and moody sky recall watercolours by Turner and Gully.



Hanging in the cafe window, Anne Rush's delicate kinetic Universal Light, created from stainless steel and crystals, is designed to dance in light.



At the other extreme, it is hard to miss John Wolter's large wall sculpture, Keeping the Wolves at Bay with a tiny person hanging from the wolf's gaping mouth. Made from blackened steel with a polished wax finish, the scarlet-stained wood tongue and bright blue glass eyes are frighteningly realistic! The stuff of nightmares, but crafted beautifully.



Nikki Johnson's huge paua and glass dragonfly is gorgeous, and the sweetest-faced takahe ever sits safely in its nest, atop a Katie Gold pohutakawa vessel in Maria Middlebrook-Wells acrylic Takahe with Vessel.



Nichola Romney's surrealist Masquerade, with its bright bold colours and face with no discernible body is intriguing.



In contrast, hanging alongside is Dean McCrae's lifelike White Bach on Boulder Bank. McCrae is known for his attention to detail note the seabird on the roof and rust on the chimney.



There is so much more. Sally Burton's Random Calm with urn-like shapes and little bubbles and floating worlds lined in glittering blue; See Scape from Candy Clarke, red and black all-seeing eyes with a play on McCahon's I am I saw; Darryl Robertson's elegant semi-abstract White Doves Spring Garden acrylic on canvas; Dean Raybould's To The Sea in Slips, a painting worth spending time over for its wicked wit and clever use of materials. And Fumio Nogushi's Maori/Japanese carved bone jewellery, Zoe Buchanan's silver honeycomb brooch and Anna Barnett's tactile pottery with pie crust and whorl edgings, and so on.



These are just some of the artists with work on display. Later in the month, more artists from the new guide will show their work at Red. For an excellent eye-opener to the talent we have in our region, they are not to be missed exhibitions.