title Big things come in a smaller package
publication The Nelson Mail
description Emerge exhibition review by Jay Linden
date 13:11:2002

"Anna Leary's two works on canvas, Bleed and Without, are still and silent - there is a gathering of inner power."

This year's student show consists of the works of just 10 students: eight painters, one conceptual artist and a furniture maker. They are the first to graduate from the new Bachelor of Visual Arts programme at NMIT. The college has long had a reputation for the quality of tutoring in the technical skills of painting. The excellece of this teaching is more than evident in this show.

Amy Hoedemakers' two large panels, Skin and Ruby, are delightful and hold the eye from across the room. Her handling of paint is very confident and she makes sensitive use of letters, textured wallpaper and gesso within the body of the work. Jane Blackmore's painting of her father's garden pulsates with life, an explosion of marks leaping out of the painting towards the viewer. By contrast Anna Leary's two works on canvas, Bleed and Without, are still and silent - there is a gathering of inner power.

In the other room, the paintings of Marian Wolfs and Brenda Black are more narrative and explore the beauty & vunerability of relationship. Charlotte Lipp's Flight is very satisfying in the depth & subtlety of colour as well as the textural mark-making that appears to have been made with a power tool.

It is good to see the students taking on the challenge of using strong colours.The bold use of red and green in Luisa Claudini's work was particularly striking. One frustration however, was the lack of detail about the intensions of each artist. The statements in the catalogue were for the most part poetic, but vague. In particular some clues would have been helpful in appreciating the tardis-like light box by Nic Foster and Lipp's huge charcoaled wooden archway - a wonderful set piece for a modern gates of hell, but somehow I doubt that was her intention. Andy Clover's conceptual art stands out by contrast. This is art with humour and attitude. His theme is the instability of language and he explores the paradox that the more words we use, the more communication is obscured. Phil Osborne's furniture shows an originality of design. Sould Marker consists of a clam-shaped container atop an oval latticed base and is a powerful image of both reverence & protection. By contrast his perching bench is warm & welcoming. Made of red beech with strong curving lines, it invites the viewer to experience the rest of the show whilst perching along side a friend.

Although smaller in the number of exhibitors, this is a very polished student show with work that is well resolved and of a consistenlty high standard.