By Wesley John Fourie
Spanning textile, painting, ceramics, drawing, and printmaking, I Dream A Rain Forest is a show about place.
Natural places, such as Waipoua Kauri Forest, seen in Tane Mahuta, and Safe Haven (Kahurangi National Park), or through botanical sampling, like Kowhai Park. Places inscribed with memories, such as Woodhaugh Gardens (I cant stop thinking about our first kiss), and Forest Floor (where we lay together in love), drawing out these places as they are remembered in time through stitch.
This show also presents places we go to in our mind, specifically the artists mind, in states of deep insomnia. In these works, the insomnia portraits, we see a series of imagined landscapes, the artist’s internal “green space”, in both drawing and painting.
Though diverse in its media, the works in this exhibition are bound together by their repetitive mark making processes, and all seek to elevate our arboreal environment, real or imagined.
We Climbed This Mountain With Our Feet and Hands (Rangitoto), a community built artwork (created with thanks to Te Tuhi Contemporary Trust, Arts Out East, and Howick Local Board), is another example of the artist’s interest in place, as a 1/1 scale model of Rangitoto, rendered in arm knitting (260m).
The pieces in this exhibition, like the headspace they were created under, are largely intimate works.
They carry across their surfaces stories, the memory of light hitting a fern in a rain forest, the setting of a first kiss, a sampling of every plant along a pathway, an imagined clearing in a bush, stories rooted in place, and memory of place.
For Artweek Auckland, there will be an arm knitting workshop running in conjunction with the exhibition.
Workshop: Arm Knitting (free workshop)
Saturday 13 November, 10:00AM – 12:00PM