These Shores, This Land
Brent Forbes & Rachel Murphy
8 June – 5 July 2017
In my previous works the landscape has been used to observe the time of day, the seasons passing, maybe (but not often) a particular place – however these works are not any of those things. Looking at these works as a whole, I see the main preoccupation has been water, and where the land meets it. The landscape, although more modelled and distinct in terms of handling, is not the main motivation – just as important is the inescapable fact of the ocean.
Making these works was more about the process than before, sticking pieces on, seeing what opportunities were created, adjusting, re-arranging… it was about not having a set finish in mind, just responding to what the works needed. In this way I think of these works as more universal and about painting rather than simply “landscape paintings”.
A deep connection to the land and sea of New Zealand, is always at the heart of my work. My desire for us, as custodians of this unique, raw beauty, to not only maintain what we already have and often take for granted, but to return what we can to it’s natural state.
On The Shores Of Our Land are additionally inspired by childhood memories of looking with fascination at watercolours and lithographs of NZ prior to colonisation, at the Auckland Art Gallery.
The design of the sculptural pieces for this exhibition, are evocative of things of the sea, both in nature and our relationship with it: Whale teeth, fish contours, dolphin fins, yacht sails, surf boards.