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Current Exhibitions

Kerry Ann Lee, 'Dream Emblem I' (2014) (Detail) Courtesy of Whitespace Contemporary Art.

Traits

Star Gossage
Kerry Ann Lee
Sam Mitchell
Sofia Tekela-Smith
Roberta Thornley

Curated by Madeleine Gifford

Head Trip

John Pusateri



Exhibitions run from Fri 22 July until Sun 4 September 2016

Opening: Thursday 21 July 2016, 6-8pm

Art History Talk on Portraiture with Associate Professor Len Bell (University of Auckland) Saturday 27 August, 11am


In the age of the selfie and the profile photo, it might seem as though we’ve forgotten the political and cultural histories of portraiture. Or perhaps there are a whole new set of socio-political possibilities at play when we make a portrait now? Two new portrait exhibitions open on 21 July at Corban Estate Arts Centre, featuring New Zealand artists exploring portraiture. On display will be Traits, an all-female portraiture show featuring the work ofStar Gossage, Kerry Ann Lee, Sam Mitchell, Sofia Tekela-Smith and Roberta Thornley. This will be accompanied by solo exhibition by John Pusateri.

Portraiture has a long tradition in the history of art, and was the adopted artistic practice for revolutionary female artists in the 18th Century who were not deemed capable of history painting by their male counterparts. In contemporary New Zealand we encounter an array of female artists who have the freedom to reclaim the ‘traditional’ notion of a portrait in painting, photography, digital printing and sculpture. The female artists in Traits demonstrate alternative ways of representing the identity, culture and social standing of themselves and the figures they depict.

Native flora and fauna have frequently featured in the hyper realistic paintings and prints of John Pusateri to investigate environmental preservation and restoration. In Pusateri’s newly developed exhibition, Head Trip the artist shifts his focus towards people, depicting the sitter’s personal and direct relationships with nature and with wildlife.

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As part of the exhibition there will be a free art making session for families on Saturday 13 August. Visitors will have the opportunity to create their own 'cameo' selfie by exploring their unique profile.

For those interested in Art History there will be also be a special talk on New Zealand portraiture with guest lecturer Associate Professor Leonard Bell from the University of Auckland, on Saturday 27 August.

Left: John Pusateri, 'Bird Brain' (2015). Courtesy of the artist and Seed Gallery. | Right: Star Gossage, 'Kane Aloha — young man filled with promise' (2016) Courtesy of Tim Melville Gallery.

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