Cherry on Top – an exhibition by Bernard Winkels 

Local artist Bernie Winkels has a new show opening soon at Boyd Dunlop Gallery. 

‘Cherry on Top’ had the working title ‘rants and raves’. That says a lot about how Winkles sees the world; his work is full of references to things he cares passionately about.

These latest works are a dialogue between the artist and the viewer, making connections to this land here in Aotearoa during these chaotic times. Looking back to the past and into the future, his concerns are reflected about the effects of materialism stemming from our early Settler values.

We may be more familiar with his wall collections of ceramic rants and raves, but these are paintings, acrylic on board and canvas, 1000 x 1000 to 1500 x 1500. With his recognisable images typical of Winkle’s earlier work they show backgrounds reflecting automatic drawing/meditative state – the abstractions and surreal aspects reminiscent of Hilma Af Klimt or Joan Niro. 

Bernard creates conversations utilizing the everyday; current affairs, social media, personal experiences and the human condition – our daily bread, in a search for ‘sense’ in the 21st century, while much of the imagery links to the past with commentary about colonialism, materialism and the ownership of ‘stuff’.

“I go through my processes and practices, creating work on a day-to-day basis in a world where everything has changed as we know it. As we adjust to these very radical changes we escape back into the everydayness of the tried and trusted tokens, signs, labels, brands, info, notions, notes, and plethora of stuff of our newfound unique consumerism as opposed to others in this world right now,” says Winkels.

He challenges us with questions. Are we really concerned with the bigger picture here in this very special chunk of dirt, at this point in time and history of the world, or are we content that we can still consume? What am I supposed to be doing with my life? Do I have enough flour and toilet paper? Am I alright Jack? So, we settle back into our complacency and return to everyday thinking and habits, happily relying on others to be our sentinels. 

This body of work conveys a message that through past, present, and future the values of ‘good taste’ and acquisitiveness as conveyed in Victorian materialism are having a devastating impact on the Earth. And yet despite the seriousness, Bernie conveys his playful sense of fun emanating through the works in his use of colour and surreal imagery.

Opens Friday, 16th April 5pm, showing until 7th May 
Boyd-Dunlop Gallery – 4 Hastings Street Napier 

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