Gisborne artist Brian Campbell at opening

Three new exhibitions open in May at the Hastings City Art Gallery with an exhibition of paintings by Gisborne-based artist Brian Campbell opening on May 8, the Dali Susanto distinctive design work on May 15, and a travelling exhibition put together by 23 members of The Print Council of Aotearoa New Zealand on May 22.

Brian Campbell’s show, Head Above the Water, shows his work as a surrealist painter, introducing the cast of characters that appear and reoccur in his work as he explores what these characters and scenarios have to say about contemporary life. Using satire, fantasy and humour to think through some serious, possibly even profound questions he offers a bleak and darkly funny vision of humanity’s future, where the humans are beastly and the animals practice the arts of civilization, redrawing the lines between nature and culture.

In contrast, the cheery work of Dali Susanto that decorates so many shop windows in Heretaunga Street, Hastings is shown here in his latest rendition, Today is the Day, as he spreads his familiar and distinctive designs to common household objects, the walls, ceiling and possibly, the floor, in an installation in the Alcove.

Members of The Print Council of Aotearoa New Zealand explore and expand the boundaries of the artists’ book genre in Thinking Unfolding. The book as an art object evolved fairly recently (mid-20th century), when artists began experimenting with the book format as a means of expressing their ideas, with or without narrative elements normally associated with a book and often without text.  

Today, artists have taken the concept of the book further, creating art objects inspired by the form and/or function of a book and that might not resemble or even be a book in the conventional sense. 

PCANZ members were invited to explore and expand on these possibilities in creating an art object as an ‘artists book’ while showing a clear connection between the content/concept and the chosen structure. 

The works are varied in size, theme and materials and include a cross-over of multiple disciplines that must include traditional printmaking techniques as an integral component of the work.

The book as an art object in the exhibition Thinking Unfolding is presented in the Foyer and is the final show for the travelling exhibition having been shown in galleries around the country.

HCAG exhibition dates:

May 8 – August 8 Head Above the Water Brian Campbell

May 15 – July 25 Today is the Day Dali Susanto

May 22 – August 1 Thinking Unfolding The Print Council of Aotearoa New Zealand

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