The work of outstanding New Zealand artist Fiona Pardington comes to our region when her new collection, Tarota shows at Parlour Projects in Hastings from Thursday 4 – Sunday 7 November. The exhibition is a Starkwhite gallery, Auckland, initiative. 

Tarota is the newest body of still-lives from Dr Fiona Pardington MNZM, Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres, (Ngāi Tahu, Kati Mamoe and Ngāti Kahungunu). Named for the Tarot deck of divinatory cards and their ancient archetypal symbols, Tarota is Pardington’s exploration of her own visual vocabulary of private and mystical symbolism. 

The aesthetic of the images is partly inspired by the symbolist and art-nouveau influenced drawings of the occultist and artist Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956). Pardington paints the bottles herself, embellishing them with therapeutic drawings motivated by Spare – this signals an expansion of her practice beyond the camera. Tarota sits in a space between European esotericism, Māori tikanga and Pardington’s unique personal artistic vision.

Before the Auckland lockdown prevented gallery personnel exiting the Auckland boundaries, it was to be part of TENT, Aotearoa New Zealand’s planned new art event – a long weekend of pop-up exhibitions and events all around the country and presented by the team who deliver the Aotearoa Art Fair*.  

So only Pardington’s exhibition will now go ahead in our region (although two other galleries had also planned to show here) as part of the radically changed TENT art initiative. Fortunately the Starkwhite team has called on their friend and colleague Sophie Wallace, the owner of Parlour Projects in Eastbourne Street, to show their exhibition.

The first chance to see (and buy) the art will be in an online preview on Thursday 4 November. The live exhibitions and the special events will open in the different locations across the country, from Friday 5 – Sunday 7 November.

*The Auckland Art Fair has changed its name to Aotearoa Art Fair, to reflect the Fair’s role as a showcase for the outstanding contemporary art of the wider Pacific Rim region, as experienced from Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Image: Fiona Pardington, Still Life (Three of Spades), 2021

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