10 exhibitions you can’t miss in Canterbury in February

Highlights of the Canterbury arts calendar in February include an exhibition showcasing the work of Aotearoa’s best-known Impressionist painter, who Warren Feeney maintains a contemporary home in 2022, and a new exhibition of ceramics based on the principles of food, shelter and clothing.

1. Joanna Margaret Paul: Imagined in the context of a roomChristchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, corner Worcester Blvd and Montreal St:

A major investigative exhibition of the artistic practice of Joanna Margaret Paul (1945-2003), informed by European Expressionism as it materialized in 1970s Aotearoa, the artist transforming this school of anxiety predominantly male into something else. Paul’s paintings are disarmingly generous, reaching out and inspiring us to spend time in his life, with the warmth of their color and his affection for the smallest details. Until March 14.

Sydney Thompson (1877-1973), Afternoon Market, Concarneau Brittany, circa 1927. Aigantighe <a class=Art Gallery Acc. No. 1993.41. (Aigantighe Art Gallery)” style=”width:100%;display:inline-block”/>

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Sydney Thompson (1877-1973), Afternoon Market, Concarneau Brittany, circa 1927. Aigantighe Art Gallery Acc. No. 1993.41. (Aigantighe Art Gallery)

2. Sydney Thompson and friends. Aigantighe Art Gallery, 49 Wai-iti Rd, Timaru:

Aotearoa’s best-known impressionist painter, studying in France in 1900 and prominent for seven decades, Sydney Thompson (1877-1973) divided his time between Europe and New Zealand for most of his life. Influenced by Impressionism, he was also our most contemporary artist, at least until the late 1940s, although even in 2022 his work remains remarkably attitudinally relevant. The investigative exhibition Sydney Thompson & Friends is an ideal introduction. Until February 13.

Owen Connors, Autonomy, 2022. Egg tempera on panel, pigmented lacquer macrocarpa frame with oxidized silver beech detail, 600 x 700 mm.  Photo: Sam Hartnett.  (The physics room)

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Owen Connors, Autonomy, 2022. Egg tempera on panel, pigmented lacquer macrocarpa frame with oxidized silver beech detail, 600 x 700 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett. (The physics room)

3. Owen Connors, Laura Duffy and Aliyah Winter, For wild splendorThe Physics Room, Center for the Arts Registration Building, 301 Montreal Street:

The program of exhibitions in the Physics Room currently appears as rich on a conceptual level as it is an encounter with the qualities of the objects exhibited. For wild splendor is no exception. Owen Connors, Laura Duffy and Aliyah Winter deliver evocative propositions, questioning “ideas about what is natural, unnatural, supernatural and the transformative potential of queer narratives that connect these things”.

Judy Darragh, Choir (detail), 2021. Photograph by Sam Hartnett.  Courtesy of the artist and Two Rooms, Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland.  (CoCA Toi Moroki)

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Judy Darragh, Choir (detail), 2021. Photograph by Sam Hartnett. Courtesy of the artist and Two Rooms, Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland. (CoCA Toi Moroki)

4. Judy Darrag Competitive plasticsCoCA Toi Moroki, 66 Gloucester Street:

Judy Darragh’s examination of overconsumption in the Western world sees her struggling once again. Featuring new and recent works, Competitive plastics features items from op-shops, discount stores, and industrial supply outfits, with Darragh reimagining them; “spilled, stuffed, skewered, wrapped and layered” rejuvenated as serious questions about the need for accountability. February 26 – May 27.

Elizabeth Thomson, Vesta c (detail), 2022, cast vinyl film and lacquer on resin and fiberglass convex form, (The Central Art Gallery)

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Elizabeth Thomson, Vesta c (detail), 2022, cast vinyl film and lacquer on resin and fiberglass convex form, (The Central Art Gallery)

5.Elizabeth Thomson, Lateral series, The Central Art Gallery. The Te Matatiki Toi Ora Center for the Arts, 28 Worcester Blvd:

Sculptor and installation artist Elizabeth Thomson has constantly reflected on the small details and the big picture of life, the subjects of her artistic practice, both tangible and mysterious and on both counts compelling. Writer, artist and curator Gregory O’Brien describes his exhibition of new works, Lateral Series, as asking this fundamental question: “How does humanity fit into the larger realm of nature?” » February 17-March 31.

Marie Strauss, Triumph, 2018, handmade porcelain (The National)

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Marie Strauss, Triumph, 2018, handmade porcelain (The National)

6. Marie Strauss, Before and afterThe National, 249 Moorhouse Avenue:

After earning an honors degree in ceramics at the Dunedin School of Art in the mid-1990s, Strauss’ handmade pots and vessels are, as a principle and ideology, grounded in the essential philosophy of food, shelter and clothing. Curator Rob Garrett describes his work as “evocative of place, ways of life and states of being”, with Strauss’ pot experience also announcing their attention to materials, function and place. February 1-29.

Chrystabel Aitken, MÄori Design and Geometrical Designs, 1924, UC-MBL-1675, UC Art Collection, Macmillan Brown Library, (TÅ“ranga)

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Chrystabel Aitken, MÄori Design and Geometrical Designs, 1924, UC-MBL-1675, UC Art Collection, Macmillan Brown Library, (TÅ“ranga)

seven. Object Lessons: Imported Collections, Local Art and Design Education in Ōtautahi ChristchurchTe Pito Huarewa/Southbase Gallery of Tūranga, 60 Cathedral Square:

Organized by Bojana Rimbovska, a graduate of the University of Canterbury, object lessons draws attention to the opening of the Canterbury College School of Art (now Ilam School of Fine Arts) in 1882 and its educational resources; plaster casts, lantern slides, books, etc., in an exhibition tracing the changes during its early years, from its focus on the “mother country” to local influences that included thee Māori. February 19 – March 21.

Dave Shepherd, Water Tower, Reefton Rail Yards, 2022 (Maxine Burney's Studio, The Arts Center Te Matatiki Toi Ora)

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Dave Shepherd, Water Tower, Reefton Rail Yards, 2022 (Maxine Burney’s Studio, The Arts Center Te Matatiki Toi Ora)

8. Dave Berger, Rustic and UnusualMaxine Burney Studio, Te Matatiki Toi Ora Center for the Arts, 28 Worcester Blvd.

Maxine Burney hosts the work of an artist each month in the studio of her Center des Arts. In March, Dave Shepherd’s photographs from a recent west coast trip document the relationship between the architecture and the environment of the region, with Shepherd celebrating that the subject of the water tower, Reefton Rail Yards, makes it the only single-row, twin-stall engine remaining. shed remaining in New Zealand. February 1 to 29.

Thomas Hancock, Ro Sadjin, 2021, Oil on linen, (PGgallery192)

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Thomas Hancock, Ro Sadjin, 2021, Oil on linen, (PGgallery192)

9.Thomas Hancock, Once removed. PGgallery192, 192 Bealey Ave:

Once removed collects paintings representing a variety of subjects and categories; found objects, imagined objects and created objects, repositioned as still lifes, photographs, digital and handmade drawings and three-dimensional works, described by Hancock as “middle ground” before their resolution as paintings. Once removed is an exhibition that is both a question and an answer to the proposition: Is it a painting? February 15 – March 11.

Andris Abse, Ahuriri Valley, platinum palladium print, (Stoddart Cottage)

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Andris Abse, Ahuriri Valley, platinum palladium print, (Stoddart Cottage)

10. Andris Apside, Light & LandscapeStoddart Cottage 2 Waipapa Ave, Diamond Harbour:

Photographer Andris Apse is nationally and internationally recognized and his landscapes of the past 30 years are the subject of Light & Landscape, an exhibition-investigation at the Stoddart Cottage Gallery. A recipient of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to photography, the subjects of Apse’s photographs may be popular and well-known, but through his camera they are revealed as if for the very first time. February 4-27.

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