10 must-see exhibitions in Canterbury in December
In December, Warren Feeney recommends Christmas group shows in city galleries and one that reflects on the idea of ââisolation, with its barometer of chaos at the top.
1. CHRISTMAS’21, PGgallery192, 192 Bealey Ave.
A group exhibition featuring new works by Joanna Braithwaite, Nigel Buxton, Rebecca Harris, Chris Pole, Aiko Robinson, John Reynolds and Terry Stringer, with the attitude of CHRISTMAS’21 perfectly represented by Braithwaite’s painting, Sea change. Colorful and cheerfully rowdy, its parade of pelicans disguised as fish and fish as pelicans is both whimsical and commentary on current realities, but also a lively greeting and welcome to all. December 7-24.
2. Matthew Cowper, Isolation paintings, Aigantighe Art Gallery, 49 Wai-iti Rd, MÄori Hill, Timaru.
Insulation paints It is artist Matthew Cowper’s reflection on our current state of mind, with the barometer of chaos at the top in the paintings about separating from their subjects, assuming their own goals and certainties. Insulation paints outwardly recognizes Salvador Dali’s melting landscapes, but his concerns are more about making sense of the unforeseen realities of our lives. December 4 – February 27.
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3. Toro Whakaara: Responses to our built environment.
CoCA Toi Moroki, 66 Gloucester St. Opening in November at CoCA in Åtautahi Christchurch and Objectspace in TÄmaki Makaurau Auckland, Toro Whakaara represents the work of 10 artists, five in each city. ÄKAU, Edith Amituanai, Kirsty Lillico, Sione Faletau and Wayne Youle are at CoCA, installing works in response to gallery director Kim Paton’s proposal to reconsider our relationship with public architecture. Youle installed three bollards and asks: are the bollards there to protect us or to protect what is on the other side? Until February 5.
4. Unofficial group show, Fiksate, 54 Hawdon Street, Sydenham.
Unofficial group show is a must visit for anyone interested in the pulse of urban art, its increasingly fluid nature inhabiting both public spaces and galleries. The exhibition highlights the best aspects of these developments, his focus on familiar and new names. Unofficial group show presents new paintings by TOGO, a graffiti artist reinventing his past on the streets in formalist abstract paintings. Until December 24.
5. Craftsmen’s Christmas market, Stoddart Cottage Gallery, 2 Waipapa Ave, Diamond Harbor.
A group exhibition of artisans making handmade objects in all disciplines, including ceramics, paintings, textiles, quilts and wooden toys. Among the many artisans is ceramic artist Jane McCulla, who moved from Ireland to Aotearoa in 2009. McCulla’s ceramics are also influenced by clay slurries and Japanese glazes, the association of her work with the local environment both technically impressive and sincere. December 3-28.
6. Peter Wheeler, Let me remember my song in the night, Jonathan Smart Gallery, 52 Buchan Street, Sydenham.
Let me remember my song in the night is a quote from the Book of Psalms, alluding to the subjects and mood of Wheeler’s paintings, his images alluding to the dilemmas and doubts we all have. Indeed, the titles of Wheeler’s paintings and their power as emotional triggers are complicated visual puzzles about the relationships between possible narratives, objects, space, and color. Until December 18.
seven. Juergen Esperschuetz, Megan Balks and Allan Hewitt, Sol, (Re) Cycling, Eastside Gallery, 388 Worcester St.
Sol, (Re) Cycling is an exhibition by three soil scientists, which may seem surprising at first glance – even though Leonardo da Vinci set a precedent 500 years ago. Sol, (Re) Cycling is both an aesthetic experience on surfaces, materials and the formal structure of their work and an encounter with a study of the natural environment, organic matter and minerals. Until December 18.
8. Michael Springer, to all the ghosts that haunt us, Chambers Gallery, 80 Durham St, Sydenham.
It’s impossible to see Michael Springer’s paintings without thinking of Birdlings Flat. Springer is a local resident and his paintings make the experience of his shore and landscape far too tangible. He comments: âBy using paint as the primordial mud to summon unknown creatures from this surreal landscape, I feed on the long lasting spiritual energy that escapes. Â»Until December 18th.
9. Group exhibition, The Moon and the Manor, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o WaiwhetÅ«, Cnr Worcester Blvd and Montreal St.
The Moon and the Manor is a welcome surprise from the Christchurch Art Gallery, but over the past two years they have exceeded expectations with every change of exhibition. Among the many highlights of the exhibition are Doris Tutill Flamingo suspended applied design and British painter and illustrator Gertrude Demain Hammond’s A reading of Plato, 1903. Until May 1st.
ten. Group exhibition, Showcase 2021, City Art Depot, 96 Disraeli St, Sydenham.
Showcase 2021 presents seven City Art artists: Saskia Bunce-Rath, Nick Harte, Francis van Hout, Clare Logan, Kathryn Madill, Christiane Shortal and Dean Venrooy. All of them exhibit new works revealing unexpected facets of their practice. Harte discloses its absolute mastery of its choice materials; acrylic and nail polish on cardboard disc sleeves. Madill’s works on paper are on a scale rarely seen by the artist, and Shortel’s color palette is heightened, adding both authenticity and fabrication to his images. Until December 17th.