Friday, December 19, 2008

A Marvellous Mayhem

Details from the London Town installations by Mark Braunias. Images supplied by Sarjeant Gallery.
Auckland-based artist Mark Braunias has a wonderfully dishevelled cast of characters ‘galloping’ across the walls of Wanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery in a work called London Town. Based on figures that have been “knocking about in his head space since his time as artist-in-residence at Tylee Cottage – March to May 2007” – the work is an intimate response to his time in Wanganui, filled with details of the local and social. “It’s not the big history he’s after but the small fry, the everyday, the funny, the folklore, the overlooked.” Braunias found that detail in old editions of the Wanganui Chronicle, stored on microfiche – particularly in the advertisements and especially those of a former Wanganui department store, Londontown, which was once in the town’s main street. At the end of his residency, he left town with a bundle of work books and drawings and has now returned to display the finished work – “a motley crew of characters colliding in – to paraphrase the artist – an elegant, stupid, anti-composition in the gallery space.” (From exhibition text by Greg Donson).

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