Give me cute work books, paper cut-outs and little dishes of coloured pigment and I’m as happy as a sand-boy. Christchurch Art Gallery seems to know this because they keep staging these great colour-themed exhibitions - supposedly for “a younger audience” – that are right up my alley. I may have finally found my level in the art world. They started with red, then white and now they’re on to blue – hence Blue Planet, a terrific, vibrant show that draws works in blue from the gallery collection, with additional loans from other public and private collections. The image above – Gavin Hipkins Romance: New York (Jellyfish) 2006. C-type print. Private Collection, Christchurch, Reproduced courtesy of the artist, Hamish McKay Gallery and Starkwhite – makes a memorable statement at the entrance to the exhibition.
Once inside the gallery, there is much to attract the eye – everything from the work book (for kids), making up the cardboard snow crystals (also for kids – I guess) and a wildly diverse array of sculptures, paintings, photographs and prints. I particularly loved Peter Madden’s ‘Small World View,’ an imagined alien museum display – a gorgeous gathering of colourful madness that reminded me of the chaotic insides of my own head. Rohan Wealleans ‘Blue Brain’ is also sure to please and intrigue. The work illustrated above is: Reuben Paterson A Shadow Born from Three Dreams 2008-09. Glitter and acrylic on canvas. Private collection, Christchurch. Reproduced courtesy of the artist. www.christchurchartgallery.org.nz
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