Ruby Anderson, Rosemary Richards and Susan Videler
(Dunedin International Airport)
Caught by Susan Videle.
This month, three Dunedin female artists are displaying their
approach to portraiture. Ruby Anderson presents portraits of
children in which each child looks directly at the viewer,
their large eyes dominating the face, enticing the viewer to
take a second look.
Naturalistic colouring and a soft brush style portray an
innocence only seen in childhood. Their rather formal attire
adds another dimension to the work.
Rosemary Richards' style has been influenced by the effect of
stained-glass windows, her love of Art nouveau and the
feminine form, creating work that is heavily outlined and
worked up in blocks of bright colour and pattern. The work
displayed features women set against a dark background, their
exotic attire, wild hairdos and confrontational poses
encouraging a voyeuristic approach to the work.
Susan Videler's work is again very different. She has a
fascination for glass, self-reflection and an interest in
catoptromancy, an ancient method of clairvoyance in which
black mirrors were used to connect with the past, present or
The artist presents nine glass oval portraits of her own face
with each work presented in a different pose, some veiled
while others are not. Each image is worked up in layers of
paint on the back of the glass, an intense process that
involves painting backwards. A layer of black paint is
applied after the image is completed, creating work
reminiscent of the black mirror used in ancient times.
School's Out by Jason Greig.
• "The Abyss: Where Truths Hide from the Warming Light
of Day'', Jason Greig (Brett McDowell Gallery)
Jason Greig is exhibiting another fine series of Gothic
monoprints portraying the darker side of the human mind. The
subject matter for this collection consists of fine figure
studies and portraits but also encompasses old ships,
tumultuous seas and decaying figures of authority.
Many of Greig's subjects are dark and draw on the influences
of popular culture, music, horror movies, gothic literature
and 18th- and 19th-century printmakers.Among the work
displayed, there are three very large prints, clearly
demonstrating Greig's technical skill as a printer.
One of these works, The Deathship has a New Captain depicts
the artist himself as a mad-like captain at the helm. The
work set amidst turbulent seas and dark stormy skies evokes
an image cold and sinister in character.
Greig's figure studies and portraits are also fascinating.
The male figures are presented as brutal and menacing, such
as in Pagan Altar and Attack on Derwin, an image that has
been collaged as an attack by Greig on Charles Darwin. Others
are small exquisite portraits, the most colourful being
Persian Rug. The female figures in The Terratorials are
presented as ghoulish half- animal, half-woman creatures,
otherworldly and dangerous. The smudgy, ink-blot effects of
the background enhance the features of Greig's characters and
add to the mood of the work, as do the superb hand-made
frames also crafted by this accomplished artist.
There will Come Soft Rains by Kate van der Drift.
• "They Could have Stayed Forever/Still Life and Still
Hope'', Kate van der Drift (Mint Gallery)
Kate Van Der Drift's exhibition consists of two series of
photographic works. The series, "They Could Have Stayed
Forever'' are large-scale scenes of abandoned holiday
resorts, while the second series "Still Life and Still Hope''
is a response to the first.
The photographer uses contrasting subject matter and
photographic techniques to aid her messages.The photographer
explores the idea the world has changed or shifted in a new
It would seem people have left this world or migrated,
leaving all behind them, yet van der Drift describes her work
as not an exploration in sadness, but one of hopefulness. She
aims to convey although it is the end of one thing it is also
the beginning of something new.
In the series "I Could Have Stayed Forever'', the subject
matter is finely detailed and softly coloured with highlights
of striking coral-pink set against large pale skies, creating
a collection that is soft and cohesive. Facing this display
is the second series, "Still Life and Still Hope'', which is
a contrast by using still-life subjects such as shrivelling
fruit and bright flowers set against a black background - a
response that there is hope for regeneration after all is
The subjects are photographed inside and under false
lighting, giving an image that is reminiscent of a hologram.
Both series of photographs are quiet and still and convey a