Gisborne artists Simon Lardelli (left) and Drew Hill
present the raw material of pallets they use to create the
wooden and plexiglass sculptures seen on the walls of Toi o
Tahuna Gallery. Photo by James Beech.
Pallets are the palette for two contemporary artists from
Gisborne now making their Queenstown debut in Toi o Tahuna
Artists Simon Lardelli and Drew Hill explore positive and
negative spaces, the formation of shadows from light,
contrast the natural with the artificial and turn the
industrial into art when they create unique sculptures from
found objects, particularly discarded wooden pallets.
The figures they cut using the space between the slats are
bestowed with meaning, often representing ancestors from the
Lardelli and Hill spent their first visit to the Wakatipu
last week as artists in residence, using their skills,
instincts, power tools, stains and paint to create the
three-dimensional works for display.
Their showcase is called ''The Remarkables''.
The duo have exhibited in their home town and around New
Zealand and their works have been bought by collectors from
both sides of the Tasman, Japan, Canada and Turkey.
Lardelli studied visual arts at Waiariki Polytechnic,
Rotorua, in 1989-92 and became involved in several design and
carving projects on the East Coast of the North Island.
He worked on restoring Maori meeting houses over the past
decade, assisting master carver Lyonel Grant on
Ihenga/Tangatarua in 1993-96.
He helped carve a sculpture for Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd to
gift to the Japanese fishing company Nissui in 2012.
Hill graduated from studying fine arts in 1999 and has
directed award-wining social, economic and environmental
themed documentaries which have been selected for
international film festivals.
A polytechnic tutor and photographer favouring black and
white film, Hill is pursing his interest in multimedia art by
extending the carved pallet concept into transparent acrylic
glass, ''the new wood'', as also seen in the Toi o Tahuna
Lardelli and Hill said they wanted to thank owner Mark Moran
for providing the gallery space.
Mr Moran and the artists crossed paths several times at
exhibitions in the North Island and had been discussing the
idea of exhibiting in Queenstown over six years.
''The way they experiment with positive and negative space
and the resulting shadow effect using the gallery lighting is
quite a unique form they've come up with and watching them at
work has been really interesting to me,'' Mr Moran said.
• ''The Remarkables'' is on display upstairs in the gallery
on Rees St until April 15.