Art seen

''In Colour'', Richard Adams, Dave Gibbons, Lukeke, Louise McRae, Ian Scott and other artists (Gallery Thirty Three, Wanaka)

Green Moon, by Louise McRae.
Green Moon, by Louise McRae.
The gallery's latest exhibition celebrates summer and the festive season with a group of renowned artists who jubilantly embrace colour in their work. It encompasses a diverse collection of work ranging from painting to ceramics, glass work and sculpture.

One's attention is taken by the colour displayed, particularly the large grouping of Lukeke Design cast-glass Wall Birds that appear to swoop across the wall. On the gallery floor, Hamish Jones' sculptures reference the toys and games of childhood with his Lego-like figures, Block Colour. His metre-high, impeccably polished and humorous Lego men are icons in their own right, taken out of their natural context and elevated to fine-art status. There is diversity on the walls with Ian Scott's exquisitely painted lattice series based on diagonal divisions of the canvas. This is juxtaposed with work on the facing wall by UK artist David Gibbons, whose local landscapes are executed with bold brushstrokes and thick paint, portraying work that tends more towards expressionism than that of realism.

J S Parker and Richard Adams' work is also another interesting contrast, with abstract landscapes continuing to explore the nuances of light and colour, often inspired by the South Island's land, waters and light.

''Christmas Show'', various artists (Inge Doesburg Gallery)

The Godwits Ascent, by Jo Ogier
The Godwits Ascent, by Jo Ogier
Although this delightful gallery space is small and intimate, the Christmas exhibition features work from 19 very different artists, creating a display that is varied in style and subject matter.

The window display contains work by Dunedin photographer Mike O'Kane. These images explore aspects of altered time and scale with the role of play being the focal point in the work in which toys make a larger-than-life appearance. Inside the gallery Marie Strauss presents three hand-built ceramic pots of varying size and shape. Despite their strong forms, roughened edges, perforations and earthy colours there is a finesse and delicacy to the vessels. Other three-dimensional works include Jai Hall's two distorted sheep sculptures.

Colour is represented on the walls with Isaac Leuchs' The Guardian and Peter Cleverley's ink and charcoal pieces which are inspired by a recent trip to Istanbul and the use of spirograph patterns. Jo Ogier's work is concerned with issues of conservation and this is evident in her work the Godwit's Ascent, a finely detailed woodcut print on flax paper. Landscape themes are seen in the work of Inge Doesburg's broad panoramic vista of Somes Island and Marilynn Webb's two beautiful engravings in soft hues of grey, blues and greens evoking the moody shifts of the weather and the season.

• "Summer Show", (Milford Galleries Dunedin)

The Crowing Cockerel, the Fox and the Wallaby (2007), by Ray Ching.
The Crowing Cockerel, the Fox and the Wallaby (2007), by Ray Ching.
Drawn from the Milford's vast collection, this exhibition presents work displayed in new and refreshing combinations and features work from a wide range of celebrated New Zealand artists, photographers and sculptors. It is a show that warrants more than one visit to fully appreciate all that is displayed.

Three-dimensional work takes the eye on entry. Hannah Kidd's large rustic urn Um 1 and Paul Dibble's superb cast bronze figures dominate the gallery floor yet complement the finer pieces around them. The simplicity of Ann Robinson's cast glass and Graham Bennett's wood and steel structure make an interesting juxtaposition with Sue Hawker's bright pate de verre vessels and the fine detailing in Neil Dawson's wall constructions.

Paintings dominate the walls and there are those notable for their scale. Neil Frazer's work is significant in the sturdiness in which thick paint is applied creating drama in his landscapes, while Robert Ellis employs symbolic references from both Maori and European connections in his work Ra Tapu Te Rawhiti 3 Hune 1990.

Ray Ching is widely regarded as the greatest contemporary bird painter and a strong addition to the exhibition. His work presents the viewer with a mix of absurd subject matter and realism. Photographic work reveals a diverse range of concerns and practices. Christine Webster's Le dossier works confront and disturb the viewer.

- Julie Jopp


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