Printmaker Prue MacDougall explores themes of journeying, both physically across the world and chronologically through time, and the effect such journeying has on one’s sense of identity.
Myth and reality often become blurred in the visual telling of these stories; narratives of many strange events become embroidered with retelling. Whether fact or fiction, it is the wonder of the story itself that becomes most important.
Prue’s latest body of work follows on from her successful series, Age of Exploration, exploring the female form, as Malcolm Burgess in Art New Zealand wrote succinctly, “the metaphors of body and map and world-as-body merge to create images that are highly symbolic and unreal, and on another decorative and everyday”. They embody many ideas strongly linked to New Zealand around travel, sailing and people that have adapted or are still in the process of moving and adapting.
Tattoos are often a starting point in her creative process. Tattoos may be skin deep, but their significance often goes deeper. The messages sent by body art are an individual's self-expression, but there are recurring motifs that can often tell you something about the imbedded culture. At the crossroads of bodies and art, the physical and the imaginary, Prue embellishes and extrapolates. Shapes and symbols pulsate with memories, meanings, and emotions. Above all, these prints capture and reveal unspoken aspects of human relationships, creating “present-day fantasies of the past, and past fantasies of the present”. (M Burgess)
At times playful and whimsical, at other times serious and introspective, she fashions these ideas into nostalgic cameos in which our present reality reconnects with the past and is reevaluated.
ARTIST TALK: Sat 17 & 18 October, 10 am
View Prue's work here