The days are hot and long and endless. The summer heat has reached its peak, the asphalt on the roads has begun to move and form ridges, browned burnt fields cry out to you as you travel north or inland. In the city, light tropical mists laugh and play with your hair as you move between air conditioned spaces. Everything pushes against you. There has been an unseen shift - summer is no longer your friend, its presence in your day has become ominous. You long for a break in the weather, a break in your life - these are the Dog Days of summer.
steal the light & hide it in the flowers Maggie McGregor
In this collection of works the Railway Street Gallery artists & guests have explored and responded to this period of time.
In Jo Dalgety's work titled 'Canicule', we dive into cool blue watery mark making, with Ewan McDougall's painting 'The Deep' we join others in the madness of the heat and let the crazy begin. The soft woven textures of Fiona Cable's work point us toward the land, it's need for water and care. These works are beautiful places to visually rest in the exhibition. Emma Hercus' 'Freddy" tries to find shade from the heat under the branch of a Kowhai tree. All of these works are very much a New Zealand response to the Dog Days of Summer, where we wilt in temperatures over 27/28 degrees.
I love reading the writing of some of the American writers whose overheated summer settings play havoc with the lives of their characters :
'It was a time when everything you once suspected might go wrong suddenly did. For miles in every direction people just snapped. Lovers quarrelled in bedrooms and parking lots, money was stolen, knives were pulled, friendships that had lasted a lifetime were destroyed with one harsh word.' - Alice Hoffman Fortune's Daughter
The name Dog Days originated with the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians; they believed that Sirius the dog star, which rises simultaneously with the Sun during this time of the year, added its heat to the Sun’s and thereby caused the hot weather. In the Southern Hemisphere we experience this period from late Jan - late March. There are several myths associated with this time in summer. it's said to be a period that can bring fever, catastrophe, war, disaster, bad luck, drought, turmoil, and a change in the behaviour of animals, humans included.
The Deep Ewan McDougall
Come and join us at the gallery on Wed evening Jan 31st 5 - 7pm to celebrate the beginning of our year and the start of this summer period. The Summer Collection is a wonderfully varied body of work and a showcase of the artists you will see exhibiting at Railway Street Gallery throughout the year - view work here.