Looking for Humpty Dumpty - Maggie McGregor opens 27 September 2018

Posted by Fiona Cable on

Humpty Dumpty receives the Kintsugi treatment

Exploring the fragile and broken is a way of drawing attention to and valuing what we have.

Maggie McGregor processes and unpacks current events, political or personal, by manipulating paint, using form, line and dimension. Her initial emotional and mental response to an event, is to break it into parts, or like Humpty Dumpty, she finds it in pieces already. She attempts to make some sense of it by building up layers, then wiping away, sometimes it remains in pieces – to be readdressed another day. The process is both organic and cathartic. Joining elements together, revealing the imperfect mark making and the incomplete. Finding the beauty in accidental spaces. There is power in imperfection, resulting in renewal and restoration.

Maggie McGregor

For this exhibition we are looking predominantly at the aesthetic result of a cathartic act in visual art. Kintsugi is the age-old Japanese art form of repairing broken ceramics in a way that is often considered more beautiful than when it was when whole. This same philosophy can be applied to life. Following the philosophy of kintsugi, what becomes important is how we handle situations.

We hope to highlight how making work that has a cathartic impact is something many artists do regardless of what their ‘commercial’ practice is about, as well as reiterating its equal visual importance. It links all artists, and every human. It is a universal process – and is something that reiterates the widely held belief that every human has the potential to be creative.  

Embrace the imperfections. Realize they are just as important as the rest.


Learn the art of Kintsugi. Join a workshop here at Railway Street Gallery, 6 October. An Astute Assembly, Yuka O'Shannessy and Yoko Shimoyama, will take you through easy step-by-step instructions on how to piece back together your broken ceramics with lacquer and golden powder.

Email janina@railwaystreetstudios.co.nz with your phone number. Bring a broken piece of ceramic. $60, materials included.

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