TJ McNamara visits Age of Exploration and is full of admiration. Nov 2019

Posted by Fiona Cable on

“This image here which is a beautiful profile which absolutely suits the oval shape and with just enough stain on the plate to suggest she is looking across the seas or at another world. And all these migratory birds, not quite swimming but floating in the air, the tattoo on the neck, and the ship, the early ship. Much earlier than Cook, so it’s travelling and pointing in a gesture of God giving life to Adam like on the ceiling on the Sistine Chapel. So, there is so much in it and it is all brought into this fascinating image. It has that sense of travel and vision, and of dream, they are genuinely surreal. Surrealism is the art of dream. Since Freud of course dreams have been very important in our consciousness. They are extraordinarily inventive, although they are obviously a family, a unity of style, unified by the young woman. Each one, they come in editions here but they are like nothing else, they are unique, so they are worth studying.(On print titled Migrating Bird)

Printed from a plate, but the process of getting the image on a plate is not the traditional one of cutting into the plate with a sharp instrument. How that is achieved is the artists secret, there are things that I don’t quite understand about the way they are printed. But they show an immense amount of experience and skill in achieving these images, and the images are absolutely remarkable, I think. They incorporate many ideas that are strongly linked to New Zealand because they are about travel and world and sailing and people that have adapted or are still in the process of moving. In themselves they embody things that are special to travelling and worlds particularly New Zealand.

There is a sense of movement and also the blessing of rain and water. It’s an extraordinary image I find, because there is so much there, some of which we understand and some of which we wonder about. So there is both mystery and intrigue to make it a remarkable image. (on print titled O.E.)


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