Exhibition Dates: 25 September – 1 November 2009
Artists: North West and West Coast Artists
Depending on the viewing space we are in, when looking at art we tend to view from a distance – albeit short – and move closer to the artwork to see detail. If we are still interested in the art we may move back from it to view it once more as a ‘whole’ but with a deeper understanding of the parts that make up the whole. This movement towards and away from the artwork is analogous to the way our vision and other senses operate when navigating through space or focusing on objects.
While ‘close distance’ implies an object or thing at close range, the individual words can take on other meanings depending on the context they are used in: close may mean nearby, but it also means crammed – or pronounced differently, it refers to an object that is not open; distance can signify the length of space and time. Of course distance may be short, or hardly noticable, but generally the word conveys a sense of separation or lperiods of time and space.
When visiting artists studios in the early stages of planning this exhibition, travel time to the West Coast from the NW Coast seemed like a ‘long distance’. Yet this time is relatively short when one considers how long it takes to travel from one region to another in many other parts of the world. There are residents in Queenstown who have travelled long distances to live and work there; there are artists in Queenstown creating work about the people and the landscape: the near and the far.
From light reflections of ‘real’ objects within photographic space – to painted scenes of minute and large scale objects or closely folded patterns from plastic – Close-Distance represents variations on the focus of time, space, place and vision. The NW and West Coast artists in this exhibition work in very different ways, drawing on concepts related to internal and external complexities of near and far.