An exhibition of three painters Pauline Thompson, Deborah Russell and Caroline Williams opens at the Fisher Gallery, Pakuranga from 7 March.
Planning for Novel Works began in 1985. The three artists had not previously known each other. From the dialogue that evolved by simply writing to each other they brought this exhibition together. Organised with the incentive of Ewen McDonald of the Mori Gallery in Sydney, he has also written the catalogue which accompanies the exhibition.
The paintings are all of a small scale so that they can be easily transported and displayed in many galleries. This exhibition has just finished showing at the new National Library Gallery in Wellington and will continue to tour to other venues throughout New Zealand.
Even though called Novel Works, the paintings do not follow any narrative or theme. Instead of describing a story they illustrate dreams or imaginings. Sometimes there is a disturbing undercurrent present.
Two of the artists, Deborah Russell and Caroline Williams are from Australia. Pauline Thompson lives and works in Auckland.
Caroline Williams who was born in Wellington now lives and works in Melbourne. Her untitled figurative paintings have a magical and occasionally disquieting atmosphere. The elegantly period costumed men in her works leave haunting memories with the viewer.
The second Australian artist Deborah Russell paints intimate views of her landscape. These are usually centered on the gardens of her childhood. The views are enclosed and built up of meticulous layers of paint.
Local Auckland artist Pauline Thompson is represented twice in this month’s exhibitions at the Fisher Gallery. Her paintings in Novel Works display her virtuosity in the control of her chosen medium. She bases her choice of colour on a personal system to be representative of specific feelings.
Thompson has another series of paintings on display. Judgement 1987: A series of thirteen paintings are based around a poem about seven Russian officers who have been captured and imprisoned by Nazis. Finding they have been abandoned by their captors in a cellar without provisions, the harsh decision is made to kill their comrades for food in order to survive.
→ Novel Works, 1988, publication