Erica van Zon is the inaugural recipient of the annual Iris Fisher scholarship, which rewards an outstanding visual arts student enrolled in an Auckland tertiary institution. A partnership between Te Tuhi and the Fisher Trust, this important new scholarship has been established in the name of Iris Fisher, a founding member of the Pakuranga Arts Society and driving force behind the creation of the Fisher Gallery, later to become the Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts.
Erica van Zon presents a witty and playful homage to the ephemera surrounding films from the 1950s and 60s. Shock! Horror! Suspense! immediately evokes intense experiences of filmic thrillers. But rather than focusing on the main action, van Zon’s attraction is to the more humble artefacts of films. Her sculptures hone our attention to overlooked elements of movies by recreating both props seen within the films themselves and set ornamentations that reside outside of the filmic spectacle. Alfred Hitchcock is a favourite – from a single rope referencing the famed film of the same name to her own hand painted backdrop of red bricks referencing the set of the classic Rear Window (1954).
Van Zon also recreates dozens of hand painted retro film posters that are imbued with nostalgia through the knowledge that the originals were from an era when they were drawn by artists rather than being mechanically produced. These handcrafted techniques toy with a traditional prejudice against submitting craft in art galleries. So while the ornaments have a light humour about their materials and quality, the very process of making bring to fore the gallery as an institution.