An exhibition of a new work by Auckland artist John Lyall opens to the public at the Fisher Gallery, Pakuranga from Friday 26 August. The exhibition is a work based on the historical New Zealand painter Petrus Van der Velden’s Otira Gorge painting.
The waterfall sculpture, constructed from demolition timber, 1000 lengths of dowelling, sheets of galvanised iron, garden furniture, water moving apparatus (pump, pvc pool supports etc) has been made specifically for the outdoor Sculpture Court.
Lyall’s work is usually made by re-using unwanted materials; discarded wood, dowelling, industrial strapping. Lyall likes to make interventions into the natural condition of the materials. He uses junk materials but validates them through his selection process and by working with them. It has been noted that his installations are a feat of fabrication. The elevation of so many pieces of discarded source material to match ‘pure mathematical forms’ in space is a major trick of his constructions.
The Otira Gorge painting will be re-constructed as a sculpture, using mathematical laws of painting composition from the painting as the guiding principles. The natural scene immortalised by Van der Velden will be suspended through a complicated and beautiful system of artificial supports - the waterfall itself running from the roof of the gallery down through the Sculpture Court, spilling over its unnatural framework and into artificial pools.
This installation is the third in this series; Pink and White Terraces was exhibited at Elam School of Fine Art in 1993 and Picketing the Sublime is currently on show at the Museum of New Zealand. John Lyall graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland in 1993. His work is currently included in the major survey exhibition of contemporary New Zealand sculpture, ART NOW at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington.