For the Te Tuhi Project Wall, Auckland-based artist Matt Henry has generated a new work titled Structural Relief (Te Tuhi) that consists of an arrangement of white stretched canvases on a white wall. Some of the canvases have been inset into the wall itself, while others are hung conventionally on its surface, both hanging methods relying on the play of light and shadow to define the internal and external forms. For this project, Henry uses painting as a departure point to explore relationships between architecture, art and design. This exploration can be seen through the arrangement of the canvases and their engagement with the internal structure of the wall, mirroring the logic of the architecture within which the paintings are housed.
Overlaid on this logic is the visible form taken by the canvases as a whole. Their presence is minimal, asserted only through their strong lines, which nevertheless don’t seem to enforce a differentiation between the wall and the canvases themselves. This relationship brings into question the presence of a painting in a room not as an image or a surface, but as something that might become part of the architecture in which it is placed.