Oliver Perkins

A kind of arrow

28 May 2022 - 16 October 2022

This exhibition operates as a visual exchange between artist, material and space. Oliver Perkins spends much of his time considering how he can intervene in the traditional order and construction of a painting – pigment, paint medium, canvas, stretcher – and how his work then carries this thinking, both physically and theoretically.  He has approached the exhibition as a set of experimental arrangements, taking place within the elements of individual paintings and their relationship with the architectural framework of the gallery.

In his title for the exhibition, A kind of arrow, Perkins points towards directional language and wayfinding, while retaining an open-ended and speculative approach. He is interested in how paintings and gallery architecture can operate as transitive sites – concerned with directional flows between different elements within the exhibition.  This is the kind of action-based process that drives Perkins’ practice, with works operating as a series of questions that can be posed and answered through material, form and structure over time.  

One of the recurring ideas that emerges through Perkins’ work is the positioning of two elements or objects in dialogue with one another.  In his insert paintings, Perkins places one painting physically within another – creating a space of concealment or containment, that can also be counteracted by absences, or void spaces, that indicate the remains of this exchange.  Wall paintings draw the architecture of the gallery into this interaction – creating space for the body within these large-scale paintings, at the same time locating smaller paintings in relation to the spaces between these fields of strong colour.  

Perkins’ insert paintings offer a useful way of signalling his wider interests in A kind of arrow and its partner work FREE-RANGE, which is located on the Big Wall in the Gallery foyer.  The insert paintings create ways to think about how space is opened-up and occupied.  Across these two sites in the building, A kind of arrow and FREE-RANGE locate the audience within and between architecture, paint and canvas.  It is this zone, where the physical, contextual, social and painterly concerns of the artist rub up against one another, that harnesses the energy and exchange at the heart of Perkins’ creative practice. 

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He whakawhitika ā-konohi tēnei whakaaturaka i waeka i te rika-toi, te papaka me te wāhi. E āta wānakahia ana e Oliver Perkins tana wawao i te raupapa taketake me te waihakataka o te mahi peita - te tae, te momo, te kānawehi, te aka - me te kawe hoki a āhana mahi i ēnei huatau, ā-tinana nei, ā-huika whakaaro nei hoki. Ko tana aru atu ki tēnei whakaaturaka he whakariteka whakamātautau e mahi ana i roto i kā aka mātuatua o ia mahi peita, ā, he honoka hoki ki te aka hoahoaka o te ahurewa mātaki.

Ki roto i te ikoa o te whakaaturaka, He momo pere, ka aro atu a Perkins ki te reo pū-aka me te mahi whakatere, i te wā tou e mau ana ki te aruka mutuka kore, ki te whakaaro pūmāramarama hoki. Kai te aro atu ia ki te mahi peita me te hoahoataka o te ahurewa mātaki hai wāhi whakawhitiwhiti i te rere o te aka, i te rere o kā aka mātuatua hoki ki roto i te whakaaturaka. Koia te momo tukaka whakahau e hautū ana i te mahi a Perkins, ko āhana mahi he raupapa urupounamu ka uitia, ka uruparetia hoki mā te papaka, mā te āhua, mā te aka hoki i tōhona wā.  

Ko tētahi o kā whakaaro e putaputa mai ana i te mahi a Perkins ko te whakatūtaka o kā aka mātuatua e rua, o kā taputapu e rua rānei e pāhekoheko ana. I āhana mahi peita whakauru, ka whakatakotoria e Perkins tētahi mahi peita ki roto, ā-tinana, i tētahi atu - e whakaritea ana he wāhi huna, he wāhi pupuri rānei, kia whakatauritehia e te koreka, e te hemaka rānei o te tētahi mea, kia tohua ai te toeka o tēnei kurutete. Ka tōia e kā peita pātū te hoahoaka o te ahurewa mātaki ki tēnei pāheko - e whai wāhi ana te tinana ki roto i ēnei peita kaitā, i te wā tou e kimihia ana kā peita paku me te hono o te wāhi i waeka i ēnei puna tae muramura. 

He tohutohu kā peita whakauru a Perkins i āhana paika whānui i He momo pere me tana hoa TAKA-NOA, ka tū ki te Pātū Nui ki te roro matua o te Ahurewa Mātaki. Ka huaki he ara whakaaro kā peita whakauru mō te whakawātea me te whakakapi i tētahi wāhi. Whakawhiti atu i ēnei wāhi e rua ki te whare nei, He momo pere me TAKA-NOA ka whakatūria te kaimātaki ki roto, ki waeka hoki, i te hoahoaka, i te peita me te kānawehi. Ki konei, te wāhi e tukia ana kā take ā-tinana, ā-horopaki, ā-pāpori, ā-peita hoki o te rika-toi, ka ūhia te kao me te whakawhitika, ārā ko te matū, ko te kako a tā Perkins mahi auaha.


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