Louise McRae’s exhibition takes its name from an ancient, mythical people said to have inhabited a land of overwhelming, perpetual darkness. There is a ritualistic, almost atavistic quality to her process - the splitting and painting, the burning and rebuilding - which calls to mind age-old philosophies around purification and renewal.
McRae talks about destruction and reconstruction and finding meaning in the process of reconciling these exploded parts. But the axe and the flame do not solely destroy; they also open up the process to chance and allow the natural characteristics of the wood to sing. The heat of a fire gives the wood a unique texture and a velvet-black surface which is a perfect counterpoint to areas of rich colour or iridescent foil. When split, shards of wood break along the curvature of their grain, forming the contours that bring movement to the finished pieces.
The finished works paradoxically speak of human impact, labour and repetition, but also of the forces of nature and patterns of growth in the natural world.
preview the exhibition here
Please join us at the preview from 5pm on 27 June 2017
at grey, 37 Scanlan St, Grey Lynn, Auckland
Seed is pleased to introduce Louise McRae’s most recent works: a series of small and intricate assemblage paintings. In one sense these works are rooted in the experience of looking itself, but they also explore memory and the cyclical nature of matter. Brightly painted fragments of timber jostle for space on a substrate that can't quite contain them. Memories of the past lives of McRae's materials are held within unruly grids, and we see an interplay between what is natural and constructed.
Necessity is the mother of invention and so McRae’s scale has adapted to what can be constructed on a tabletop while she builds a new studio in Pakiri. With an empty paddock as a starting point, the sky really is the limit and the project has taken on grander proportions than McRae ever expected. Inspired by the urban lofts of New York, she fell in love with steel windows and was thrilled when as sole bidder on a trademe auction she was able to purchase a set for $51.
On collecting the windows she discovered that not only had they come from the studio of Paul Dibble 40 years ago, but that the vendor was Warren Viscoe, a sculptor whose work she has admired for many years. So in keeping with McRae’s use of objects and materials with a history of their own, here she acquired some beautiful windows with excellent provenance, met one of her heroes and enjoyed a tour of his home and work.