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Fri 21 Nov 2008–Tue 16 Dec 2008, 8:30am–5:00am

Where: Milford Galleries Dunedin, 18 Dowling St, Dunedin

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: Milford Galleries

Tony Bishop’s exploration of the rural arcadia so dominant in the kiwi mindset reveals a gothic underbelly of violence and alarming contradictions which include overuse, abuse and environmental damage.

Tony Bishop’s paintings could be categorised as ‘outsider art’ but to do so would be to risk missing how ‘inside’ the NZ rural and social circumstance these works are. Equally, it would be just as easy to clothe his works with another convenient term of being ‘naïve’, the stylistic description used “to describe art works that have been created outside the boundaries of official culture” that “reflect unconventional ideas or concepts and depict elaborate fantasy words” using “vibrant, cheerful colours and a deceptively simple childlike style” 1. but while apt, this too is insufficient because it is but a component, only a part of what is going on in his works and thus incomplete. What may appear simple and stylised at first is in fact nothing of the sort. There is a broad vision at work in these paintings of a rural paradise and of it being beset, besieged and dissolving from within. There is violence erupting, dream disrupted and truth being hidden. There are “themes of death, murder, hopelessness and poverty.”

Reference: David Clarke, “Southern Gothic – Tony Bishop”, Director, Lakes District Museum and Gallery, 2007

The exhibition preview is on Friday 21 November from 5.30pm at Milford Galleries Dunedin. Both exhibitions run until December 17, 2008
Open Monday to Friday: 8.30am – 5pm and Saturday 10am - 4pm.