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When:

Tue 14 Oct 2008–Sat 8 Nov 2008, 10:00am–5:30pm

Where: Warwick Henderson Gallery, 32 Bath St, Parnell

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Related Artists:

Listed by: Anne Gifford

Now one of New Zealand’s most well-known artists, Nigel Brown gives us a rare insight into the background of his new exhibition “Illuminate”. Nigel Brown is respected as a “thinking” artist, one who could be described as an “artist for the people”. His work constantly challenges and engages people of all ages and from all walks of life. I am conscious that much art these days is removed and lacking heart. My work has a heart centred on my own life but always reaching beyond that. Pat Hanly once talked to me about “some artists painting for themselves and others painting for an audience”.

I think good art can have both functions. I am certainly attempting to achieve a dialogue with my audience.

Nigel Brown once again displays his full range of skills as political commentator, environmentalist, philosopher, poet and painter in this new series of 17 works. He has reintroduced a little used character in the Ned Kelly iron-masked man. Here, typically, with Brown’s re-examination of an iconic figure he has re-worked history and reinvented this image as a metaphor for manhood – a positive, “new age” male figure.

There remains an underlying meaning here also, where Brown refers to the disguised male as closed off2 in his notes to the painting Stand and Deliver. Various figures such as Cook, Kelly and Baxter serve ideas often beyond the original person. I still retain an area of narrative whereby my works can appear as one line novels or brief poems. While I want the work to display layers of meaning both for myself and the viewer, I also want my painting and the words to be direct enough to engage and entertain.

This will hopefully open minds to other possibilities and points of view.

Brown is arguably one of McCahon’s most celebrated pupils and he has, in the past, referred to or employed objects or images from McCahon’s early paintings. In this new exhibition, McCahon’s lamp from Crucifiction with Lamp 1947 has been used, more as a symbol of “renaissance”. The artist here is seeking to restore some sense of light to the world.

Brown states; nature, science, family and art itself are questioned. The paintings are a world in themselves and akin to a lamp it can shine light on life. Nevertheless endless questions and a darkness exist. The world more than ever needs simplicity and it needs feeling and thinking.

Restaurants to book near Nigel Brown: Lamp