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The Tender Trap


Wed 28 Sep 2016, 10:30am–3:00pm
Thu 29 Sep 2016, 10:30am–3:00pm
Fri 30 Sep 2016, 10:30am–3:00pm
Sat 1 Oct 2016, 10:30am–3:00pm
Tue 4 Oct 2016, 10:30am–3:00pm

Where: Railway Street Studios, 8 Railway St, Newmarket, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

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  • Admission: Free
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Listed by: fionacable

The word to describe artist and printmaker Prue MacDougall also describes her art; Capricciosa, Italian for quirky, wayward, mischievous and whimsical.

Her current allegorical images are peppered with visual puns as well as referencing Giuseppe Arcimboldo. These prints are meant to amuse, but they also symbolise natures cleverness mixed with MacDougall’s fertile imagination. Before all of this occurs MacDougall must go on a hunt. Like a magpie, she browses junk shops and bottom drawers for bizarre bits of bling, feathers, and pearls to concoct an elaborately bejewelled crown that forms the basis for some of these works. There’s a biographical element too. She incorporates her life’s experiences and encounters with humans, their quirks, glories, and ugliness.

Anyone looking at MacDougall’s composite heads for the first time feels surprised and bewildered; our gaze moves back and forth between the overall human form and the richness of individual details until we get the joke and find ourselves amused, delighted, or perhaps even repelled. Any transformation or manipulation of the human face attracts attention, but the effect is clever.

Printmakers, as this show reveals, are both artists in their own right and graphic historians who keep alive the inventions of major artists of earlier periods. Featured here are prints after pictorial inventions by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Goya and Rego. Prints not only disseminate widely the ideas of the great masters, they also capture in diverse media the pictorial qualities of such masterworks. MacDougall’s love of Italy stems from her immersive experience while a nannying in Naples and later studying at the ‘British School of Rome’ in Rome and the ‘International School of Art’ in Umbria.

She is a connoisseur of strangeness and disquietude and surprises. This exhibition is to be enjoyed as well as taken seriously.

On Sunday 25 September, MacDougall will be at the gallery demonstrating her printing techniques.

MacDougall’s exhibition credits include: Victoria and Albert Museum London, Port Jackson Press in Melbourne; Southern Graphics International Conference at Portland, Oregon, Taller Galleria at Fort Cadaques, Spain, the British School in Rome, International School of Art in Umbria and the Byam Shaw School of Art in London.

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