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Ross Ritchie: Circus


Fri 18 Dec 2020, 11:00am–5:00pm
Sat 19 Dec 2020, 11:00am–5:00pm
Tue 22 Dec 2020, 11:00am–5:00pm
Wed 23 Dec 2020, 11:00am–5:00pm
Thu 24 Dec 2020, 11:00am–5:00pm

Where: Whitespace Contemporary Art, 20 Monmouth St, Ponsonby, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

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  • Admission: Free
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Opening Preview: Sun 29 Nov, 2 - 4 pm

Human exploitation of animals and fellow humans is the central theme of this exhibition; the subject has been a recurrent theme in my work for many decades, beginning with my ‘animal’ shows at Peter Webb Galleries (1980, 1981) and continuing through the ‘dummy’ series of the mid - late 1980s. My father, a great raconteur, emigrated here from Scotland to escape the coal mines and my childhood was filled with stories of oppression and poverty ‘back home’. The circuses and zoos of my childhood turned animals (and people) into novelty commodities, treating them like toys and pets, giving them a Disney like quality – the elephant rides, chimpanzee tea parties, little (or massive) people paraded as freaks.

Today while perhaps provided with more naturalistic environments, and presented in more humane conditions, the regular daily routines so often result in lonely, limited and tragic existences. Zoos and prisons are interchangeable.

Ross Ritchie has been at the forefront of many artistic developments and is one of New Zealand's leading post-modern artist. He is a figurative artist in the sense that his works have always denoted or referred to things, animate and inanimate, and the phenomena of the physical world. Ritchie has works in many private, corporate, museum and public collections, including Auckland Art Gallery, Dunedin Public Art Gallery and Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.

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