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Clive Humphreys: Open Air 2021

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All Ages

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RDS Gallery

“Clive Humphreys: Open Air 2021”
RDS Gallery, 6 Castle Street, Dunedin
25 November–18 December 2021
Wednesday–Friday, 11am–5pm; Saturday 11am–1 pm.

Clive Humphreys will be well-known to many through his association with the Dunedin School of Art, where he taught from 1987 to 2019. “Open Air 2021,” his first exhibition in Dunedin for many years, consists of a series of luminous treescapes painted in acrylic on canvas and paper that mark a new departure for the artist. After ten years of preparing for this series by making monochrome charcoals and watercolours to grasp the tonal values of forest light, Humphreys now puts that knowledge to use in colour by building colour in translucent layers to capture shifting colour values within shadow, reflected colour, and cast colour. His focus is on the ancient pōhutukawa trees that stand in open spaces on the outermost edge of the bush near the ocean in a small area of Whakanewha Regional Park on Waiheke Island. He affirms that the paintings are not so much about the place, as his relationship with the forest architecture. Citing a passage from an essay by John Fowles, Humphreys declares his credo: “The deepest thing we can learn about nature is not how it works, but that it is the poetry of survival. The greatest reality is that the watcher has survived and the watched survives. It is the timeless woven through time, the cross-weft of all being that passes. Nobody who has comprehended this can feel alone in nature, can ever feel the absolute hostility of time.” The paintings in this exhibition offer a striking testimony to the truth of this statement.

@images, Clive Humphreys
Clive Humphreys, "Fork (Katikati)," 2021, acrylic on canvas, 1000mm x 600mm
Clive Humphreys, "Tryst (Whakanewha)," 2021, acrylic on canvas, 1000mm x 800mm
Clive Humphreys, "Shade (Whakanewha)," 2021, acrylic on canvas, 1000mm x 800mm
Clive Humphreys, "Halo (Whakanewha)," 2021, acrylic on canvas, 1000mm x 800mm
Clive Humphreys, "Flood (Whakanewha)," 2021, acrylic on canvas, 1000mm x 800mm
Clive Humphreys, "Quag (Whakanewha)," 2021, acrylic on canvas, 1000mm x 800mm
Clive Humphreys, "Wash (Katikati)," 2021, acrylic on paper, 830mm x 450mm

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