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PHILIPPA BLAIR - Fera Natura may be the upcoming event you’re looking for.


Wed 15 Sep 2021, 10:00am–5:00pm
Thu 16 Sep 2021, 10:00am–5:00pm
Fri 17 Sep 2021, 10:00am–5:00pm
Sat 18 Sep 2021, 10:00am–5:00pm
Sun 19 Sep 2021, 10:00am–5:00pm

Where: Fe29 Gallery, 30 Sandringham St, Dunedin, Otago

Restrictions: All Ages

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  • Admission: Free
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Listed by: thelab

Born in Christchurch (1945), Blair graduated with a Diploma in Fine Arts from Canterbury University in 1967. With more than 100 solo & 300 group exhibitions, she has taught and exhibited internationally for over 40 years. Represented in numerous public and private collections in Japan, France, Italy, Germany, Malaysia, Australia, NZ & USA, Blair has works in The British Museum, Chan Lui Museum, Taiwan, Long Beach Museum of Art (LA), The National Art Gallery (Canberra), Te Papa, Auckland & Christchurch Art Galleries, as well as the corporate collections of Citibank, Citicorp, GE and Hong Kong & Shanghai Banks.

Channelling energy from various sources (cultural, political, geological), there is no doubt that Blair’s works have drama. They also have wit and the element of the unexpected. Influences from her NZ heritage are fused with the frenetic pace of the many cities in which she has lived and worked. Abstracted maps sit alongside music scores and cell structures - vivid elements reflecting other influences - ballet and dance (her first passion) and memories of a microbiologist father and a musician mother. These influences are also evident in Blair’s process. “When I begin, I improvise, like you would in jazz music.” Starting with paper and ink drawings, she structures visual rhythms and articulates space. “But I don’t make the paintings from the drawings, I try to create an atmosphere where I am confident enough to work direct and brave enough to make changes as I go.”

Usually working at high velocity, and painting from above to get a bird’s eye view, Blair applies differing viscosities of pigments in a multitude of ways – a gestural line to mark the space, carefully plotted paint pours and voluptuous pigments squeezed from the tube. Then comes what Blair likens to an archaeological dig, the scraping off of paint to uncover what is buried within the surface - an act of excavation and of creation. “Hers is an intense, highly disciplined method that has taken years to refine into a complex visual vocabulary. A delicate balance is struck between drawing and painting, chaos and order, colour and graphic sensibility.“ A. L Hutchison, LA 2004

An exhibition of selected works from 2005 - 2021, Fera Natura includes works from both Blair’s time living in vibrant overseas cities and since she returned to her quieter New Zealand home. The title work reflects a love of nature with undertones of protest at theglobal ecological collapse. Drawings and collages are shown alongside mixed-media paintings, illustrating Blair’s process of working ‘from drawing to painting’.

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