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Jack Trolove: Thresholding

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A new exhibition by Northland-based artist, Jack Trolove. Jack uses swathes of oil paint, in thick lumps and thin stretches, to create enormous faces that appear and recede simultaneously.

Described as ‘a virtuoso manipulator of paint’, for his new exhibition, 'Thresholding', Jack will be showing his works with the gallery lights off. Successive lux levels will rise and fall to offer visitors a new experience – the artworks will be ‘felt’ before they are seen.

Jack thinks of his large-scale, gestural paintings as ‘second skins for us to feel through’. Despite having spent hundreds of hours creating them, for this exhibition he’s turning the gallery lights off.

“Under modulated lighting – passing through dusk, midnight, and dawn – the paintings will disappear and reappear, wake and sleep,” Jack says.

When the lights hit full midday sun, the level of pigment saturation in the oil paint will be at its highest, showcasing the complex, luminous colour palette the artist is known for. As the light drops away, so does the pigment saturation and the viewer is left to read the afterimage in the dark with their other senses. As the lighting completes its modulating cycle over each painting, it will take time to fully experience the works. Jack suggests that this new body of work is a reprieve from the breakneck speed of social media, “It’s for the slow stories,” he says.

Jack explains that he used to think the visual arts were solely for looking at. But one night, when he’d just finished a suite of paintings for a show that had taken a year to complete, he re-entered his studio after dark. The large paintings were perched on blocks around the walls, curing. “I couldn’t sleep, so I wandered barefoot back into the studio. In the darkness, I had an incredible experience of feeling the paintings. As I turned my body in different directions, I could sense what the paintings felt like, rather than what they looked like.”

Please note Pātaka Sunday opening hours: 11am-4:30pm

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