Further Convictions Pending

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Media Release: March, 2010. 

Artists at the moment of conviction - City Gallery Wellington announces group show Further Convictions Pending in the Hirschfeld Gallery

Four artists taking a leap into the unknown share the walls of the Hirschfeld Gallery in City Gallery’s newest exhibition, opening on March 20. Further Convictions Pending is a group show featuring four Wellington artists: painters Tim Thatcher and Douglas Stichbury, photographer Andrew Beck and type designer Sarah Maxey.

The title of this exhibition clearly states its approach: new pieces that are part of a still-developing larger body of work. Each of these artists is at a different stage in their practice, from professionally established Maxey to recent graduates Thatcher and Stichbury and current Masters student Beck. Yet all are stepping out in new directions and creating new work, which is the core of this exhibition.

Curator Abby Cunnane says,  “This is new work which represents a specific moment for each artist: a moment of conviction, fulfilment or pause. It’s interesting to see the directions these artists are taking. Sarah’s wall-based text design is a new field for her, breaking with the restrictions the page she’s familiar with as a book designer. Tim’s recent move to Wellington from Auckland brings a body of increasingly exciting work to new audiences, and Andrew and Douglas are new graduates showing a huge amount of promise. It’s exciting to be able to show them at this moment of transition.”

Further Convictions Pending presents new work by these artists, working across different media: a typographic wall work, hand-processed black and white architectural photography, and oil painting. The combination of artists is central to this exhibition, representing a cross-section of artforms which intersect at a moment of conviction. As three recent graduates and one more established practitioner, the group  represents an interesting sample of new practice. Their shared focus on the future is expressed in the title, emphasised in Sarah’s work which presents a graphic banner for the other works to play off against.

The title of the exhibition draws on a book of the same name by Vincent O’Sullivan, a collection of his poems from the last decade. Sarah Maxey designed the cover for this book, and it is one her discarded drafts from this work which served as the impetus for the type design that is included in this exhibition. The drafts, the cast offs, the process as opposed to the product, are all points of reference for the exhibition.

Artist Information

Sarah Maxey is best known for her award-winning work on literary book covers, often using her own illustration and hand-lettering. Of late, she has been focusing on personal hand-lettering projects, and building up her own imprint, Nice Work, producing fine stationery. Maxey is represented Bowen Galleries in Wellington, where she held solo shows in 2007 and 2009. In 2008 year Sarah was commissioned by the City Gallery to contribute work to a lightbox installation on Courtenay Place. In 2009 her work was included in a show of New Zealand book design at Objectspace, curated by Jonty Valentine of The National Grid. Maxey has a Design degree majoring in textiles (Massey University, Wellington, 1988), but has worked as a bookseller, magazine designer and book designer. She spent two years as Design Manager at Bloomsbury Publishing in the UK in the mid-nineties.

Douglas Stichbury graduated from Massey Wellington's School of Fine Arts in 2007 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (hons), majoring in painting, and this year completed his Masters. He has shown in artist run spaces including Enjoy, as well as at Suite Gallery (2008), The Print Room (2009) and the MFA Graduate show at the Engine Room (2010). The artist is represented by Suite Gallery, Newtown. Stichbury works across a range of media, frequently sits addressing themes of hope, the everyday and the historic.

Tim Thatcher graduated with an MFA from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland in 2006, after completing a Bachelor of Design (hons) at Unitec, Auckland. He has exhibited in Auckland, in solo shows at Anna Bibby Gallery (2005, 2006, 2007), and group shows A Generous Eye (Works from the Wallace Arts Trust Collection, 2008), at George Fraser Gallery (2006), Stanbeth House and Customs Street Gallery (2005). The artist is represented by Anna Bibby Gallery in Auckland. Strongly influenced by comics and found images, Thatcher’s oil paintings balance the surreal with slightly awkward symbolism.   

Andrew Beck gained a Bachelor in Fine Arts majoring in photography from Massey Wellington’s School of Fine Arts in 2009. He has shown in Wellington at Photospace Gallery, (2009) and Enjoy (2009). He is currently studying for his Masters in Fine Arts.

Further Convictions Pending

20 March-2 May 2010