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City Gallery

Past exhibition

A Place Apart

28 May–1 November 2020

Painters Christina Pataialii and Ruth Ige traverse abstraction and figuration, their work manifesting an enigmatic in-between.   

Pataialii’s energetic compositions revolve around idiosyncratic forms—picket fences, rugby posts, cowboy hats, and boxing gloves—which recall her Auckland childhood. As a child of a Samoan immigrant generation, she explores the implications of living in diaspora. For her, these histories surface and crystallise in icons of pop culture, music, and suburban memories.   

Ruth Ige responds to ideas surrounding blackness and representation. She creates rich, hypnotic portraits of imagined subjects. Their bodies blur between blue, watery dimensions, and are at once in our midst as they are in a realm of their own. Through a form of veiling, she evokes the empowering qualities that mystery can bestow.   

Through the medium of painting, A Place Apart considers the shifting terms that define place and embodiment. In the limbo of unstable forms, both artists question the control of dominant narratives and the politics of belonging to a particular space and time.