A sombre take
Exhibition: A Sombre Take 2005 at FHE Gallery, Auckland. New Zealand
Artist statement: by Ann Robinson:
First there is form.
Form, that speaks of land and fullness, that tells of abundance, containment, and protection.
Then surface, like skin, erodes and scars, is impressed with history, story, tattoo.
Lip that defines curve of landscape, sweep of plain, wind of river.
The Vessel speaks of civilizations, represents, reflects, records.
The eye of the first primate who recognized the possibilities, whose genetic code said ‘take this form and survive the centuries’. The eye said ‘snap’ to the form, instantly understanding its right and wrong. Then the hairy hands dug and wove and pressed, then scratched and cut and pierced.
All this before the fire.
The gods of plenty accepted the offerings and offered plenty back, saying chalice, beaker, pot, vase, bowl.
The bowl tucked itself into the armpit of woman, berry full, belly full, baby full ... fat baby.
A large bowl stirs us. Race-memory of a time when ceremony had meaning? Or simply a longing for meaning itself?
Pod bursting with seed for what possible future?
Protective leaf. Under, the leaf mould, centipede, slug, worm, bacteria and fear. All necessary.
And pattern: the criss-cross of nikau, the repetitive geometry of fern or heart- shaped leaf. Divaricating.
Erosion comes into it too. The eroding of the surface echos the history of the land’s formation.
Making, being always the desire to feel and understand the harmonies, the natural music of the forest.
Then there is glass. It is liquid and it is solid. It can be there and not there.
The making of the glass is an alchemy. The word carries a suggestion of the ages, of earth mined substances, erbium, neodymium, copper, selenium, nickel, iron, gold; then the fire. Their transformation is signalled, like a miracle, by colour. Pinks, yellows, greens, purples, reds, blues.
Light falls on the glass form, filling it, transforming. That is its mystery.
Life and love, light and soul. The art is in the plaiting of the four together.
Intoxicating material, reflecting the changing lights of sun and moon, rain and mist, even the dark night. Speaking in moods, a thing to live with. Changing, always changing. Colour that will not fade, a permanent value that will outlive us all.