Down and across – All Earth

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#0856 All Earth
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Down to earth.

Post on my visit to Wellington, process and insights and some links to artists follow:

I’m up here in Wellington for a psychotherapy meeting, a short burst of work in the “day job” field in the middle of my sabbatical. I had a lunchtime meeting with long time Wellington art dealer Peter McLeavey who was kind enough to have a chat & look at my folder of prints.

I found his somewhat unlikely Cuba Street place, and walked up the stairs and into his rooms to see in to a huge Bill Hammond triptych canvas. Stunning. The current exhibits explore black and white. There was a McCahon & a Gordon Walters on the wall (not for sale). I enjoyed a series of sketches by Toss Woollaston from the 60′s. Right around the room were of black on white cut-outs by Richard Killeen on aluminium. But I was not there to see the show, I wanted to be seen! And I was.

Peter looked & listened very carefully. He said “There are four or more Walters here in a war, or maybe conflict, they all want your heart.” He said nice things about my use of colour, composition and execution, but it was that phrase about war that rang true and ran home.


I wanted to protest, because I have another story, and additional story. The story about my one conceptual project the Thousand Sketches and their journey from cyberspace to the physical world.

“Keep going, keep sketching, one Walter will emerge.” I appreciate encouragement like that from the doyen of New Zealand art.


And then it struck me that the theme: born digital, made physical, might already be there in the sketches, and to keep going to let that come through. The earth crosses sprang to mind. There were none of those in the portfolio, they are too new. I don’t really want this insight. All my sketching and explorations and I see the those crosses as the core, the focus. Down and across. Down to earth.

Ha! “I don’t want to have that insight.” See, he is right. There is conflict. War. One of those crosses is even called war. Even a cross is about directions, four of them!

So I am back in the hotel and I have done a few more crosses.


Some links about the artists I saw today follow.

Richard Killeen – Peter showed me one of the unique digitals he had in this series. W

Toss Woollaston W

Colin McCahon

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4 Responses to “Down and across – All Earth”

  1. [...] So this is a process post, it hangs in here with earlier process posts, like the one where I had the conversation with Peter McCleavy about warring selves. The whole question of variety is on my mind, style, how I have not found my true self. Maybe not, but I see true messy self and complex layers. Here is a quote from Robert Hobbs’ essay, I liked reading that: In these works, Krasner began what proved to be a long evolutionary process of coming to terms with the theories of Rimbaud, a journey that would eventually lead to a full appreciation of his assertion, “I ended up by finding sacred the disorder of my spirit.” Page 51 [...]

  2. [...] One thing leads to another. One of the hopes I have as the project comes to a close is that I will have a sense of unity. Yet I shun that too, I want to honour all the inner pulls and to go in all directions. But that war is tiring and brutal at times. One strong direction for me that has emerged and that is promising as a unifier is earth. I do hills and plants and crosses that symbolise the sacred of the here-and-now of earth. That focus has emerged, and I am pleased to notice it, make a new category. During the life of the project I have applied a maxim: Enhance what emerges. So to build on the earth theme I looked at blogs and articles on sacred earth and sketched moments that appealed and found titles inspired by the musings. Stumble it! [...]

  3. [...] on the Thousand Sketches journey I visited Wellington art dealer Peter McLeavey. “Keep Sketching” to find more of [...]

  4. [...] of the time I just have no idea. Thinking again about the comments from Peter McLeavey on my work (see here) that I need to find who I am etc… I am many things! PolyPsycho digital [...]

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