Rhana Devenport, Director, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
26 May – 2 September 2007
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and various sites in New Plymouth, Aotearoa / New Zealand
Fiona HALL (Australia)
I-Lann YEE (Malaysia)
I-TASC Interpolar ' Interpolar Transnational Art Science Constellation' (Antarctica)
Yeondoo JUNG (South Korea)
KURIBIYASHI Takashi (Japan)
Rosemary LAING (Australia)
LIN Tianmiao (China)
Jon MCCORMACK (Australia)
Joe SHEEHAN (Aotearoa New Zealand)
TANG Maohong (China)
Michael ZAVROS (Australia)
'How natural is nature?' 'How wild is wilderness?' New Nature draws on the ideas of biologist Tim Low to investigate the endlessly mutating shifts between the natural world and the many and varied cultural readings of nature.
The exhibition features twelve artists / collectives from the Pacific Rim who work with photography, digital media, projection, painting, carving, meteorology, history, design and gardens and explore visual and conceptual constructions of nature and the transgressions nature makes in its constantly evolving state of flux and adaptation to new circumstances and conditions.
New Nature looks at the impact of human habitation, nature as 'tamed', 'interpreted' and 'framed' and something deeply imbued with metaphorical content. It also investigates the reciprocal influence of the environment on community and ecology. Historical, allegorical and culturally specific readings of wilderness are reference points as notions of natural spaces and materials are questioned. The slippages between 'natural' and 'constructed' worlds become fertile, if aberrant, sites for new visual languages and perceptions to grow.
Low writes; 'It strikes me that our concepts of nature often don't match what we actually see. ּּּThe words 'nature', 'natural' and 'wilderness' end up misleading rather than informing us about the natural world. We shouldn't presume that nature, merely by definition, wants to be natural.'