Artist Dane Mitchell’s returns to Auckland with his new show ‘Aeromancy’

Ever since he took out first prize at the Waikato National Contemporary Art Awards back in 2009, esoteric artist Dane Mitchell has been making waves, single-handedly stimulating a public conversation about art with his thought-provoking practice. Having recently returned from Berlin, his new show, Aeromancy, opening this Friday at Hopkinson Mossman, brings together two major bodies of work: one he begun in 2003 and the other that has developed over the past three years.

The latter, Sketches of Meteorological Phenomena, comprises hundreds of thunderbolt-like glass fulgurites (tentacle-like glass objects, created instantaneously when lightning strikes sand or particular soils), sketches of which Mitchell has ‘drawn’ using undulating sand, the aim being to re-enact the transformation of light to solid form. For Aeromancy, the gallery becomes a lightning field, littered with impossibly fragile glass tendrils to resemble a complex taxonomy of archaeological findings, root systems, rain-made-concrete, frozen water, or tentacles.

In the small gallery, Mitchell presents three large-scale photographic prints, each depicting a single petri dish containing the cultured growth of a dust sample from certain museums, in this case MoMA, Stedelijk and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The images draw from a larger Dust Archive project, comprising dust samples collected by Mitchell from sixty different institutions over a 15-year period.

Long fascinated by dust and with an ongoing interest in the viewing body ‘as an unpredictable force’, this existential exhibition is a reminder of the eternal audience: “for we all come from dust, and to dust we shall return.”

Aeromancy will be showing from 30th June – 29th July.

Hopkinson Mossman

19 Putiki St
Grey Lynn

(09) 358 0855


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