LPR The unwillingness of a dream, 2023, Acrylic on canvas, 1370 x 600 mm
'non-vocal dawn quartet' WC & WC pencil on paper 97.2x 67.9 cm 2022
Left: The unwillingness of a dream (1), 2023, Acrylic paint on wood, 1200mm x 1200mm Right: 'Grey ghost' WC & WC pencil on paper 47.5 x 41.5cm 2023
'female Huia with NZ forest ringlet butterfly' WC & WC pencil on paper 51 x 72cm 2022

From detailed wildlife to abstract terrains, we take you inside Sanderson Contemporary’s latest exhibitions

This month, Sanderson Contemporary Art Gallery presents two exhibitions — united in a stark contrast of how nature can be represented on the canvas. In one curation, we have Paul Martinson, whose depiction of the Kōkako is a deft masterclass in realism. In another up-and-coming artist, Llenyd Price conceptually explores the relationship between land and people with bold, expressive works.

And so, with both the avid collector and the nature enthusiast in mind, we’ve discovered the need-to-know information about these two exquisite exhibitions, both open from today, Tuesday the 9th of May, until Sunday the 4th of June. Catalogues are available through Sanderson upon request.

Grey Ghost by Paul Martinson

The latest exhibition by painter Paul Martinson, Grey Ghost, unveils a vivid portrait of the South Island Kōkako, a once-abundant species shrouded in enigma. Watercolour, oil and acrylic converge to capture the essence of a creature ravaged by the echoes of Māori settlements, forest clearance, and the relentless march of human progress. Martinson confronts the haunting truth of a population teetering on the brink of oblivion with each work.

Sanderson Exhibitions
Left: ‘screamer dreamer misdemeanor’ 40 x 75cm acrylic on stretched canvas 2022 Right: ‘Lingering light’ 40 x 75cm acrylic on stretched canvas 2023

Previously consigned to the annals of extinction, the South Island Kōkako emerges from the depths of uncertainty with a whisper of hope. Designated as ‘data deficient’, this elusive bird clings to the precipice of existence, its survival precariously tied to the unwavering dedication of a tenacious few. While some herald its demise, a chorus of enthusiasts persists, propelled by an unwavering belief in its presence. Martinson’s masterpieces witness this testament of resilience, weaving together the threads of scientific inquiry and artistic imagination to resurrect a creature that once danced among the forest canopies. Alongside these brushstrokes of resurrection, the exhibition unveils a tapestry of other New Zealand bird species, including the haunting spectre of the extinct Huia, serving as a poignant reminder of nature’s delicate balance and our profound responsibility as stewards of this fragile realm.

Left: ‘Kuhukura Red Cloak’ WC & WC pencil on paper 50.8 x70.6cm 2023 Right: ‘Orange cloak’ WC & WC pencil on paper 51 x 69 cm 2023

Secrets In The Array by Llenyd Price

At parallels, Secrets in the Array beckons, an intimate collection of new paintings by the burgeoning artist Llenyd Price. Within these canvases, Price navigates the intricate dance between humankind and the sacred terrain of our country. Drawing inspiration from the ethereal landscapes of Waikato and Kirikiriroa, Price offers solace, an escape from the harsh realities that besiege weary minds.

Sanderson Exhibitions
LPR Momentary junction, 2023, Acrylic on found wood, 340 x 270 mm

As Price immerses himself in these natural sanctuaries, the ghosts of colonialism and environmental turmoil loom ever larger. The relentless encroachment of buildings, the invasive tendrils of industry, and the stranglehold of non-native flora and fauna assail the delicate balance of the land. With an artist’s discerning eye, Price scrutinises the structures that mark our passage, the fences and paths that weave through the verdant tapestry. In their contemplation, questions emerge of conformity, our collective impact on the landscape, and the subtle ways we reshape our perceptions in the face of a changing world.

The unwillingness of a dream (1-6), 2023, Acrylic paint on wood, 3600mm x 2400mm

This exhibition holds the key for those seeking respite, a momentary escape into the serenity of untouched landscapes. It invites us to immerse ourselves in the solace of environmental escapism, where the land’s secrets and our place within it unravel with Price’s masterful artistry.

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