18 Feb 2023
‘Reflections at the Museum’ pays tribute to our temporary home for the past few months. This has proved to be a lovely connection, providing an ongoing ‘sharing of breath’ between Helensville based contemporary art and the town’s historical artefacts, additionally the RSA who has a temporary display beside our gallery.
It was felt that before we move back to our premises on Commercial Rd, an acknowledgement of this connection would be a fitting ‘haere ra’. The diversity of work from the community responding to this invitation is reflective of the range of artifacts at the museum, RSA and also of the broader physical space, its buildings and its gardens.
Artists have created literal pictorial references, still life paintings and drawings, or contemporized the theme by challenging its physical representation. Jeff Thompson’s take on war badges and pins, David Bailey’s diorama ‘The Four Gods of Chaos Show the True Face of War’ both manipulate historic reference through personal translation of their art practice.
Artist Emma Springford-Gough has continued her deep dive into the nautical taonga in the museum by creating a large scale, touchable book, full of navigational aids, and sailing ships from days gone by. An almost hieroglyphic read of picture to text, Emma’s manuscripts exemplify predating of print and an appreciation of the artists autograph.
Inspired by an image of the museum’s windmill, Larraine Buswell a folk artist from Snell’s Beach used the shape and sepia tone to interpret her reflection. A nostalgic scene painted on saw blade which is also a working clock, symbolic of her reminiscing a pastime where Bushwell owned a B&B in Helensville.
Jo Dixey’s canvas work necklaces show small background motifs from a piece of wool embroidery found in the museum’s collection, which was made by a sailor in 1890.
Our younger members have also been active, a drawing made from the taxidermized bird diorama and forged iron nails mirroring the building hardware present in the museum’s houses.
New local artist Nadia Faith’s experimentations of water colour are a humble take on the museums gardens.
We are grateful to all the artists who took part in this project. It has been a privilege to see what peaks an artist’s interest, and how the journey of creativity takes its own direction, often far from its original location.
March 8th - April 1st