John Brown, Tom Mackie & Richard Orjis

7th Jun –
1st Jul 2023

OPENING EVENT: Wednesday, 7th June, 5.30-7.30pm

A group exhibition of recent work by John Brown,Tom Mackie and Richard Orjis.

John Brown’s recent works explore his relationship to the land in order to obtain a sense of belonging. “My current series of new paintings investigate this idea, explored along numerous pathways: events, (both historic and contemporary, landscapes, history and impressions or representations of people or moments. Primarily, the paintings start informed by a source and the imagery within each painting evolves through the process of making, adding, erasing, over-painting, and editing. Eventually strong abstract representational associations evolve within the content of the paintings, which evokes a regional sense, both familiar and personal.”

Brown is a Hawkes Bay based painter. He was the 2019 winner of the Molly Morpeth Art Prize and the 2012 recipient of the Kaipara Foundation Wallace Trust Award with a three month residency in Switzerland. He has exhibited extensively throughout Aotearoa since the late 90s and has works in private collections throughout Australasia.

Tom Mackie’s work operates in a liminal space between painting and sculpture; craft and art; waste and treasured object. He combines found materials with beautifully handcrafted woodwork. Taking discarded canvas material that is retrieved from dumpsters and re-purposed from his day job as a picture framer, Tom re-stretches the fabric and crafts sculptural, three-dimensional frames embellished with hand-turned wood loops and baubles. Challenging the high/low and craft/art divide, his work draws on notions of hybridity and is infused with a still, reflective quality. The absent or subtracted image, missing from inside the picture frame, flips the traditional painting hierarchy on its head. The “image” is no longer the most important aspect. The viewer is encouraged to slow down and reframe their perspective. You must search for your own meaning or moments of interest within the random mark-making found in the canvases and, instead, direct your focus to the timeless carved frames.

Mackie is a Te-Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington based artist. He studied the Otago School of Fine Art in Dunedin and has exhibited widely throughout Australia and New Zealand at independent galleries including SPA_CE in Napier and McLeavey Gallery in Wellington as well as at Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington; Blue Oyster Gallery, Dunedin; Box Copy, Brisbane; and TCB and C3 Contemporary, Melbourne.

Richard Orjis’s work charts a variety of approaches and use of media utilising nature as it’s touchstone.  Through a range of mediums, there is a constant use too of theatre and narrative.  Earlier work is exhibited alongside a recent photographic work commissioned by the Dunedin Public Art Gallery for “The Studio” - an exhibition by Julia Holderness in 2021.  

Richard Orjis is a New Zealand artist currently based in Melbourne, Australia.  He has a Master of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Art, University of Auckland, and a PHD from AUT.  He was the 2014 Tylee Cottage artist in residence for the Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui and in 2017 was the Asia New Zealand Foundation artist in residence at Rimbun Dahan in Malaysia.  He has exhibited extensively in both public and private galleries and has works in collections throughout Australasia.  

Image: John Brown, 2023


  1. May. 2023. Studio Visit: John Brown