Sunshine in Between

1st Mar –
1st Apr 2023

OPENING EVENT: Friday 3rd March, 5.30-7.30pm
NOTE: The gallery will be closed Wednesday 22nd March.  Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

“Usually when you see a sunrise or sunset, it is the clouds that morph into the most vibrant colours. However, when stratospheric aerosols are present following a volcanic eruption, they scatter and bend the light as the sun dips or rises past the horizon, creating a glow in the sky with hues of blue, purple, and violet..... These bewitching scenes are made even more striking by crepuscular rays caused by shadowing from distant clouds or mountain barriers.” (Nava Fedaeff, NIWA forecaster, 2022)

A group exhibition featuring new work by Derek Henderson and Kirstin Carlin alongside work by the late Colin McCahon.

When the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano erupted in Tonga in January 2022, it became the largest eruption ever recorded with modern technology. The blast, estimated to be hundreds of times stronger than the Hiroshima nuclear explosion, was heard in Alaska, more than 10,000 kms away. Inspired by the skies during his recent time spent on the West Coast of the South Island near Greymouth, Henderson’s new work explores light and more specifically the deep and rich sunsets generated by the volcanic eruptions in Tonga.

Informed by the tradition of painted seascapes Kirstin Carlin’s postcard sized paintings - titled Sunshine in Between - are exercises in colour and tone that move toward abstraction. Carlin’s luscious paintings are small in size but pack a punch. Finished in the days before Tāmaki Makaurau’s January floods Carlin’s paintings evoke wild seas and angry sunsets. With only weeks passing since the devastating wrath of Cyclone Gabrielle, Carlin’s works are poignant at a time when the weather and impacts of climate change are on our minds.

Alongside these new works, is a work by the late Colin McCahon.  “Evening Muriwai” was painted during McCahon’s time at the seaside settlement in 1971, and captures the dramatic fury that can be felt by the proximity to the wild west coast weather and ocean.  This work was planned for inclusion in this exhibition well before Cyclone Gabrielle and the disaster that unfolded in the Muriwai community.  Gallery artist Jennifer Mason was a victim of the devastation unleashed there and we hold too, a place in our hearts for the volunteer firefighters who lost their lives.  The inclusion of this work now feels even more timely and holds a special resonance as we all recover and rebuild our communities.