Kristy Gorman


the moment of looking…[1]

Folding, shifting and overlapping- geometric inhabitants of indefinite scale drift and dwell in pale spaces. Expanding hexagons, tilting stripes, crystal-like structures and even harlequin patterns are carefully painted by this subtle yet accomplished painter and realised in her refined and precise style. Parallelograms permute, hexagons slowly solidify and bands of colour are repeated. Patterns and constructions are formed from small shapes, areas of colour, voids and traces. Like secret signals, shards march upright and flag-forms drop, creating a language of mathematical semaphores. Occasionally outlines are embossed or incised from painted paper iterating decorative yet organic forms, sharp, vegetative, floral stain-shapes.

Gently adding, sometimes subtracting colour, Gorman’s paintings are lightly layered and layered again. Primed and prepared board is the product of a gradual building up of surface, a light ground. Paper too becomes a porous surface for a quiet palette of soft greys, lilacs, peaches, mint greens, pale yellows, faded plum and fawn. Inks are applied and re-applied although oils, enamel, aluminium and wire have also been utilised by Gorman. There are collages as well as cut-out drawings that orchestrate slight amounts of colour, artful absences, filagree outlines and emptiness. Hole-punches punctuate paper. Drawing, mark-making, stroking colour incrementally, Gorman’s shapes are slightly varied, perhaps adjusted in tone or placement. These traces of labour are fine, polished and meticulous. Attention has been given to edges, surfaces, absorbtion, the removal of paint, substance and transparencies. Installations of collections of drawings and paintings allow small-scale pieces to combine to form sprawling journeys across walls that may be followed with slow steps.

Fractured glimpses of forms encourage one to linger, we are invited to look and look again. Testaments to complexity and restraint, Gorman’s paintings are contemplative and tremendously subtle. Teetering, they are ephemeral, yet evocative- they resist fixed meanings. They function as exquisite vestiges and we are beckoned to witness painstaking details, empty spaces, alluring colours and cunning configurations.


Kristy Gorman (b. 1969) currently lives and works in Auckland. She graduated from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts, Christchurch in 1992 and since then has exhibited works locally and nationally in both private and public galleries. Recent exhibitions include: Drawn (Melanie Roger Gallery, 2017), Sking (Jonathan Smart Gallery, 2016), Holding Still (Melanie Roger Gallery, 2014), Kristy Gorman (Jonathan Smart Gallery, 2012), Kristy Gorman | Peter Peryer | Layla Walter (Melanie Roger, Auckland, 2011), Punctum (Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch, 2007) and Slip (Anna Bibby Gallery, Auckland, 2007). She has also exhibited within curated exhibitions and group shows such as: Small Things (Jonathan Smart, 2011), Liquid Dreams (The New Dowse, Lower Hutt, 2010) as well as Fragments, Filaments and Frogs (Jonathan Smart, Christchurch, 2010). Gorman has received significant recognition for her work having been an Olivia Spencer Bower Artist in Residence in Christchurch as well as Artist in Residence at the Govett Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth. Additionally her work has been featured in prominent publications such as Asian Art News, Art New Zealand, Peter Shand’s The Contingency of Vision (2001) and Jonathan Bywater’s Pins and Needles: Eight Christchurch Artists.

For additional information and a complete CV please contact the gallery.

[1] Anna Smith, Glimpse (Christchurch: Jonathan Smart Gallery, 2000) p. 9.

Selected Media.

    John Hurrell, Eyecontact
    Janine Randerson, Melanie Roger Gallery / Jonathan Smart Gallery catalogue
    Kate Woodall, Te Manawa Gallery catalogue
    Peter Shand, The Suter Gallery
    Anna Smith, Jonathan Smart Gallery catalogue


  1. Stockroom at Sapphire | Part of Artweek Auckland
  2. KRISTY GORMAN | The Decision to Drift | Malcolm Smith Gallery
  3. Kristy Gorman | Parkin Drawing Prize
  4. Kristy Gorman | Fluid Structures | Parlour Projects
  5. Kirstin Carlin, Kristy Gorman & Peter Gouge | Painting Programme | Wallace Trust Gallery
  6. An Occasional Rant | Female representation in New Zealand Galleries
  7. Florence and Friends | Flotsam and Jetsam Pop-up Project