Transit of Venus seen at Mahara Gallery….

A superb exhibition, titled Transit of Venus, has just opened at Kāpiti’s Mahara Galley in Waikanae featuring the works of Sally Griffin.

The exhibition opened to a substantial and appreciative crowd with a formal welcome from Gallery director Janet Bayly followed by addresses from guests; Educationalist and writer Andriani Somerset, and social historian Tony Simpson.

When entering the galley you will be immediately struck by the vibrance and energy of Sally Griffin’s work which fills the main gallery space.

Ms Griffin said story telling was an essential part of her family life, where the past, present and future were all part of lively conversation and facts and serious opinions were sprinkled with dollops of hilarity.

“The world became a place of great beauty and possibility on our voyages of discovery – physical, emotional and intellectual. To ponder on the events and characters of earlier times, whether they are family or historical figures, gives depth to an experience where one can discover a dynamic past, not linear or static – or boring!”

“The first voyage of Captain Cook from 1768 to 1771 on HM Bark Endeavour had instructions firstly to observe the 1769 Transit of Venus across the Sun, and secondly to find evidence of the unknown southern continent. This quest brought the Endeavour, her commander and crew to New Zealand.

The first series of Transit of Venus in this exhibition were painted during 2000 – 2005, when my partner and young son were living in Titirangi’s French Bay and our place bordered a coastal reserve.

“I began to see each of my paintings as a transit, a journey, often taking months to finish. This was especially so while I had a busy working life in politics as was the situation during 2000 – 2005.

Ms griffin says the second series of Transit of Venus paintings are a work in progress.

“When I left Parliamentary work at the end of 2011, I pondered on a series on Parliament and politics. I had the commission with Auckland City Council to re-paint a Suffrage Memorial Mural in 2012 and one thing led to another.

“‘Transit’ had obvious resonance with the journey women have taken for equal rights and from no starting point more essential than the struggle to fully participate in the political process including the right to vote.

“My experiences first as an activist and then working in Parliament provided inspiration and insight into political realities of both the past and of the present. Historical knowledge gives guidance.

“In my paintings, time periods co-exist. Fragmentation and montage are very much our way of seeing these days but rather than deconstruction, I’m more interested in using fragments of reality to create and construct a new and inclusive narrative.

“Because I have lived through such interesting times politically, worked with great people and been part of teams trying to make real progressive changes, it is now my personal challenge and intent to bring that richness of experience into my art language.”

Complementing the Transit of Venus show is Vamp: High Tea Edition of 10 photoart works by Jonathan Cameron. Also on show are two feature works by Waikanae artist Karoline Spitaler.

The must see Exhibition is now open to the public, entry free

Runs to 5 May, 2013.

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