Parts, Fillings, Cuttings with Nuala Gregory
Boundless: Printmaking (further) beyond the frame - Print Council Aotearoa New Zealand exhibition. Pataka Art Museum, Wellington, New Zealand
20 May - 13 Aug. 2017
Nuala was invited to partake in this and she asked me if we could try and come up with a piece together for the exhibition. We each brought to the studio small pieces of material that we had been working with at that time. We laid these out on a flat surface and together we arranged them into what we thought was a pleasing composition.
Nuala had been working mainly with collage and painted paper and I with my usual inlaying of wood veneers. The resulting work was a triptych combining both those techniques and materials. The pieces in the work appear overlaid but are actually inlaid to produce a flat surface.
Parts, Fillings, Cuttings is one of a series of experimental works positioned at the boundaries of contemporary printmaking. As the title implies, it was constructed using a combination of techniques from the traditions of chine collé, wood inlay and painting. It was also produced collaboratively, as part of an artistic partnership between Rick Allender and Nuala Gregory. Allender specialises in contemporary marquetry, employing wood veneers. Gregory has been integrating chine collé and lithography since 2009. Among the material and aesthetic influences on these works are Eastern lacquer effects, with their heightened colours, depth and luminosity, and the predella formats of 16th Century European altarpieces and ceilings with their contrasts of style and assemblages of parts. Above all, the works are distinguished by an underlying emphasis on construction and the unforced emergence of form and meaning. Allender draws on his love of the natural world, particularly forests and the sea, and the need for their protection and preservation. Gregory’s practice focuses on the sensuous particularities to be encountered in everyday experiences. By pushing at the limits of traditional mediums, these works provide an indication of what might yet be possible, what might yet emerge and flourish in our world, with our care and thoughtful participation.