Toyohashi Calling at Oedipus Rex

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After Steven's recommendation (and confusing directions) I went to have a look at what's on at the Oedipus Rex Gallery at the moment.
Orex has the work of two artists up at the moment, Alexandra Milsom and Sally Papps.

Milsom's work, Toyohashi Calling, occupies the front room of the gallery. Her work is a mix of pencil and paint and collage and probably some other stuff, very eerie scenes of characters interacting with a variety of masks in a bare landscape. According to her artist’s statement the work reflects on her recent time in Japan and “examines various aspects of tradition, consumerism and cultural isolation”.
Toyohashi is a city in Japan which is a major trading and export hub, and apparently many of the works refer to consumerism and commerce. I personally didn’t see this aspect so prominently, but the themes of “tradition and cultural isolation” (gallery websites are great) stood out a lot stronger for me. Milsom’s influences are a mix of traditional art and modern animation, and these have been blended to great effect in these pictures. I really liked her work and hope to see more of it in the future.

Papps’ work is based much closer to home, both in style and content. The Great Leviathan is based on the charming notion that “history exists on a parallel plane to the present”. The paintings feature reoccurring images of little white houses and Taniwha, in a mix of modern and colonial settings. The ‘Great Leviathan’ in question is Auckland, and Papps’ images give us a vision of the city that works both as an up-to-date interpretation and a historical overview.

Toyohashi Calling is on till the 21st, The Great Leviathan till the 22nd. I urge anyone who likes looking at stuff to go along and look at this stuff. Very cool.

Toyohashi Calling / Alexandra Milsom
The Great Leviathan / Sally Papps

Until 21/22 December

Oedipus Rex Gallery
Upper Khartoum Place, Kitchener St
09 379 0588
orex@xtra.co.nz

www.orexgallery.co.nz

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