Richard Adams: Pencarrow to Waimarama

7 Sept - 3 October, MUSE Gallery
By Megan Seawright

Richard Adams once walked from Pencarrow, Lower Hutt to Waimarama. It took three and a half weeks. More recently in a complementary pattern of geographic return, he completed the Artbourne artist residency at Wellesley, Days Bay then set forth up the East Coast once again arriving to paint out at Waimarama. Recipient of MUSE Gallery’s first residency, he completed this current series of works Pencarrow to Waimarama.

There are six mid-to-large mixed media works.

Our schemas of association can become a great tell when viewing abstract art. We all enter such viewing with bias, leaving us open to illusion and imagination. The artist will have to work hard to convey their notion or subject without a reality offered, to knock that bias aside.  When they do, this visually fancy way to spin our thinking and feeling is usually very satisfying.

Abstract art has wide terrain, at times reductionist and other times transformative beyond all physicality, toying into the realms of energy and light, or absence of it. Adams does this well with his works eluding to landscape. There is no obvious form to convey to us his works are the moods of the atmosphere and ocean, or those long views of distance down a beach across the hills and out to sea.  And yet, it seems the weather is ever present in the works, just as the blue of dusky sky and ocean are singularly distinguished by a line.

Adams has paired everything down to light, filtered through layered colour and texture of mixed-media on paper. There is a rare human presence perhaps in the marking black lines of Longitude, but it is the absence of humanity to these works that is rewarding, like the conveyances in Waimarama Hope II.

In the hard landscaping of urban life, where the wild wonder of escape is cemented, Adams’ works offer respite. The majority succeed in suspending the viewer in a solitary kind of faraway and yet remain intimate. Colour is elemental, the horizon is wide and the psyche rests. In life, we could all do with such sojourner, so view them while you can.

 

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