I had some spare time uptown on Wednesday 19th and made a quick call to Gallery 59, 9th Avenue Tauranga which was showing Graham Crow work specifically created for Garden & Art Fest.
It was the most beautiful lei-like, hydrangea inspired, installation around the gallery walls. Graham had made the individual petals of these giant flower forms then assembled them to create large flower shapes. The stream of flowers along the wall was coloured to represent the birth and ultimate fading and decay of the hydrangea. I suppose it was a floral representation of our own birth, life and ultimate death and decay. It was stunning and I enquired whether it could be installed elsewhere after the Festival. Similarly the beautiful introductory leaf installation at the Gallery entrance.
Fortuitously Graham Crow was hosting the exhibition when I called in. Like many of the artists I’ve been privileged to speak with Graham shared information about himself and his work. Originally a Taranaki boy, Graham says he was “born an artist” and its “all he’s ever done”. He candidly explained he’d tailored his material and financial aspirations to permit him to continue to work fulltime as an artist. He also acknowledged the ongoing support of his partner in his continuing ventures. He commented on his own “resourcefulness” and yes I think to work in New Zealand as a fulltime artist a great degree of persistence and personal resourcefulness is a prerequisite: artistic number 8 wire!
We had a laugh as we both usually dress “in black”. This day I was in a vivid multi-colour dress and tights – garden and art fest appropriate and Graham was wearing a discretely coloured and patterned floral shirt!
I’ve previously seen other work by Graham Crow exhibited in Gallery 59 – more abstract but a similar assemblage technique of beautifully crafted and coloured heavy paper shapes. One of these I particularly like was also displayed just inside the door.
Graham’s exhibition Home Grown was so beautiful when I left I immediately went to the cafe over the road to put some of the Garden & Art Festival produced flyers on the tables so more people could see this beautiful work. “No, we don’t do flyers” Well maybe you should. We’re all in Tauranga together!
Gallery 59 is the exhibition gallery associated with Prestige Framing, 59 9th Avenue, Tauranga and is entered through the framing shop door. Email email@example.com Telephone 07 577 9397 www.gallery59.co.nz