Of Gorse of Course

Past Exhibition
02 Jun – 23 Sep 2007

Regan Gentry, A Multitude of Pricks (detail)

Regan Gentry, A Multitude of Pricks (detail)

Venturing deep into Southland’s hills for artistic inspiration, Wellington artist Regan Gentry has emerged as a curious friend of New Zealand’s public enemy number one – gorse.

Producing everything from gorse wine to perfume, toilet paper to deer antlers as the William Hodges artist in residence in Invercargill, Gentry explored the artistic possibilities of gorse, highlighting our fore-bearers poor judgements.

During his four month residency, the 31 year old studied books, interviewed wood-makers and conservationists, to discover the possible uses of the ‘southern’ man’s weed.

Clearing a section about the size of a tennis court, Gentry learnt about the gentle art of stroking gorse bushes to retrieve its flowers, extracting its subtle scent and jack-hammering it into a pulp to create toilet paper during his four month residency.

“People visiting galleries are often amazed by the ingenious use of materials in an art piece or the painstaking detail. I wanted to use the most unlikely art material. That material is Gorse, of course,” he says.

During the exhibition, TheNewDowse ran a series of workshops based around Of Gorse of Course.