The Dowse Banners
14 Dec 2013 – 30 Mar 2014
The artists selected already had a relationship with the gallery and several had used the motif of banners or flags in their work. At that time the artists were established or just beginning to make a name for themselves, but over 30 years later they represent some of the most iconic names in New Zealand art. Many of the artists invited were painters who had not worked with fabric before.
The designs they produced connect to their usual artwork and extend our understanding of their practice. For many of the artists the physical restrictions of the banner format led them to refine their usual approach. Gordon Crook found limitations in the available colours meant he focused on patterning, striving for “a subtle movement of line within a generally static composition”. Gordon Walters looked for “a simple solution to the problem in order to let the colours speak directly without being in any way descriptive”. Gretchen Albrecht used the fan shape familiar to us from her paintings, twisting and turning it to create “springing, turning double columns” and a sense of movement.