September 2018 issue 310: Notes from the field

September 2018 issue 310: Notes from the field

Oceania’s interior

At first take, the interiors depicted in Graham Fletcher’s paintings feature artfully composed mid-century living rooms tastefully decorated with iconic furniture and objets d’art. However, on closer inspection the boldly coloured feature walls and tapered-leg side tables intermingle with Oceanic and African tribal artefacts drawn from the Pacific collections of New Zealand and European museums – a figure stands in a corner, a weapon hangs on a wall. It is a juxtaposition that has been inspired by the tradition of displaying private collections of such objects in domestic settings, a phenomenon the New Zealand-born artist of Samoan and European descent has referred to as ‘Lounge Room Tribalism’. For ‘The Golden Haze’ at Auckland’s Gow Langsford Gallery (5–29 September), Fletcher takes this juxtaposition further with composite images merging interior and exterior scenes, exploring the complex cultural and historical relationships at play. This exhibition follows a recent 20-year survey at the Gus Fisher Gallery at the University of Auckland.

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