The polished floorboards of A Gallery are competing with the working matter of Dunedin-raised artist Philip James Frost. Rather than exhibiting paintings, Frost is displaying the guts of his studio, causing that age-old question regarding what makes art “art” to be vanquished by the cohesion of process and product. Books, drawings, magazines, paintings, a palette and the occasional lighter are in layers across the floor, but far from being the chaos known to make obsessive types twitch, this is (to the artist’s eye at least) an organised mess. Taking four hours for him to (re)create, the display is delicately individual; it provides curious insight to both the artist’s musings and his methodology. What may be perceived as an intriguing array of chewed-up-and-spat-out imagery is, in practice, an operative arrangement of ideas; a cocktail of resources so essential to Frost’s creativity that he arrived at the weekend to retrieve a few from the display. Significantly, it was curator Jay Hutchinson who saw the artistry of Frost’s working-matter, and it was through no self-aggrandisement that the artist (eventually) agreed to display it. Rather, and in an absorbing conceptual twist, this downward expulsion of the artist’s mind might well be taken as Hutchinson’s exhibition of Frost, or alternatively, an expose of the life-art continuum.
Fuck Now Suffer Later Review printed in the ODT By Franky Strachan 12/04/12
Published by agallerypresents.com
Conceived as a two-year project, ‘a gallery’ opened in February 2011 at 393 Princes Street, Dunedin and closed in September 2012. Strategically placed south of the center of town nestled between tattoo studios, sex shops and a needle exchange. What was integral in the selection of the gallery space was that it would be able to be viewed from the street through the street level floor to ceiling windows. This would allow the artists showing to be exposed not only to viewers visiting the gallery, but also those walking past, as a gallery was to represent artists that did not fit within the commercial gallery context or the so called experimental project space’s, this would be the best way to expose a particular group of artists selected by gallery curator/manager Jay Hutchinson, artists he respected and admired and felt were not being represented in the gallery scene at the time. View more posts