PINK AND WHITE

Whilst our focus remains on all things terrain, we do enjoy a wee forage in other realms for inspiration, recalibration and entertainment purposes. We’re super keen on NZ, home grown art, more specifically drawings, paintings and sculpture, as produced by some of the country’s well-know and lesser-known artists. Over the years we’ve built up a collection of works that in one way or another illuminates the contested territory where Natural Environment and Human Culture co-exist, clash and tussle.

Starting this week, it is our ambition to work our way through the collection a piece at a time in the hope that we can bring the work of artists we very much respect to a broader audience. So, to kick off, we have selected Jared Bryant’s Pink and White Terraces, 2003 Mixed media on canvas. This piece is a representation of the famously lost Rotorua landscape, The Pink and White Terraces. Destroyed in the Mount Tarawera eruption of 1886, the terraces live in the collective memory of both Maori and Pakeha New Zealanders. Why do we love this piece? We love it for its embedded humour, subtle commentary, the sense of loss it inspires and the imminent human-generated destruction it portends.

Comprising a pink-painted canvas supporting re-purposed paint-tin-rims dripping with layers of hardened white paint this abstracted composition immediately invokes the legendary cascading terraces. The perversion of using something so intrinsically linked to toxicity and pollution (thickly dripping paint + the tins from whence it came) to represent a landscape of such mythic proportions is a wee bit cheeky – or perhaps tongue in cheek-y – some might say disrespectful. But to us it’s about taking note, shining a light on contemporary attitudes and practices. From a distance the media are almost irrelevant – it’s the composition that is read, a pleasingly composed collection of objects in relief that play with the ambient light. Moving in, the media come into focus – and an additional reading of the work comes into play…. a commentary on our sometimes blithe attitude toward environment and natural resources – surely a little bit of paint down the drain won’t hurt, will it?
-NT