Clive Humphreys: Open Air 2021

25 November - 18 December 2021

RDS Gallery, 6 Castle St, Dunedin

Wednesday–Friday, 11 am-5pm
Saturday, 11am-1pm

Clive Humphreys will be well-known to many through his association with the Dunedin School of Art, where he taught from 1987 to 2019. “Open Air 2021,” his first exhibition in Dunedin for many years, consists of a series of luminous treescapes painted in acrylic on canvas and paper that mark a new departure for the artist. After ten years of preparing for this series by making monochrome charcoals and watercolours to grasp the tonal values of forest light, Humphreys now puts that knowledge to use in colour by building colour in translucent layers to capture shifting colour values within shadow, reflected colour, and cast colour. His focus is on the ancient pohutukawa trees that stand in open spaces on the outermost edge of the bush near the ocean in a small area of Whakanewha Regional Park on Waiheke Island. He affirms that the paintings are not so much about the place, as his relationship with the forest architecture. Citing a passage from an essay by John Fowles, Humphreys declares his credo: “The deepest thing we can learn about nature is not how it works, but that it is the poetry of survival. The greatest reality is that the watcher has survived and the watched survives. It is the timeless woven through time, the cross-weft of all being that passes. Nobody who has comprehended this can feel alone in nature, can ever feel the absolute hostility of time.” The paintings in this exhibition offer a striking testimony to the truth of this statement. 

Click below for a copy of the catalogue of works on view.

Click below for a copy an interview by Clive with C. R. Lark.

These are also available via email by request and on the RDS website. Click on "Artists" in the menu bar, and then on "Clive Humphreys" in the list of artists.

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