KIWI and ITALIAN THEMES MAKE POWERFUL STATEMENT
REVIEW: Rise, an exhibition by Sally Burton. Red Art Gallery until August 9. Reviewed by Gail Tresidder


Sally Burton's connection with the land and water of our region and its resonance as part of a wider Aotearoa is a powerful influence in her work.

A recurring theme is one of generations, both people and place, overflowing and influencing each other.

Vessels are a main component in nearly all of Burton's paintings. They can represent many feelings, especially generosity of spirit, while little ribbons of landscape, layered one upon another, are a delicate evocation of the intermingling of time.

In the main, Burton uses tapa cloth as a base material, finding it provides not only an interesting texture, especially with iridescent paint, but makes a strong Pacific connection.

The new work at Red Gallery is inspired by a recent visit to Italy. There is a subtle change of palette with intense reds, pinks and lashings of dusky gold intermingling with the colours usually associated with this artist.

In her statement Burton writes that she “looked up for inspiration in an attempt to defy gravity”. She seems to have also looked down, as two of the paintings - Puff (puffballs with a large red toadstool) and Sure to Rise, one of only two on canvas - start deep below the earth and the water, then erupt up and up to the open air.

Venetian Bowls (on a sea of oil) is beautiful and thought-provoking. The colours and richness of Venice are contained in eight island bowls that drift on oily water, a reminder that the Porto Marghera oil refinery, on the edge of the Venice Lagoon, further endangers this crumbling, vulnerable floating treasure-trove of a city. read rest of review >>

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