Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to EyeContact. You are invited to respond to reviews and contribute to discussion by registering to participate.


Dramatic Cardboard Landscape

View Discussion

By coincidence the work also resonates beautifully with the grey slatelike floor tiles underneath it which have rippled lines, like water. It appears to be rising out of a rectangular lake. A version of Mitre Peak.


Ruth Thomas-Edmond

Heap Series

24 April - 20 June 2010

Ruth Thomas-Edmond‘s mountain-shaped, pale mauve sculpture Heap - made of hundreds of glued together corrugated cardboard rectangles - here leans against Te Tuhi’s ‘drawing wall’ to become a drawing in its own right, It is an improvised exploratory process in 3D. Against the planar support it appears to be a sort of stack flipped up on its bottom edge so that its weight can reposition the mass’s centre of gravity. What would naturally be aligned horizontally is now vertical in its stratification. Its painted facets make it look crystalline or of flaky flinty limestone, while also alluding to the eighties work of British artists like David Mach and Tony Cragg. Possibly also Pueblo cliff-face architecture.

Though very beautiful with its gentle bending bone-like curves and dipping incremental gradients, there is still an implied sense of continual process in operation, a suggested instability as if all is not geologically finalised. The unpainted ‘rear’ sides show a variety of brown cardboard types, as do the top unpainted edges.

Yet this is a wonderfully satisfying craggy form to contemplate. It has a caressing optical tactility and an organic unity that pulls you in to linger over detail. There are undulating gullies, abruptly edged ridges and eroded-but-surging lava flows that you look down upon as if flying past in an aircraft.

Thomas-Edmond’s choice of colour here is also very shrewd. It hovers between the natural and the synthetic, a pale purple that could almost be a softer grey (and so ‘realistic’) or a brighter mauve (industrial and ‘artificial’). It suits the perpendicular card shapes and the procedure of construction by declaring its method of assembly and not concealing it, as well as announcing its own ‘slightly loud’ paint application. One wonders if there might be some same-sexual symbolism involved, some socio-political intent?

By coincidence, on a narrative (nonsymbolic) level, the work also resonates beautifully with the grey slatelike floor tiles underneath it which have rippled lines, like water. It appears to be rising out of a rectangular lake. A version of Mitre Peak.

The title Heap implies something more chaotic than say the word ‘Stack’, yet Heap (the sculpture) impresses with its compositional control. The landform has visual overtones of a bending, arching, live, very muscular animal - perhaps a moving beast in cross-section - that is like the swelling trunk of a tree. The rectangles are also like the overlapping scales of a reptile or armadillo, introducing a sense of feral vitalism when co-ordinated with sinewy form. The restless agitation of the surface, its elegantly sweeping and coordinated undulations, and an odd ambiguity that allows the mass to be seem protruding through the plane of the wall as much as pushing against it, helps make Thomas-Edmond’s ‘drawing’ compulsive and highly memorable viewing.

Photographs by Gareth Price and courtesy of the artist, Anna Bibby Gallery and Te Tuhi.

John Hurrell


Print | Facebook | Twitter | Email


Recent Posts by John Hurrell

Mark Francis, Jericho, 2022, oil on canvas, 183 x 244 cm

International Plastic Soul




International group show
Plastic Soul

19 November - 17 December 2022


Crop Circle Ruminations

Emil McAvoy
Soft Launch: An Exopoetics of the Crop Circle Phenomenon

Coloured photographs by Emil McAvoy
Essay by Chelsea Nichols

PUFF PIECE x Bad News Books 2022

Installation view of etchings in Elizabeth Thomson's Cellular Memory in Gallery Four of Te Uru's top floor. Photo by Sam Hartnett, courtesy Te Uru.

Thomson @ Titirangi & Arch Hill

Te Uru & Two Rooms

Elizabeth Thomson

Cellular Memory (Te Uru)

24 September - 4 December 2022


My Titirangi Years (Two Rooms)

21 October - 19 November 2022

Installation of Nikau Hindin's Manu Aute: Rere Runga Hau at Season. Photo: Seb Charles

Nikau Hindin Kites




Nikau Hindin
Manu Aute: Rere Runga Hau

8 October 2022 - 19 November 2022