Monday, November 10, 2008

Far from the Maddening Crowd

While recently in Auckland, I attended an opening of Peter Madden's work at Michael Lett Gallery (on until December). His work truly is of another universe. He wields his scalpel and tweezers to create fantastical imagery that astounds. I have stolen some of John Hurrell's writing which parallels the beauty and whimsy of this work:

"Madden’s fragile, intricate constructions draw you into microcosms, intimate kingdoms often thick with flying forms, miniature paper images hovering on wires or pins within dense but shallow spaces. Each of his delicately extricated shapes floats with many neighbours in close proximity. Individual components lose their particularity as universal commonalities take precedence.

"His reassembled image clusters bring a vibrant complexity, one that allows a formal exploration of spatial ambiguity, shape and edge. The plethora of isolated and combined shapes that he delights in is a celebration of plenitude, a cornucopia that glories in the abundance of earth’s life forms. He exults in the teeming congregations of species we co-exist with - flocks, shoals, swarms of quivering animal energy - and mixes them into wondrously new, hybrid image combinations."

Madden is a modern day Vasco da Gama, minus the boat.

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