In his most recent body of work Wellington based photographic artist Gavin Hipkins has decided to go big! Using a commercial billboard format, Hipkins has produced a suite of digital canvases measuring three metres high by six metres long to surround and engulf the viewer.
The theme of the exhibition entitled The Village plays with the quaintness and nostalgic associations we have for heritage parks, transport museums and model Maori villages. Seemingly tranquil leisure sites, like all of Hipkins’ work something darker is lurking just beneath the surface.
Also on exhibition will be works from the Romance series first exhibited by Gow Langsford Gallery at the Melbourne Art Fair, 2004. These large-scale framed images likewise bring about a sense of quirky nostalgia in the viewer – a bright red optimist boat against a perfect blue backdrop of water, a double-headed taxidermied sheep and a vintage diving helmet. Hipkins has been described as a ‘photo tourist’ gathering together images that relate histories of places and fragments of time - colonising periods of photography’s history as he goes.
Hipkins has gone from strength to strength as one of New Zealand’s leading contemporary artists. He graduated from the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland in 1993 and has exhibited steadily since. From 2000 – 2002 he studied at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Hipkins has been the recipient of a number of prestigious awards and has exhibited widely in New Zealand and internationally. In 2002 he was a finalist in the Auckland Art Gallery inaugural Walters Prize and participated in the 25th Sao Paulo Biennale. In 2000 his work featured in Flight Patterns at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, He also took part in The 1st Auckland Triennial: Bright Paradise. His work is currently on exhibition (till 27th February) as part of A Molecular History of Everything at the Australia Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne.
Playing with our turbulent colonial history and New Zealander’s perpetual drive for defining nationhood, this exhibition marks a pivotal moment in Hipkins’ oeuvre as the award-winning artist turns digital. See his new direction at Gow Langsford Gallery from 15th February.