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THE NET, 18 SEPTEMBER - 13 OCTOBER 2012
The title of Peata Larkin's new exhibition, The Net, captures the materiality of her painting, and its distinctive mesh ground, with the layers of ideas at play in her work.
Larkin's net fishes up broad-ranging references from traditional Maori patterns to modernist geometries and the pixellation of digital imagery. This exhibition, her second solo show in the gallery, also reveals a new development with the introduction of more representational elements in the form of pictograms which now inhabit the surface of the painting alongside the formal patterns. Derived from ancient and contemporary Maori, scientific, mathematical and hieroglyphic sources, these pictograms offer a new and additional mode of communicating information and ideas which may transcend the specificities of culture or language. Larkin has refined an approach and process which allows her to explore ideas that interest her, to do with the transmission of information, knowledge and culture, with seemingly infinite variation.
Beyond the immediate physical tactility of the paint, what Larkin is most interested in is the weaving together of different visual languages to create something new, which speaks to how we navigate and flip between actual and digital worlds. Working within a limited colour palette, with green the predominant colour, Larkin has conceived of the paintings coming together in the gallery in a manner that suggests the tuku-tuku panels of some contemporary digital whare.
Peata Larkin was born in Rotorua in 1973. She has a Masters in Fine Arts from RMIT University, Melbourne (2007) and a BFA from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland (2004). She is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including the Merit Award in the 2012 New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Award, a Merit prize at Norsewear Art Awards 2007, the Molly Morpeth Canaday Award 2006, RMIT University Scholarship for Excellence and Achievement 2006. She has been a finalist in the Wallace Art Awards and in Waikato National Contemporary Art Award and was the recipient of the Mazda Emerging Artists Award in 2006. Her work is included in public and private collections nationally and internationally.