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ROGER MORTIMER
SOUTH POETIC PARTY, 26 FEBRUARY - 30 MARCH 2013

In this exhibition, Roger Mortimer continues his distinctive investigation of maps and cartographic conventions. As with all maps, his paintings are a means of communicating information about place. But here the information is subjectively and somewhat surrealistically selected. Imagery derived from history, mythology, classical painting traditions, flora and fauna, contemporary life and even the artist's own interior dreamscapes, collides with more conventional map drawings. The result is resonant, new narratives of place that speak equally to geography, history and fantasy. Mortimer's title South Poetic Party suggests both the poetic way his work operates and the current direction of the gaze of the Auckland based artist - many of the works engage with maps of the Wellington region.

The exhibition comprises 3 new paintings and, in a new departure for Mortimer, four digital prints.

He had bought a large map representing the sea,
Without the least vestige of land:
And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be
A map they could all understand.

"What's the good of Mercator's North Poles and Equators,
Tropics, Zones, and Meridian Lines?"
So the Bellman would cry: and the crew would reply
"They are merely conventional signs!

"Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes!
But we've got our brave Captain to thank
(So the crew would protest) "that he's bought us the best--
A perfect and absolute blank!"

From Lewis Carroll, The Hunting of the Snark




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