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KELCY TARATOA
12 AUGUST - 25 SEPTEMBER , TE ĀIO

We are delighted to present a range of paintings by Kelcy Taratoa that bring together for the first time work from 2007 to 2021. This juxtaposition of older and newer work reveals the continuities and departures, the political and philosophical thinking which have shaped the artist's overall oeuvre

In titling this exhition, Te āio, Kelcy Taratoa invites us to take a moment to stand still, to enter the quietness of contemplation offered by the visual arts.

Taratoa has long been interested in the liminal spaces between things, those transitional moments of stillness between the breath going in and out, the tide changing, between story and idea, the grey ambiguous space that is neither one thing or another.

What we see here is figuration and abstraction interacting: figuration that at certain distances seems like unform blocks of colour, abstraction that is rich in Māori cosmological narratives - all held together by his signature meticulous layering of super-flat paint that teases the digital with the absence of any visual brush marks. What we see is an exploration of how form, colour and pattern embody ideas and speak to and across cultures, creating broad-ranging conversations ranging from Te Ao Maori to Te Ao Whānui, the wider world.

What we see also is a timelessness. Some of the earlier paintings, for example, Disappearing Reimagined made in 2012, speak almost presciently to a then unimagined global pandemic and the role of female (non-white male) leadership in creating new ways of operating in the world.

Kelcy Taratoa (Ngai Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Raukawa) completed a Masters in Māori Visual Arts at Massey University in 2005 and quickly attracted attention with solo exhibitions in 2005 at Te Manawa Public Art Gallery, and in 2006 at City Galley Wellington. He has exhibited steadily since then throughout New Zealand and in the United States and Israel. Recent highlights include Toi Tū Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art, at Auckland Art Gallery; two major commissions at Christchurch Art Gallery in association with Te Wheke: Pathways Across Oceania which runs til March 2022; Who am I? Episodes - a mid-career survey at Tauranga Art Gallery in 2019-20. A publication associated with this exhibition will hopefully be available by the opening of this exhibition at Bartley & Company Art.





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