Breath – the fleeting intensity of life explores several bodies of current practice that draw on Ward’s memorable work as a feature filmmaker and his nascent training as a painter at art school in Canterbury, New Zealand.
This exhibition is the first survey of Ward’s work within an art museum context and rests, sometimes on edge, in spaces that traverse old and new technologies.
Vincent Ward is a filmmaker and painter who developed a unique aesthetic language for a ‘motion painting’ technique that won an academy award in 1999 for its application in the film What Dreams May Come. His films have seen recognition at both the Academy Awards and the Cannes Film Festival and have repeatedly received acclaim for their strong imagery.
His recent exploration of the still image presents works that coalesce photography, oil painting and digital imaging and are presented alongside a choreographed passage of filmic vignettes, ‘motion painting’ and soundscapes.
Ward’s ongoing concerns with metamorphosis, light, darkness and immersive experience has led him to create a series of physically imposing works that delve into otherworldly landscapes and transcendent states, seeking elusive ‘transformational moments’ that connect with the human psyche.
“Somewhere between the world of motion, film and painting I am currently working to find an alchemical marriage between these different media,” Ward says.
“The exhibition conveys the concept of ‘wehi’, where fear and awe collide. It is a celebration of life’s intensity,” he says.
An accompanying publication features new writing by Govett-Brewster Director Rhana Devenport and screenwriter and playwright Louis Nowra.
The exhibition coincides with the publication of a new book Making The Transformational Moment in Film – Unleashing the Power of the Image (with the films of Vincent Ward). Written by Dan Fleming, it will be released worldwide by Michael Wiese Books, US.
Ward will later present his works at Auckland’s Gus Fisher Gallery and TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre in Pah Homestead from July 2012.
Old Genes: Artists reading Len Lye
10 December 2011–26 February 2012
Also presented at the Govett-Brewster from 10 December 2011 to 26 February 2012 is Old Genes: Artists reading Len Lye, curated by Tyler Cann, Len Lye Curator at Large. With artists Phil Dadson, Tessa Laird, Dane Mitchell, Andy Thomson and Daniel von Sturmer, this exhibition presents a fresh look at the importance of Len Lye within contemporary New Zealand art.