Travel into an often eerie, sometimes comic, yet strangely familiar world
4 May 2009
Flying Solo is an exhibition drawn from private collections within the Wellington region, featuring 18 large-scale John Walsh paintings alongside a number of his smaller works.
FLYING SOLO – Paintings by John Walsh
2 May – 13 September 2009 | FREE ENTRY
James Wallace Arts Trust Gallery, TheNewDowse
45 Laings Road Lower Hutt | www.newdowse.org.nz
Journey into the often eerie, sometimes comic, yet strangely familiar worlds conjured by Wellington-based painter John Walsh. Flying Solo is an exhibition drawn from private collections within the Wellington region, featuring 18 large-scale paintings alongside a number of smaller works.
Walsh's paintingsoffer scenes and partial narratives that meld the artist’s Tolaga Bay upbringing with an urban savvy. Each painting is a moment from a larger story – trailers to draw your attention to the narratives playing out in the world beyond the frame.These works invite viewers to navigate and createmeanings within and betweencanvases.
TheNewDowse invited fellow artist, writer and friend John Pule to cast his eye over the works. Pule sees “richly story-soaked narratives that dart and jostle over lush fields and seas, inside monsters, human birds and strange heads; an easy mixing of beautiful things”.
A painter of liquid skies and fluid landscapes, hybrid creatures and mischievous gods, Walsh intertwines Maori mythology, history and contemporary events with satirical ire. Marakihau (mer-men) and manaia (bird-men helpers/knowledge-bringers) appear alongside human travellers, sleepers, thieves and reporters. These characters interact across vast landscapes, skies, and oceans.
“Walsh uses earth and galaxy to depict quintessential fears of communication, and raises important questions about finding a place in the world - why we must keep fighting to survive, why we must keep caring”, says John Pule.
In the title work, ‘Flying Solo’, a lone figure coasts above a distant horizon. This flight suggests that memory or dreams may be the only place where we can really fly solo, disengaged from the anchors of history, culture and tradition.
For more information and images, and to request an interview with John Walsh, John Pule or Concept Developer Claire Regnault, please contact: