RIDE THE RIO TO DUNEDIN EXPRESS
Above: 'Jardim Botanico (bamboo)' and 'Jardim Botanico (entrance)' by Anya Sinclair.
Anya Sinclair grew up in and around the Waitakere Ranges in Auckland, spent a bit of timing roaming around Europe with a Polaroid camera, eventually returned to Dunedin to complete her studies at the Dunedin School of Art and has remained here since. The native environment has been a strong aesthetic theme in her work in recent years, both real and imagined, romantic subject matter served up in an expressionistic fashion. Her work has a way of drawing you into them, where you become a part of the work rather than a dispassionate observer. Since graduating from the Dunedin School of Art in 2007 she has been experimenting with how a single painted image can seduce and repel the eye at the same time, the idyllic picture postcard dream with a current of wild colonial danger just below the surface.
'The Dark Pool' by Anya Sinclair.
Her latest show The Fountain of Youth takes as its starting point a recent trip to Brasil, and brings back a painterly reinterpretation of this experience. The darker tone of her earlier work, harking back to something more reminiscent of New Zealand's landscape, is given levity in this collection by the sweltering, shimmering haze of Rio de Janeiro's botanical gardens. There is light at the end of each of these tunnels, but enter at your own risk. The Brasilian connection has recently made the crossover into the fashion world, where a series of her paintings have been turned into printed t-shirts and dresses by up-and-coming outfit PhD.
'The Pool' by Anya Sinclair
These four works make up half of a new body of work called The Fountain Of Youth, on at The Artist's Room at the bottom of Dowling Street until June 12. A back catalogue of previous solo and group exhibitions can be found here.
Full Disclosure: Anya Sinclair is, in fact, my partner. Ever since I started writing this blog I have wanted to show off her paintings, but concerns about perceived conflicts of interest / bias / self promotion have put me off. In the end, though, I think her work is stunning, and it is my duty as your cultural correspondent to share it with you. I sincerely hope you agree with me!
Post Submitted by Aaron Hawkins