The Ashburton Art Gallery is currently making good use of its enclosed exhibition space, the Carr Family Gallery. Following Christchurch-based artists Janna van Hasselt and Harley Peddie’s installation Snapdash!, Dunedin artist David Green’s Emergence is an encounter that is no less immersive or mystifying.
Green lectures in photography and electronic arts at Dunedin School of Art and Emergence seems particularly conscious of film and photography as a specific means of visual communication, with the gallery visitor pleasurably caught in a moment between rationality and intuition. It is an encompassing video experience, accommodating the pleasure of colour and light and the potential of film.
What takes place in Emergence? A Hyena and a lion confined together take up battle, a herd of animals on what looks like a dry African Savannah grassland occupy and flee territory, and a gathering of figures converse and plan. All three films are projected from corner spaces of the gallery onto curved kiln-fired glass screens, projecting through and beyond onto the gallery’s ceiling, floor and walls.
It is film as an immersive, painterly experience - figurative, but only just and I also couldn’t help but think of Seurat’s Post-impressionist paintings, but without their optimism.
Emergence is an animated, colourful and sensory encounter, fragmenting and dissecting the realities of its subjects, yet awakening a spirited connection and association with their presence, opening up an experience and idea about the natural world that was initially - unanticipated.
David Green, Emergence, Ashburton Art Gallery, 327 West Street, until 14 October.