Art News - From Christchurch Art Seen [April 2020]
I can’t think of a much more appropriate title than The Carnival is Over as New Zealand leaves Level 4 later tonight. Whether you have enjoyed your time in your bubble, or barely made it through, we can all be proud of doing our bit and surviving the last 33 days.
Todays art bite features an image by local artist David Woodings, who has been working on a suite of soft pastel on paper works.
Woodings last solo show in Christchurch was the Merrily go around exhibition at Chambers Gallery in 2018, featuring large oil on canvas photorealist carousel-based imagery. Some of you will also remember his Somme/Silk Road series of WW1 silk card based imagery which formed part of commemorative works for family who fought on the Somme in WW1. He exhibited these at Chambers Gallery with Philip Trusttum and Eion Stevens as part of a group show in 2019.
Woodings has returned to a familiar genre of large-scale chalk pastel on paper with his new body of work The carnival is over, having used this medium on many occasions throughout his career. He first exhibited as one of Four photo realists in 1978 at the Peter Webb Gallery in Auckland and has maintained this photorealist painting style throughout that career, his subject matter underpinned by a social history narrative of storytelling.
While continuing to use familiar imagery The carnival is over suite of works maintain his legacy of storytelling, used here as an analogy for the Anthropocene. This has been a key interest for the artist since his summer stays at Cape Evans in Antarctica in the late 1980s. Here, Woodings compiling a digital inventory of the material in the heritage huts, and spent time with the Greenpeace team of scientists who maintained a base at the Cape during those years.