JOHL DWYER + EMMA SMITH
Two Painters, 12 February - 9 March 2013
Johl Dwyer's new paintings continue his recent initiative of abandoning the canvas to work directly with its intrinsic support: the wooden stretcher frame. Somewhat in reverse, areas of pictorial ground are built up in layers of plaster and paint as the three-dimensional border is recast, reiterated, and eventually dissolved.
These abstracted patterns generate self-referential forms synonymous with the architecture of the gallery space while at the same time referencing the evanescent layers of paint, graffiti, and liquid leftovers visible in the street.
In a new development Dwyer's Homage to Joseph Cornell incorporates the reverse of an abandoned artwork as the "frame within a frame" of an entirely new piece, the reference to Cornell's assemblages of everyday ephemera reflecting his belief that found materials can invigorate the objects with which they come in contact.
Dwyer's processes of application and reduction - the layering, the sanding back, and the gilding of the paintings' edges - expose the fact that his materials are sensitive to corrosion. They also hint at a cycle of revival and renewal whereby that which is discarded, or apparently exhausted, can be perpetually repaired, recycled, and revitalised.
Dwyer's process is an investigation and a suggestion of new strategies for painting.
Anya Henis, February 2013
"The evolution of the idea for this body of work has been circuitous. I began documenting (with photography) areas of Oakley Creek near my home in Auckland. The area is historically and environmentally important but I was especially interested in the Mount Albert end, which is wild and jungle-like with still and murky pools of water.
Studies made from my photographs have resulted in a series of oils on canvas. The works are built up slowly. The gloss surfaces attempt to translate some of the still, reflective qualities of the site."
Emma Smith, January 2013