Infinite Series, 05 April - 30 April 2016
Andrew Blythe is a self-taught artist whose work is supported by Toi Ora Live Art Trust, www.toiora.org.nz, a Community Arts Centre providing studio space and tuition for people who have experienced mental illness.
A turbulent adolescence saw Andrew in and out of hospital as well as living rough on the streets of Auckland. During this time he would draw with pencil and Indian ink as a cathartic expression of his experience. Curator and arts educator Stuart Shepherd has suggested that it is "the unstoppable momentum [of] the city, its energy and its process of layering, overlapping and cancelling out that finds expression in Andrew's work", while Andrew himself has described his work as being an ongoing search for "harmony".
Andrew presented his first solo show at Satellite Gallery, Auckland in 2008 and later that same year showed at the New York Outsider Art Fair. Since then his international recognition has grown and his works have been acquired by collectors on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Sackner Archive of Concrete Poetry in Miami. A Paris show in 2009 was followed by a second presentation at the New York Outsider Art Fair in 2011 and an exhibition at the MADMusee in Liege, Belgium the following year. In 2012 Andrew won New Zealand's 'Attitude' Award for Artistic Achievement, a prize awarded to recognise the achievements of artists living with disability. Most recently Andrew's work was included in the acclaimed 2014 exhibition, Everyday Imagining, at the Ian Potter Museum in Melbourne.
In New Zealand, as well as in private collections, Andrew's work is held by the Chartwell Collection at Auckland Art Gallery and by the James Wallace Arts Trust.