Source: Auckland Council
4 Nov – 21 Nov 2021
Opening: 6 Nov 2021 4pm-6pm
Aotearoa New Zealand’s earliest land patterns have been largely obliterated by successive human cultures, with modern land management informing the dominant visual patterns we observe.
These cultural patterns can overlay earlier traces of land use, and all human-driven change can overlay the original geomorphology.
The result is a palimpsest landscape, where only remnants of earlier forms can be discerned.
A selection of Denis Bourke’s paintings demonstrate this with expansive oblique vistas of actual regions such as Taranaki and Waikato, while others are imaginary or based on memory.
Ultimately, Bourke seeks to blend the relationship between layered mark making and paint washes with the concept of layered physical and cultural patterns in the land.
Denis Bourke grew up in Taranaki with the mountain as a constant presence – a monumental and miraculous landform that changed daily and seasonally, providing a reference for position and distance in the province.
This presence has directly informed his art practice; Bourke is interested in space and distance, curious and noble shapes and formations and landscape processes.
Denis drew from an early age, and was later inspired to paint the sensuous Wellington hills at Paremata while studying Physical Geography at Victoria University.
The work of Michael Smither, Don Binney, Robin White and Colin McCahon were important early influences, as was the use of geomorphological diagrams and topographical maps as a basis for images that demonstrate landscape evolution and change.
Denis has exhibited his work since 1974 and was a finalist in the Benson and Hedges Art Award 1974, the Birkenhead Art Award 1987 and 1988, was joint winner of the Tokoroa Art Award 1996, finalist in the Wallace Art Award 2000, and the North Shore Art Award 2001.
His work can be viewed at denisbourke.org
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