Topic: Absolute Abstract

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Increasingly, Tauranga is being treated to art exhibitions of outstanding quality, but every once and awhile an exhibition is on show that inspires and has one searching for superlatives.

When I walked into the Creative Tauranga Gallery last week and glimpsed the first few pieces in ‘Absolute Abstract’ I knew I was going to be in the presence of one of those inspirational displays of art.

 I was greatly impressed with the share diversity of work, the quality of the paintings and the setting out of the exhibition with each of the artists’ names confidently displayed above their work in bold lettering. 

‘Absolute Abstract’ is a collaborative exhibition that has been put together for artists working in the ‘abstract’ genre.

This group show brings together both established and emerging abstract artists with the aim of showcasing the many talents of our local area and the wider Western Bay of Plenty.

Co-curators John Beech of Creative Tauranga and artist Angela McKenzie have worked well together to make this exhibition one of the best I’ve seen in Tauranga in recent years.

“I approached John at the end of 2010 with a concept for a collaborative show of abstract artists and he was as excited as I was about it.

“Together we have put together a diverse range of artists and have allocated them each a wall space in the hope that this will give the artists the creative freedom to produce artworks that suit their own individual way of working,” says Angela.

The bringing together of both established and emerging artists was an important aspect of this exhibition for Angela.

For the established it is an opportunity to support and nurture artists who are emerging onto the art scene.

For the emerging artists it is an opportunity to exhibit with artists who are well respected and to gain confidence through taking part in a professional exhibition.


‘Pure Hearts Stumble’ by Angela McKenzie.

This exhibition is also a chance to give the public the opportunity to delve deeper into what abstract art really is.

The genre is often a misunderstood one, abstract art and non-objective art rely heavily on the formal elements of colour, line, shape and texture to express the basic principles of design. In its purist form, abstract art is one without a recognisable subject, one which doesn’t relate to anything external or try to ‘look like’ something.

Instead, the colour, form and often the materials are the subject of abstract painting.

The use of these principles can produce works that can draw the viewer into a realm where the images influence not only the visual senses but also the emotional senses as well. The art serves as a platform from which we can enter into a whole new experience.

Whether you are an enthusiast of modern art or contemporary art, this exhibition will provide a chance to view some of the region’s finest abstract work.


Standout painting by Vivienne Edwards.

This was the first time I’d seen a work by Vivienne Edwards and I was immediately taken with its scale, visual impact, movement and the striking vibrant colours used in the composition. Another standout for me was the large painting by Stephen Crowther. 

Artists included in this exhibition are: Doreen McNeill, Angela McKenzie, Ellie Lawler, Graham Crowe, Jacqui Reynard, Stephen Crowther, Sharon Watson, Natalie Mueller, Jane Ivimey, Vivienne Edwards, and Pamela Tapp.

Creative Tauranga strives to support and nurture arts in our community and invites you to this stunning exhibition being held at the Creative Tauranga Community Gallery on the corner of Wharf and Willow Street, Tauranga.

The exhibition will run through to June 28. ‘Absolute Abstract’ is a must-see for anyone interested in the visual arts. Not to be missed.

Pete Morris is an occasional painter and an art lover with a particular interest in promoting the visual arts in Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty.

by Pete Morris (2011)

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