Bottled Lightning

Bottled Lightning
Curated by Andrew Clifford
Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland University, Auckland

March 3 – 20 2012


Reuben Paterson’s survey exhibition at the Gus Fisher Gallery spans 15 years of art and is a dazzling exploration of materials. From his glitter-on-canvas depictions of kowhaiwhai and fabric designs, Bottled Lightning encompasses a wide range of media including sequins, foil, diamond dust, shoes, gourds, video and installation.


Paterson’s work is an ongoing conceptual investigation into aspects of time and energy through the properties of light, which reflects the power of history, memory, whakapapa, spirituality and place.


Kinetic energy is a key feature in the show, whether through the optical effects of painting, the spiritually charged dance of light and dark on reflective surfaces, or the kaleidoscopic distortions of his digital work.


Fusing liquid, light and metal, his cultural patterns have evoked sacred diamonds, the social and ecological aftermath of gold mining, and the tidal pull of lunar forces. These remind us of the underlying power that ripples beneath the land we stand on with its ever-changing layers of history.


Contained on a canvas like bottled lightening, Paterson’s paintings challenge our perception and control of the present as a state of flow, an analogy for capturing the elusive creative process as it shifts between boredom and inspiration.


Paterson’s art is a celebration of the future, interwoven with a melancholic consideration of the present as it slips into the past – like the faded glory of a much anticipated party, gleefully recalled the morning after.


Gus Fisher Gallery Acting Director and exhibition curator, Andrew Clifford, says, “Reuben Paterson quickly established himself as an artist of international standing and his work has been in high demand for exhibitions around the world due to its unique perspectives on history and spirituality. It is long overdue that he has a major show in his own home town and we are thrilled to be working with him.”


Bottled Lightning is Paterson’s first solo public gallery exhibition in Auckland in over a decade. The exhibition opens at the Gus Fisher Gallery, 74 Shortland Street on Friday 20 January and runs until 3 March.


Reuben Paterson completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Elam School of Fine Arts in 1997, followed by a Post Graduate Diploma of Teaching at The University of Auckland’s Faculty of Education. He has exhibited widely both internationally and in New Zealand.


The University of Auckland’s National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries comprises the Elam School of Fine Arts, School of Architecture and Planning, the Centre for New Zealand Art Research and Discovery (CNZARD), the School of Music and the Dance Studies Programme.


Miranda Playfair, Communications Adviser
Ph (09) 373 7599 ext 86902 or 021 0638393