Fall of water, fall of light takes Colin McCahon's Waterfall series (1964) as its starting point, and considers the responses of four other New Zealand artists to waterfalls and the force of nature in their own work. The exhibition has been timed to coincide with William Hodges: The Art of Exploration as McCahon's series was created in response to seeing Hodges' paintings when last on display in this Gallery more than 40 years ago.
Despite their source, McCahon's works are quite abstracted reducing waterfalls to the basic element of a column of water falling through space. Petrus van der Velden depicts cataracts that cut through the land, falling thunderously into boiling pools and torrents. Denis Glover's poem captures the majesty and might of the environment and its atmosphere, creating an imposing verbal image. Bill Culbert's work is similarly evocative, suggesting not only the fall of water, but also the way water emits lights. Mark Adams also responds to Hodges' works, but his panoramic vistas are somewhat deceptive, recording more than the eye can see. While only the work of McCahon and Adams make direct reference to William Hodges, each of the works offer a personal response to the sublime power and force of nature.
Curated by Jane Davidson-Ladd
Text extracted from Auckland Art Gallery website.