Emma Hercus + Erika Kruger
LIKE A BIRD
28 July - 4 August 2022
Emma Hercus and Erika Kruger have both constructed their own visual vocabulary that ties the domestic to the wild. Both have found their winged protagonists to examine the tension that comes with roles, expectations, and possibilities for change.
My work is inspired by the dog beach in Pito-one (Petone), the end of the sand beach, in Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai (Lower Hutt). Petone beach for me is a borderline. It shifts and changes, subject to the push and pull of tides, reflecting this tension in life, and within our dreams. I picture the beach as the last contact with solid ground before the spirit flies free. The edge of the abyss.
As I walk I see my main protagonists; the tarāpuka (black-billed gulls endemic to New Zealand) that embody the freedom of the human spirit and black dogs that represent mental struggle and depression. These are my central characters, who I test and morph into creatures neither animal, nor human, and through this express our connectivity to the world around us, our diversity and the unstoppable force of evolution; and an exploration of the mythology of ‘monsters’.
Combining figuration with abstraction, and predominantly working with acrylic and oil paint, my work makes reference to women and their roles within our environment. My paintings speak of hope and the desire to create new life and care for those around us.
Women are often referred to as ‘birds’ or ‘chicks’, and our role in looking after children has often been compared to the act of ‘providing a nest’. While I hope the exhibition opens up questions regarding how women are perceived in our society, I equally want to celebrate the role of women as homemaker and mother.
28 July - 4 August
Mon - Fri, 9am - 2pm
Acrylic and ink on unstretched canvas
The Feather and the Egg
Acrylic on canvas