Artists use iron grip to create shared exhibition

By Tessa Johnstone


Corrugated iron and wire sculptures were on display when Hanging Together opened at HedSpace Gallery yesterday.

The exhibition puts the work of Jeff Thomson, Louise Purvis and Ans Westra side-by-side - while there is no stated theme, the work fits together effortlessly.

Ans Westra, well-known for her black and white documentary photography is exhibiting a number of large-format, full-colour photographs of landscapes and nature while sculptor Louise Purvis has set up several metal pieces, which sit alongside Jeff Thomson's corrugated iron sculptures.

Mr Thomson said the artists knew each other, but it was really Jenny Neligan and Penney Moir at Bowen Galleries who brought them together.

Mr Thomson is well-known for his work with iron, and the exhibition includes two large seagull feathers and several woven mats of iron.

It also features several wire sculptures which he made by wrapping objects in wire and chucking them on a fire to let the rest of the material burn away.

Mr Thomson's sculptures can already be found around Wairarapa - National Bank has a piece on its ceiling, and there are several in private collections.

In the 1980s Mr Thomson took to walking long distances, including a stroll from Woodville to Masterton in which he proposed residents commission pieces of art which could be seen from the roadside. Several people took him up on the offer.

He is often commissioned to do his signature corrugated iron work and has been asked to create everything from a petrol pump to a baby grand piano.

Mr Thomson said he likes the freedom of exhibitions, which allow him to experiment a little more.

"I enjoy doing the shows where I can play around and do what I want to, explore the material in different ways and add to the vocabulary of the materials."

The exhibition runs until November 24.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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