At a time when there are more than 50 exhibitions in the Photography Festival, you can also find examples of artwork that reacts to images made with a camera.
Tim Melville has moved his gallery to new premises in Newton and his first show, by Johl Dwyer, contains both painting and sculpture.
The show, called Interior, is minimalist. The paintings are just one colour, for the most part done on linen so fine as to be almost transparent but still with texture. Pale shades in oil paint have been soaked into the material so it becomes a delicate tissue.
This is so fine that the conventional wooden stretcher on which the painting is spread is visible around the edges and has the effect of darkening the shade in a band around the colour field. The colours are delicately lovely for the most part, as in the blue of Never and the russet in Zest.
Larger versions of the method, which include the corner bracing of the stretchers, have a surface of plaster rubbed thin and a pale colour but have the drawback of simply looking shabby.
There are some variants on this pattern of the revealed stretcher such as two small works with a polished, hard surface making them like tablets and deeply reflective. Home is a dark tablet, black at first, until close scrutiny reveals a deep green.
Equally effective is Rum, a dense crowding of light-coloured brush-strokes with a strong tactile quality.
Three remarkable sculptures in the show are also beyond the power of photography to show in their entirety. Tall as a high ceiling and square, they show four sides, all different although related. One side is mirror panels. In Cinder the mirror is the face for a laminated stack of redwood and pine. Splendid use is made of the patterns of growth rings and knotholes on the faces of the stack.
Level is more textured and Guardian incorporates aluminium and horizontals on the painted side made of cedar.
Minimal forms may dominate the exhibition but grace, elegance and strength are conferred on both painting and sculpture by inventive use of materials and colour.
An exhibition quite out of the ordinary paradoxically uses as an ingredient in the paint a chemical that was used from the beginnings of black and white photography. Coen Young, a young Australian painter, uses silver nitrate mixed with acrylic, marble dust and enamel in the 13 paintings that form his show Studies for a Mirror at the Fox/Jensen Gallery.
The paintings are ranged around the gallery like a hall of mirrors and are tall enough to reflect a whole figure standing quite close to them.
The effect is that the viewers find themselves plunged into a deep misty space that dissolves into an image not so much a reflection as a shimmering vision.
The slight irregularities of the surface of the painting do not drastically distort what is reflected but blur and soften it. It is an echo of the surroundings. The transient image is not captured or recorded but rather absorbed and made strange and ghostly.
Unlike conventional painting where the eye moves over the surface of the painting, taking in detail and colour, in these works the viewer sees depth beyond what graphic conventions of perspective can confer and make it something transient, fleeting and magical.
The work of Martin Ball, whose drawings are on show at the Pah Homestead, is by an artist who often provokes the remark, "They look just like photographs." They look like photographs when they are photographed themselves but seen in reality the work of the hand of an accomplished draughtsman is clearly apparent.
Ball would call himself a painter but he has been showing his black and white pencil and charcoal drawings since the 1970s. His first notable drawings were of bikers. Night Girl (1976) shows his skill in drawing leather jackets and studded gloves and his capacity for characterisation. Her challenging stare and the sense of nakedness under the jacket both contribute. This drawing is alongside a virtuoso depiction of a remodelled Triumph. The chrome glitters metal hard alongside the high-heeled boots and leather.
Nearby is a set of three drawings from the 80s of faces with sinister dark sunglasses.
A profile portrait of the late Arnold Manaaki Wilson, the sculptor, and an early portrait of the painter Richard McWhannell catch the wisdom of age and the quiet glow of youth respectively.
These characters on our art scene have more life than the full-face drawing of Robert Mapplethorpe. Despite the virtuosity of the draughtsmanship the American comes over as only mildly aggressive.
The virtuosity extends to drawings of things as well as people. The plain symmetry of a Japanese garden is referred to in drawings that are simply pictures of paper on paper.
Rectangles of paper struck to a background apparently by strips of tape on the corners are a triumph of rendering reality. The Pah is doing a fine service by letting us see these steps in the long career of a master draughtsman.
At the galleries
by Johl Dwyer
Where and when:
Tim Melville Gallery, 4 Winchester St, Newton, to June 13
The first show at Tim Melville's new gallery is painting and sculpture, minimalist in manner but stylish in execution.
What: Studies for a Mirror (May) by Coen Young
When and where: Fox/Jensen Gallery, 10 Putiki St, Grey Lynn, to June 20
TJ says: More than a dozen almost identical paintings in silver nitrate and marble dust that reflect the viewer and surroundings as a misty vision.
What: Drawings by Martin Ball
Where and when: Pah Homestead, 72 Hillsborough Rd, Hillsborough, to July 19
TJ says: Drawings in charcoal and pencil from all stages of the 40-year career of a masterly draughtsman.