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Christchurch City Council Media Release 18 August 1998

The Robert McDougall Art Gallery


The Lie Of The Land
National Tour of Stone Sculptures at McDougall Art Gallery John Edgar:

The Lie Of The Land One of the most prolific Installation artists in New Zealand, John Edgar will exhibit recent works at the McDougall Art Gallery from 29 August to 25 October 1998.. In his work, Edgar uses the image of the land as a metaphor to explore concepts of patriotism, nationalism and conformity with various types of stone to convey his response to the New Zealand landscape "I want to explore how real and imaginary concepts of "the land" have become embedded into our culture and have taken on the power of icons, influencing our behavious, our identity, and the very way that we present ourselves to the world." Fragmentation and reconstruction, associated with cross section and division as is the way the land is idealised. The same processes allow the viewer to make parallels with the human body. Themes of patriotism are also linked to flags and their symbolic value as signifiers of the nation. Again, the processes surrounding them such as public ceremony and burning come through in his work. The Lie of the Land consists of seven sculptures in granite and marble in roughly human proportion.

Born in Auckland in 1950, Edgar graduated with a B.Sc.(Hons), from the University of New South Wales. He went on to establish a stone workshop in Auckland and particiapted in his first stone symposium in 1986. His more recent shows which explore human relationships with the environment are: Making Amends in 1993 and Cross Country in 1995. He began work on The Lie of The Land in 1996. The show includes an accompanying video.

Accompanying Public Programme 6 pm. Friday, 28 August. Artist's illustrated Lecture and Floortalk John Edgar will speak on his exhibition and give a floortalk in theGallery.

Free admission

The Robert McDougall Art Gallery, located in the Botanic Gardens, is the country's most visited public art gallery featuring regularly changing exhibitions of international and New Zealand historical and contemporary art. The McDougall Contemporary Art Annex, located in the Christchuch Arts Centre, features international, national and local contemporary exhibitions. Both galleries are open daily except Christmas Day and Good Friday. Hours are 10 am. to 4.30 pm. Free daily guided tours are available on request and admission is free.

Christchurch Art Gallery ~ Media Releases index

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