Mor­timer in new lineup


‘‘He re­minds us of the hu­man ca­pac­ity for both evil and re­demp­tion.’’

Roger Mor­timer’s ex­hi­bi­tion Dilemma Hill is set to open at Pataka Art + Mu­seum on Fe­bru­ary 26 as part of the gallery’s new sea­sonal line-up.

Mor­timer’s work has been de­scribed as ‘‘a post-mod­ern and post-colo­nial take on the ear­li­est chart­ings of New Zealand coast by Euro­peans through con­tem­po­rary eyes’’.

Graphic im­agery lifted from medieval manuscripts set on New Zealand marine charts pow­er­fully re­flects con­tem­po­rary global tur­moil, said Pataka con­tem­po­rary art cu­ra­tor Mark Hutchins-Pond.

Dilemma Hill show­cases the last 16 years of Mor­timer’s art prac­tice - from the elab­o­rate cal­lig­ra­phy of quirky early works based on bills, bu­reau­cratic doc­u­ments and mail-or­der cat­a­logues - to his re­cent exploration of im­agery drawn from il­lus­trated manuscripts of Dante’s 14th cen­tury epic poem, The Di­vine Com­edy.

While most of the ex­hibits are large paint­ings on canvas, there will also be china paint­ings on ce­ramic and an etched and inked surf­board on dis­play.

Hutchins-Pond said Mor­timer’s highly per­sonal paint­ings por­tray both beauty and bar­bar­ity, re­flect­ing the uni­ver­sal strug­gle of the hu­man con­di­tion.

‘‘His men­ac­ing yet del­i­cately coloured de­pic­tions in­vite both psy­cho­log­i­cal and po­lit­i­cal read­ings and re­mind us of the hu­man ca­pac­ity for both evil and re­demp­tion.’’

Dilemma Hill is a joint project be­tween Pataka and the Gus Fisher Gallery at the Uni­ver­sity of Auck­land.

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