From A Ramp Magazine, Issue 4.
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James Finlayson, moving image lecturer and contemporary art skeptic, interviews vanguard art teacher Tao Wells about his latest exhibition, Radio and Television – which was made specifically with a Hamilton audience in mind.
James Finlayson [describing exhibition into video recorder]: In the entrance foyer there are three pictures, …
‘Earlier this year, my friend from Tokyo and I were talking about lives in Tokyo concrete jungle – how you get up in the morning, you go to the nearest subway station, ride the train under the concrete surface for an hour, then you walk through number of concrete paths, and then enter into your office building without seeing a sky once. Same story goes when you leave work after dark. And it’s the same route back again.’
TAMPOPO is Japanese for dandelion, and in Japan, as is in New Zealand, …
Six orbits around the blue moon had to happen fast and living and working in Melbourne alongside artists Tony Garifalakis, Robert Vinnicombe, Justine Khamara and Darren Slyvester allowed us to hit the ground running. Our starting point was with works we had seen recently that made us look again, works we admired, loved, affected us. The artists familiarity and overlapping cycles of activities – professional, personal and co-incidental made us aware of ideas relating to proximity, distance and the pleasure of looking, and that’s what we have run with here.
Presenting lavish new watercolour works, Phantom Flowers draws upon the traditional botanical watercolours of yesteryear but playfully injects the fantastical and the absurd. Anenomes are layered over skyscapes, damp green mosses bleed into oceans – forms recognisable and unrecognisable morph into one another. Embedded in these works is Henzell’s fascination with the epic tales of traditional Japanese landscape painting, in which flowers and plants were observed under lunar transitions.
Phantom Flowers similarly evokes both a grandeur and a quietude from super-natural phenomena..