House of the Pohutukawa
Exhibition: 19 September - 10 October
Preview: Tuesday 19th Sep 5:30 PM
Peter Hackett’s paintings are recognizable by their vibrant hues, large scale and striking composition. The natural environment is evoked through vivacious layering of thick, impasto oil paint. Originally inspired by swathes of flowers which fill the fields surrounding his Dairy Flat studio during spring and summer, Hackett commented on the ‘Honeymooners Bed’ series, which concluded in 2016; “Each work is related to the next, like a family. Each work speaks to, and of the next like a discussion. Each work owes its existence to the one before, and so, like a family, they share the same name. I am not just using oil paint to describe a meadow, I am using a meadow to describe oil paint.” A unique, almost sculptural quality is achieved: the subject has an immediacy and feels close enough to touch. This feeling of intimacy is enhanced through viewing from a low perspective, allowing us to lose ourselves further within the joyful, visceral qualities of the intoxicating paint-work.
In his upcoming show ‘House of the Pohutakawa’, the stunning title pieces ‘Pacific Icon i’ and Pacific Icon ii’ feature a wider view as the artist steps back from the picture plane to encompass two magnificent specimens in full flower. In the ‘Anglo-Saxon Ritual’ paintings, the artist moves between the intimate, immersive feel of earlier works, and exploration of an expanded perspective. Though still close to the viewer and irrepressibly vibrant, a more structured approach is elicited from the different aspects available from slightly broader views, in this case of the English country garden. The angled edges of receding flower beds, pieces of sky, glimpses through archways in the distance and the more formal planting design of the gardens themselves, comprise an opportunity to work with different pictorial patterns and planes to striking effect. The desire to express our admiration and relationship to plants and flowers through gardening and planting is also explored in these new works.
Hacketts’ unforgettable images invoke notions of place, passion, scent, texture, colour and the incomparable beauty of nature, celebrated in myriad combinations by this must-see artist.
‘House of the Pohutakawa’ will be on show at Parnell Gallery from September 19 – 3 October 2017.