A review of Peter Carson's exhibition
City Art, Christchurch
11 September – 11 October 2008
Peter Carson’s glowing evenings and moonlit nights give us a taste of English romanticism. The connection we make between the land and senses or experiences of a spiritual nature never seems to get too old. Art that projects a definition of holiness by enshrouding the land with an aura of light is the tradition that Carson leans upon.
Anthony Holcroft nicely outlines Carson’s background and artistic influences in an accompanying catalogue, in which he highlights a little trail of the tradition of the use of light as a spiritual metaphor.
Stanley Palmer’s influence is evident – Carson’s 'Going to the Evening Service' seems simply a New Zealand appropriation of Palmer’s very similar 'Coming from Evening Church'. Perhaps it’s the regional locations of the South Island that give Carson’s work a contemporary context.
His heavy twilights are beautiful, they do effectively carry weight in moving toward "reaffirming the spiritual dimension of art" – but to do so they reach back to the visionary landscape work of the early nineteenth century.
Reviewed and written by Joanna Osborne
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