A review of Mark Landers recent art works
Chamber Gallery, Rangiora
22 February – 26 March 2009
Two painted works feature on the south wall, Vase of Lilies II and Iris still life II in Art at Work at the Chamber Gallery - situated in the Rangiora Library.
Instantly recognisable are Mark’s muted earthy colours and personally carved wooden frames. Three of the walls are themselves framed with fine flax paper - curtains hanging from ceiling to floor, their delicacy contradicting their strength. Curtaining has been an element used in many of Mark’s previous works and exhibitions. Woodcut prints complete the 14 works on display.
The prints and paintings are filled with stylised imagery and designs, rife with symbolism - a language within an image. The meaning of this was unclear to me, yet the works stood out for their form and variety of texture in their own right. Mark explained ‘Curtains represent the stage of life, an act of a play – the curtain is open’.
I particularly enjoyed the four woodcuts on cotton/flax paper. (Great value at only $25 an original signed print.) The four depict the process of paper making. The simplicity of these works show the love that Mark has for this process. The artist learned to live simply, decades before ‘the current recession’. This knowledge and his invention of a portable paper-mill, Hollander Beater, continues to enable communities and individuals to become self-sufficient through the successful cottage industry of paper-making. It is this simplicity of process and purpose that permeates Mark’s work; small things done well with a clear Christian intent. Making a difference!
Through the sales of prints from this exhibition Mark is sponsoring projects with Hollanders intended for export to people in Tanzania (Nema Crafts) and Northern Michigan.
Reviewed and written by Janet Joyce
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