A review of Galina Kim and Sue Spigel's recent exhibition
Bryce Gallery, Christchurch
1 – 15 August 2009
Spigel and Kim have produced a diverse and colour-saturated body of work for their current show at the Bryce Gallery. The many works have been thematically grouped, displaying the ecological and geographical bounty of the earth: ‘Gaia.’
Gaia, who has previously featured in the work of Spigel as a personification of the earth, is represented with care. Spigel’s ‘medicine bag’ textile works, that accompany larger pieces as well as being stand-alone pieces, seem to call for nurture and healing. This show is celebratory, a demonstration of diversity, in colour, culture, and creation. The show is also steeped in environmental care.
As usual, Spigel and Kim have woven their styles together in harmonious exchanges of colour, texture and design. Each piece flows into the next and leads the viewer through a feast of transitions between themes. This show is not your typical sparse and white-walled space with a select series of work on one theme. It is a multidimensional show in a multidimensional space. The dark walls of the Bryce Gallery and the warm and cluttered atmosphere give a homely kind of appeal. Spigel and Kim’s show is spread throughout the main portion of the gallery’s rambling alcoves.
I didn’t know what to focus on when I visited this show, which was fine if I kept in mind the celebratory nature of the theme. The ‘Collar for Gaia,’ the ‘Boat for Gaia’ and the medicine bags throughout, definitely helped anchor the theme ‘Patterns of Gaia’, but I still had trouble focusing. Perhaps something a little less diverse would hold a show like this together more?
All their work is highly polished, displaying an admirable level of crafts(wo)manship. Their mode of collaboration is also admirable, and while most of their work is produced independently, once their works are gathered and placed together they sing with life.
Reviewed and written by Joanna Osborne
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