||Lights on, nobody home
new work by Pippa Sanderson
@Idiom Studio, 1 23 November, 2002
Note the following exhibition will also appear at Edmontons artist-run Harcourt House Gallery from Saturday 3 May to 14 June, 2003 (Opening 6.30pm Saturday May 3). See their website at www.harcourthouse.ab.ca. Download the gallery newsletter for a description of this exhibition.
Pippa will deliver a slide presentation based on this exhibition at the Culture and the State conference, University of Alberta, on Sunday 4 May, 2003. See the conference programme on www.arts.ualberta.ca/cms
Later in May she will again deliver the presentation at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. More details to be advised.
She will have a small exhibition of new work at an artist-run gallery in Tokyo later in May more details to follow
Lights On, Nobody Home
Pippa has produced a new exhibition of photo-based works which opened at Idiom Studio on Friday 1 November, 2002.
These large and lustrous digital prints are enlarged from polaroids and slides shot in an uninhabited old house in Island Bay. Pippa rented the house from the City Council as a base for work on her Masters of Fine Arts at Massey University.
"The house was built in 1907," she says. "Around that time many colonists from the UK, including my great-grandparents, were experimenting with spirit photography attempting to capture images of ghosts and other spirit presences on film." Pippas extraordinary photoworks have some of the dreamy, indeterminate quality of these Victorian spirit photographs.
She has made sculptures in the house using the detritus of past tenants, and photographed them with a faulty Polaroid camera, on post-dated film.This "decayed technology" has produced unique and remarkably beautiful images, with recognisable shapes dissolving into fluid patterns and the flat plane of the developing chemicals.
Pippa says her images, "are the result of the environment acting directly on the photographic plate. In the same way, spirit photographers claimed the images of spirits appeared directly on their negatives, with no intervention by the photographer.
"Im trying to point to the belief in the other-worldly held by some Victorian colonists, like my great-grandfather. His family practised seances in the drawing room until Rose, his wife, put a stop to the practice by evicting a particularly unpleasant ghost."
For more information, photographs of artworks or to interview the artist, contact Mark Derby, ph. (04) 939 1215 or (027) 279 049, Idiom Studio, 26 Elizabeth St, Mt Victoria
Daylight raider nabs five paintings
Click here to visit Pippa's last exhibition at Idiom Studio and see the missing paintings.
Update: (The painitings were returned anonymously in March 2003)
By SCOTT MacLEOD
A thief stole five paintings during a daytime exhibition in Palmerston North while six gallery staff and several visitors were in the building.
The Pippa Sanderson paintings were among 22 of her works at the Te Manawa public gallery when a thief plucked them from a wall and walked out without being spotted.
Gallery thefts are rare in New Zealand, and multiple thefts even rarer.
Police said the paintings might have been stolen to order - perhaps for an Auckland buyer - but gallery staff and Ms Sanderson believe the theft was opportunistic.
Mark Derby, who co-directs Wellington's Idiom Studio, put their combined value at $5000 to $10,000.
Sergeant Andy Brooke, of Palmerston North police, said the paintings were taken between 3.10pm and 3.20pm on Tuesday.
There were no witnesses and no clues.
"We've got nothing," he said. "I'm guessing they were stolen to order, maybe to go to Auckland."
Ms Sanderson said the works, all painted last year, were called Slip, Waiting for Guthrie-Smith, and a series of three called Waiting for Tiakitai.
The painting were about 35cm by 15cm - small enough to slip under a coat. Ms Sanderson said the works were insured, but the loss had "huge emotional and cultural importance". "I've never had a painting stolen before, and they didn't just take one - they took five."
Te Manawa director Julie Catchpole said it was the first theft since the gallery opened in 1959. The paintings were distinctive, and the theft was probably spur-of-the-moment. She said Ms Sanderson was a reasonably well-known artist who was "gaining some distinction".