|This Land #4 acrylic and charcoal on paper 240cm (w) x 120cm (h)|
|This Land Large Drawings by Trevor Pye
Idiom Studio, 7 August 5 September, 2004
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Typically, works on paper come in standardised formats known as either portrait or landscape. What are we to think, therefore, of landscape drawings produced on sheets nearly than two and a half metres long?
The sheer scale and disorientating format of these powerful drawings instantly commands attention. They show recognisably New Zealand scenes coastlines, forested hills, curving roads, sometimes with glimpses of a human presence but in a form unlike anything youve seen before.
These dramatic charcoal works by Tauranga-based artist Trevor Pye are drawn from both real and imaginary locations. Some of them are of places Ive been to or lived in, like the King Country, Muriwai Beach near Auckland, or a rockpool on the Coromandel coast. But some are purely imagined, or a compilation of different places.
Trevor studied in Auckland and Australia and has exhibited around the world, from Adelaide to Bulgaria. As well as producing his own work he has illustrated more than 200 childrens books, earning a string of awards including a 2001 UNESCO prize for services to childrens literature.
For these drawings Trevor used rolls of heavy brown paper intended for making industrial clothing patterns. Ever since art school, Ive always loved large charcoal drawings. I wanted these to be larger than life, and mostly vertical to emphasise the symbolic function of the tree as axis mundi, joining heaven to earth.
I believe its important and necessary for artworks derived from the natural world to be placed in urban contexts. The conceptual aspects - ideas about land, history, and cultural attitudes towards land and landscape and art keep the work interesting for me, but its also important that people who arent art-educated can relate to it.