Message Beacon, Zena Elliot

Zena Elliott’s paintings in Message Beacon are rallying cries. They explore the construction of identities and the transmission of information, and she invites viewers to participate in these conversations. Elliott’s combination of Maori and Western/European cultural contexts examines the role contemporary art plays in the translation of ideas and how it can act as a guide (“beacon”) to further discussions.

Seen within a New Zealand context, it is easy to recognise the elements of Maori iconography Elliott draws on, as well as to identify where and how her works differ from traditional Maori art practices. On the other hand, her works sit firmly in a Western continuum of abstract painting that harks back to Frank Stella and Bridget Riley. Elliott creates depth and movement through the use of advancing and retreating colours and, where motifs are used, they operate as examples of pure form as well as representative symbols.

7 June – 2 July 2014
Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday 11:00am – 3:00pm

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