The Jurisich Experience - review

In May 2019, the Welcome Swallow Gallery opened a new exhibition entitled celebration. Right in the middle of the main hall, hung directly from the ceiling were several dozen barely visible thin wires that each supported strong curved wire, seemingly arranged at random, none of them touching the floor. It was truly disruptive; dramatic. It was not 'wall-hung' art. It was untitled. And it was the work of Gaye Jurisich. Ever original, Gaye's work paced the space around it, quietly asking questions of all who entered the gallery.

In the Jurisich Experience presented by Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato, Jurisich continues her bold statements using a much larger canvas afforded by a prestigious public space.

The installation, Still, in taking up an entire gallery room draws the viewer into a series of geometric statements crafted by finely tensed threads that shimmer while directing and even cutting off normal perambulating progress. Similar to some of the larger threaded installations presented by Palestinian artist, Mona Hatoum, Jurisich uncovers another level if not layer of reflection. The effect of multiple parallel threads, imposing, impeding and disrupting the senses, is truly hypnotic. It is truly challenging.

The immensely tall yellow crepe curtain ribbons that adorn the entrance to the museum, likewise, pulls the viewer into retinal overdrive, inducing the sensation to see behind the veil yet also to respect the shield that it creates. And prior to entering the museum, the installation, Gathering, offers a potentially binary stimulus. Different coloured tabs are crossed over each other in star like patterns that either build on top of each other or cancel each other out, save the tab that resides atop. Such are the many challenges that the artist invites.

We are fortunate to have Jurisich amongst us.  The cubism of Picasso, the strong gestural lines of Tamara de Lempicka, the heretical religious provocations of Caravaggio, the Vienna Secessionists with Klimt challenging traditional artistic wisdom, all these and many more original artists took both exception and refuge in galleries that were willing to experiment with novel ideas. Such is the tapestry of creative genius. Priceless the legacy; immeasurable the good.

Images from the Jurisich Experience, Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato


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