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John Coley: Collages 2013
October 5, 2013 @ 3:00 pm - October 23, 2013 @ 3:00 pm
Opening in the Main Gallery as part of Art Week Auckland
Saturday 5 October 3 – 4.30pm
When the onset of macular degeneration impaired John Coley’s eyesight, he found that his long developed techniques of observational drawing, watercolour and oil painting became compromised. He could no longer see distant subjects with clarity. There were distortions, flashes of light, glare and judging mixing colours became imprecise as did manipulating drawing implements and brushes. Added to the eyesight difficulties was the move into apartment living without a studio space.
After a period of being unable to continue his normal practice, the medium of collage seemed to suit his new circumstances. Collage enables John to choose colours, cut forms, use found items, and arrange elements into compositions that are personal and satisfying. He manipulates his cut or torn shapes with control, then organises them into larger forms. The works can also be made within the confines of a small apartment study.
The figure in motion is often present in John’s work, symbolic of life, vigour and relationships that he is always delighted to observe in daily life. The figurative works are often associated with specific places or activities. The compositional problems offered by formal abstraction make every abstract or non-objective work a challenge that is continuously fascinating and extremely satisfying. Colour is also important in John’s work which is often undeniably, unapologetically decorative in character.
“I would like to express my grateful thanks to Linda Blincko, director of the Depot Artspace, and curator Robyn Gibson for their invitation to exhibit, encouragement and assistance. Also I need to express my gratitude to Dr. David Squirrel and the nurses at the Greenlane Eye Clinic without whose extraordinary expertise and care I would not have been able to create and present this exhibition.”