Sunday, November 28, 2010


Two images from Unnerved. Photos: Julie Clarke
My unsuccessful attempt to photograph an Earwig.
I braved the cold, wind and rain this afternoon to go to NGV International to see Unnerved: The New Zealand Project, and I'm so glad I did. The work of 26 artists in the exhibition appears to explore different aspects of the dark side of New Zealand's rich culture. Traditional Māori imagery sits beside contemporary body tattooing, glossy digital prints depict individuals with fantasy persona's, serious concerns, such as the treatment of women and pervasive warrior culture are juxtaposed with humorous sculptures, such as the large-scale, inflated cartoon type rabbit (exhibited in the foyer) and a seal balancing a grand piano on its nose. Unnerved is a most appropriate title for this group of works ~ it's challenging and at times foreboding and yet in many of the works a luminescence pervades the caliginous surface. But I must say that just before entering the exhibition I saw something that you don't generally see at the NGV and which unnerved me just a little. A tiny Earwig with what appeared as a gold body with V shape on its thorax and large pincers, was crawling around on the carpet. I tried several times to photograph it ~ unfortunately unsuccessfully, but you get the general idea in the photo above. On my way back home I stopped in to The Essential Ingredient at the Prahran Market. I hadn't been there for about ten years, but it really was way too cold to linger too long.

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