• Return to Havaiki | UFO Islands | Benjamin Work & Andy Leleisi’uao

    Benjamin Work & Andy Leleisiúao
    Return to Havaiki | UFO Islands
    October 9 – November 30, 2017

    Bergman Gallery







    Exhibition Details



    Benjamin Work & Andy Leleisiúao
    Return to Havaiki | UFO Islands
    October 9 – November 30, 2017

    Opening Monday October 9, 6pm


    Sir James Wallace, Director, Wallace Arts Trust
    Ben Bergman, Director, Bergman Gallery



    Moment of Transition



    Benjamin Work was introduced to me by Andy Leleisiúao, so I am pleased to present their artwork together at Bergman Gallery. While both have different painting styles, both explore similar themes.



    Leleisiuao notes; ‘I was talking with friends one evening and the topic of humanity and current world affairs arose. The conversation concluded much later with one asking, ‘What are we coming to as a species?’



    Such a question.



    Today the world is at an ideological precipice. While the Middle East is rife with tribal, religious and geo/political power struggles, America is bamboozled by political and social identity crises defined by racism, bigotry and fundamentalism while Europe struggles to cope with an associated humanitarian and philosophical fallout.



    Set amongst this backdrop are the shining Omniverse of Andy  Leleisi’uao. The Omniverse is a concept found in western superhero comic books where there is an all-encompassing reality that every real and fictional universe becomes part of. This is not a hard parallel to draw given that the world’s leading economic and military power, the United States is now led by a reality television President whom is currently being held to political ransom by a nuclear armed North Korean despot. It would be convenient to find a Marvel or DC super hero handy right now.



    Andy names his paintings for fictional villages, called Alofa, Aroá, Aloha and Aroha, a spiritual notion born of the utopian infrastructure that plays a major role in this artist’s long-standing series of works.



    Benjamin Work states “Early Polynesian navigators named places as reminders for the spiritual threshold between creation and reality because they regarded the ideas of geographic and spiritual origin as mutually similar.”



    In his new series of nine paintings, Work draw’s the viewer into a conversation about the way in which history is written onto a landscape, as people remember and re-tell stories of what has taken place and imagine what could be.



    Bergman Gallery 

    Rarotonga, The Cook Islands

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