Art Associates Aotearoa – Lyrical

Mark Soltero Karen Greenslade Sarah Anderson Janneth Gil Nicola Thorne Susanne van Tuien Stephanie McEwin Mi Kyung Jang Lee Harper

Showing 3rd May 2023 - 20th May 2023

Exhibition Information

Art Associates Aotearoa – Lyrical - Mark Soltero Karen Greenslade Sarah Anderson Janneth Gil Nicola Thorne Susanne van Tuien Stephanie McEwin Mi Kyung Jang Lee Harper

Art Associates Aotearoa; Lyrical 

Art Associates Aotearoa, previously known as The Associates, is a collective of artists living and working in Canterbury. They meet regularly to share knowledge and engage in collective critiques and exchanges and work across a variety of fine art disciplines. They have exhibited together regularly since 2018.

A Stone to Strike and a Rock to Stumble Over at the Ashburton Art Gallery in 2021 was a highlight for the group. Writer and critic Andrew Paul-Wood noted, “For a highly diverse group of artists from multiple cultural backgrounds, working in vastly different media, there is a surprising cohesion to the whole. Certain themes harmonise and repeat – the relationships of humans with nature and the world, human environments, and natural environments.”

Andrew’s words are relevant to the groups’ work in Lyrical at Chambers Art Gallery, where nine of the group of ten will exhibit in May. Each artist presents their own brand of contemporary art, which is globally influenced, culturally diverse and technologically informed. These works are responses to lived environments and not least those difficulties and challenges traversed in recent years. A commonality in the works is the acknowledgement and awareness of change and challenge.

Themes in this exhibition are both individual and collective in nature. Home, memory, environment and reflections on the here and now create subtle conversations between the works while each retains their individuality. Materiality has a firm presence in each artist’s work; from the subtleties of present-day photographic practice to handcrafted papers and dyes, paint, textile compositions, multi-layered print-making techniques, raku fired ceramics and painted sculptures of recycled aluminium. 

Exhibiting artists are: Sarah Anderson, Janneth Gil, Karen Greenslade, Lee Harper, Mi Kyung Jang, Stephanie McEwin, Mark Soltero, Nicola Thorne and Susanne van Tuinen. 


Karen Greenslade

Quiet Compilations is the second in the series Layer Upon Layer.  This series represents a transition from West Coast imagery with its focus on the loss of natural environments to Canterbury’s East Coast and a synthesis of endemic flora and textile design imagery. 

These works are more personal, a little less political, but still retain an element of metaphor; that which we have lost. They express gentle emotions, thoughts and observations, past and present as random compilations in no certain chronology. Each work conveys blended imagery sourced from the pale landscapes of New Zealand’s East Coast, the struggling endemic flora and the remnants of delicate fabrics retrieved from the recesses of dark cupboards and dusty drawers of women’s homes.

These are the compilations of the misplaced, quiet and lost: Mixed media works on handmade harakeke paper.

Handmade paper by Anne Daniel


Mi Kyung  Jang

Mi Kyung Jang’s art focuses on our relationship with the natural world.   She
believes that excessive human desires have created many uncomfortable
issues on earth: wars, pollution, natural disasters, inequality, and rare
diseases. These are global issues that have been ignored as if they are
someone else’s problem.
Since childhood, she has been curious about what being human means; who
we are, why we are here on earth, what happens when we die and what
happens before being born?  Often, she thinks she lives in a dream, or in
other people’s dreams, like living inside Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.
Everything in her mind seems like an illusion.
She considers herself lucky to have been born and raised in the countryside
in Korea. She grew up befriending animals, insects, and plants. These
childhood experiences played an important part in giving her insight into
understanding the natural world.
She clears her mind while creating art works. While creating works intuitively,
she feels all the creatures on earth are connected as one. She believes that if
humans can treat nature with love, it will return as love. The connectedness of
all creatures on earth and the love for nature are expressed in the earthy
tones and organic shapes of her art works. She invites the viewer to slow
down and enjoy her work which embodies her contemplation of humanity in all
its complexities.
Mi Kyung Jang is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily across sculpture,
painting and clay. Jang is currently a Master student at the Canterbury School
of Fine Arts, specialising in sculpture.


Lee Harper

Whilst composing a rhythmic modernist narrative, I've embraced lyricism to mediate and balance a conversation between each element on two cloths. Combined, we can appreciate the grand similarities and embrace the minor differences.  A bit like life really!


Sarah Anderson

Environmental themes underpin Sarah Anderson’s practice. As an artist she utilizes multiple disciplines including drawing, painting and performance. She is actively engaged in conservation and sustainable living issues on a local and national level. She sees her work as part of a larger conversation responding to the urgent need to shift our collective consciousness into understanding how best to protect our environment. The interaction between humans and the land we occupy, and the

multiple pressures these engender are questions she is asking herself.

She creates hypotheses and uses her imagination to guide her research – this allows her to observe her environment through the lens of her practice. Sarah uses drawing as a starting point for recording, observing and exploring ideas


Stephanie McEwin

My work seeks to examine crowd phenomenology.

Since the beginning of the 19th Century we have lived in an age of crowds, mass polical movements, mass entertainment, mass reform, mass suffering.

Viewed en masse, packed together figures, like mosaics, arrest the eye to search for something coherent out of the chaos.

The human form here is a motif resulting in an aesthetic sum that is greater than its parts, creating these images, which are recursive and self-referential and can only fall back in on themselves. Whilst clearly figurative it becomes like all over painting.

My process includes being turned on by an image, I may see in a magazine or searching the news, entertainment columns etc. etc…

I am drawn to the movement or layered effect of the figures, I see a giant mosaic and I want to recreate it with paint. I don't treat it as recreating a photograph, but the figures and colour block themselves and hand paint straight onto the canvas with out first drafting a sketch. This keeps the work more fluid and very often, I insert characters that didn't exist in the original image anyway, that way it takes on its own form.


Mark Soltero

Mark Soltero is an artist living and working in Ōtautahi, Christchurch.

Mark’s work is situated in reference to his personal history and the cultural and political landscape of the Postmodernist period.

Mark’s practice is built around an intense drawing process. Working with hand-drawn and found images, processed in the computer and scaled, transferred and intricately traced or stenciled before painting.

Paint is applied with squeegees or large brushes. While individual marks may be visible on close viewing, the image is read as a single mark.

In essence my paintings are history paintings that examine relationships between image, memory and materiality. Many of the images border on dissolution, fragmenting orbreakingdown in contrast to the seemingly smooth images that saturate our lived experience. Rather than making works in which the image might be shocking, I make works that draw audiences in, yet are challenging to look at. To a certain extent, the work explores our experience of différance, in time.


Nicola Thorne

Nicola Thorne is a fine art documentary photographer living and working in Charteris Bay,Lyttelton Harbour. She gained her BFA (Hons) at the Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, in 2018. Photographing with intention and building relationships with people, Nicola documents the historical, cultural and social dynamics of the everydayNew Zealander.

Her previous documentary projects include: Edgewise, a visual research project of retirement in Diamond Harbour, 2016. Not Just Tea and Scones, a study of New Zealand working rural women, 2017 International Arrivals, an insight into the lives of five recent immigrants to post-earthquake Christchurch, 2018. Nicola held her first solo exhibition, Peninsula Women, at Stoddart Cottage in Diamond Harbour in May 2022. She continues to interview and photograph for her current documentary photography project with the working title Extra Ordinary Women.

Participating in Lyrical has given Nicola the opportunity to explore her practice outside her usual genre. In response to the stresses brought about by our changing world of pandemics, recent adverse weather patterns, and the volatility of our financial markets, Nicola asked herself, “What coping mechanisms can we use to switch off for just a few moments? What brings out the inner child in us, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic borders?”

Focusing on the social dynamics of everyday living, this series of three photographs offers one solution.

The simple act of play.


Janneth Gil

On March 15th, 2019, during Friday’s prayers, fifty-one people were killed and many more were wounded in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. 

Then, from the darkness came light. People came together and donated tributes in support of the martyrs, the shuhada, their families, and all the people affected by the attacks. These tributes became part of New Zealand’s collective history. 

Janneth Gil immortalized some of these tributes and used them as part of various projects under the umbrella of the Darkness into Light, with the hope of encouraging positive social change and helping with the healing of those affected.

These photographs show the transformation of those tributes while hand making inks as a metaphor of the empathy, aroha and unity they represent.


Susanne van Tuinen

Torn Apart Torn Apart I, II, III (2023), are an emotional response to last year’s occurrences. The use of the curved form softens the possibly slightly uneasy feel of the tear in the work. These works are in stark contrast to Rhythmical Flow I, II, III (2023) and do not need any further explanation, as the title is self-explanatory. 

Rhythmical Flow Rhythmical Flow I, II, III (2023), are three works exploring the relationship between form, shape and colour with emphasis given to the curve. Susanne van Tuinen has returned to the curve after leaving it behind for the last three years. The curve is recognised in the actual form of each work, and is also repeated within the painted imagery. The curve in both instances initiates and offers its own rhythm and flow. This evokes an overall sense of calmness.  


Full Exhibition Works

Art Associates Aotearoa – Lyrical - Mark Soltero Karen Greenslade Sarah Anderson Janneth Gil Nicola Thorne Susanne van Tuien Stephanie McEwin Mi Kyung Jang Lee Harper

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