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ROGER MORTIMER
APOCRYPHA NEW PAINTINGS, 16 JUNE - 11 JULY 2009

Bartley Company Art is pleased to introduce Auckland painter Roger Mortimer and to present his first Wellington exhibition. Mortimer, who has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Auckland, is included in Warwick Brown's recent book [{seen this century}], which identifies 100 artists who have come to prominence this century.

The word [{APOCRYPHA}] refers to things that have been hidden away - and most commonly to texts left out of the Bible, out of the Christian Canon. In using the word as the title for his exhibition, Roger Mortimer is playing with ideas around the creation of artistic canons and as Brown notes he has "his tongue in his artistic cheek". Mortimer is "in" but his ideas, he seems to suggest, are out - and certainly they are outside contemporary and popular culture. Mortimer derives inspiration from history and legend, from medieval texts, illuminated manuscripts, religious imagery and maps. As tales of the Holy Grail portray quests for wisdom, so too Mortimer's "elegant paintings" represent his search for a personal cosmology to make sense of contemporary global turbulence. And as viewers, we are drawn into the quest to decipher the clues, codes, symbols and signs depicted in his enchanting maps of mythical landscapes. And to quote Warwick Brown again:
{Whatever the answers, what is certain is that Mortimer's deeply personal images are things never before seen, and therefore perhaps as precious as those original manuscripts.
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