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ROGER MORTIMER & SAM MITCHELL
SOURCERY, 30 APRIL - 24 MAY 2014

Found imagery redrawn and relocated as pictograms in larger paintings is a feature of the work of both Roger Mortimer and Sam Mitchell. Despite their overtly different and distinctive signature styles, both artists are avid collectors and recyclers of imagery, drawn primarily from the internet. Operating as narrative vignettes, these multiple elements collide and work alongside each other, like characters building the larger story. In both cases, the components come together to paint what may be seen as interior psychological landscapes, open to deciphering.

Mitchell and Mortimer's exhibition {Sourcery} draws attention to sources. It draws attention to the creative process and the strategies artists employ to aid the journey from concept to creation. Sourcery also plays off notions of transformation inherent in the production and reception of art.

Mitchell's source of inspiration for her new body of reverse perspex paintings is the great 18th century Coleridge poem, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" -- the tale of a sailor returning from sea recounting the horrors and wonders encountered.

Similar oppositions -- suffering and the salvation -- from the ancient past also feature in two new, large, powerful paintings by Mortimer. His imagery is drawn from the Christian narratives that have shaped western cultural traditions. His paintings seek to draw out the symbolism of the imagery and to allow it to be seen, he says, as psychological metaphor for our time, when these narratives are for the most part either seen as irrelevant or taken literally.

What also comes through in the work of both artists is a sense of humour, irreverence and a willingness to juxtapose imagery in ways that are provocative, amusing and sometimes disturbing.

Both artists are graduates of the University of Auckland, Elam School of Fine Arts and feature in Warwick Brown's 2009 book {seen this century}, which identified 100 New Zealand artists who have come to prominence in the first decade of this century.




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