Sonder 16 October - 10 November 2012
sonder n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own--populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness--an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you'll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk
'Sonder' is a collection of connected objects. One speaks to the other as a relative in the familial sense. They share a common language and speak for the other out in the world.
Taken out of context each painting becomes a prop in our lives. However each painting or object has a deep, developing history, as we all do. They are shown in different places and occupy different places in people's experience of them. Some are challenging and exciting others merely wall decorations as we pass by. I always treat these paintings as being able to take on human characteristics, they are personifications or maybe strangers I've met that have made an impact in my life. I hope to make paintings that burn away in your memory - not "shouty" but sticking there, stubbornly and unrelenting in your mind. I want these to be the painting in the background of your favourite movie that you fixate on in every viewing. At once, familiar and mysterious, the painting is ever present but never explained. One simply assumes it means something.
'Sonder' was conceived and partly created in France and Rotterdam and is also a reflection of this travel last year. It highlights the importance of travel and more importantly the return home for New Zealand artists. It profoundly influenced my practice and the affects are still evident in the work today.
Since graduating with a Master of Arts and Design in 2007, Collins has exhibited widely and has produced major public gallery installations at City Gallery Wellington, Te Tuhi in Pakuranga and at Christchurch Art Gallery. His work is included in public and private collection.
Trying not to think
size: 900 x 700 mm
media: oil, gesso, resin and gold leaf on board