Push Me Pull You | 26 June - 27 July 2013
Animals in one form or another have been an ongoing feature of Cat Auburn's practice and the artist is interested in their ability to personify human characteristics and emotions. In preparing for this exhibition, she responded to the history of the gallery building as a former stable, and to a desire to explore concrete as a medium for sculpture, which could be located outside.
Auburn takes her title for the exhibition from the Dr Dolittle character Pushmi-pullyu, a two headed gazelle-unicorn cross which struggles to move in one direction with both heads instinctively wanting to go in opposite directions. The six animals shown here are all caught in a moment of arrested motion. They are all in various ways responding instinctively - fight or flight - to threat. But the threat, whether real or perceived, is invisible. Push me Pull you explores the psychological spaces of freedom and constraint and raises questions about the human capacity to mediate instinct with reason.
Bartley Company Art is very pleased to be giving Cat her first solo show in a dealer gallery. Most artists show in the commercial sector before they make it into public galleries. Cat Auburn has done it the other way round.
Cat Auburn is an emerging artist whose career has got off to a strong start. While completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Fine Arts (Distinction) at the Elam School of Fine Arts in 2007, she received the Joseph Raynes Scholarship for Fine Arts and the Auckland University Bursary Award. Since then she has exhibited regularly and continued to win recognition. She has been a finalist in the Wallace Art Award and in 2010 won the Olivia Spencer Bower Foundation Art Award and a year-long residency in Christchurch. She also won the People's Choice Award in the COCA Anthony Harper Art Award. In the past year Cat's work has been seen in her exhibition Training Aids at The Dowse and in the Courtenay Place lightbox project in a collaboration with Fiona Pardington.
The power of men
size: 1690 x 1650 x 900 mm approx
media: concrete and steel