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Salient. Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 26, No. 8. Monday, July 1, 1963

VUW Art Exhibitions Summed Up

VUW Art Exhibitions Summed Up

A Feature of the University arts scene of late has been the marked increase in the number of visual arts exhibitions staged up here. Attendances, however, have not been as good as one might have expected.

Besides the larger number of paintings being hung around the University, the VUW Regional Council of Adult Education is arranging a series of exhibitions of work by New Zealand painters.

Publicity for the exhibitions so far staged has not been good, but the cultural affairs people have supplied us with the following programme for the rest of the year:

June 3-8: An exhibition of photographs by Max Coolahan. June 17-22: A display of work by the Aucklander Kees Hos. This artist is a very fine lithographer and presumably this exhibition will be one of lithographs.

July 8-13: The only information supplied to us was that this is to be taken up with work by one Davis.

July 29-August 10: A showing of Maori rock drawings. September 9-14: A display of work by Alison Duff.

All these exhibitions will be displayed in the SUB activities room.

There will also be an exhibition of University architecture from June 24-30. This has been arranged by Mr. I. H. Boyd.

Unfortunately I missed seeing the exhibition given by Miss V. Hart and Miss J. Fahey. An exhibition by Wellington artist and potter, Roy Cowan, was indicative of this man's usual sound work.

The major exhibition, of course, was that organised and controlled by Charles Dewey and Paul Olds. Inadequate publicity, however, robbed this exhibition of many prospective viewers.

Even if I might quibble over the selection of paintings included in this latter exhibition, the whole idea was a most commendable one and credit must go to Messrs. Olds and Dewey for arranging it.

Incidentally, it is always a point of satisfaction to see the way in which Paul Olds supports the New Zealand Academy exhibitions. His work provides some relief from the fusty academicism which envelopes the academy. Any attempt to equate his work with that of Colin McCahon and T. M. Woolaston should be strictly eschewed: I do not feel these two painters are in Olds' class.

However, Paul Olds has yet to find himself artistically. His present work is still very much a tentative searching for a viable vehicle in which to express an enviable maturity of thought. One feels a figurative approach may prove more rewarding than the refined abstractness which is the basis of the work of McCahon and Woolaston.

A few words now on the recently-concluded Wellington display of the New Zealand pottery chosen to tour Australia.

On the whole, I found it a disappointing collection. Disappointing because one would have expected from a collection purportedly representative of the work going on in the whole country a very high standard indeed. As it was, there was very much inferior work and the high quality work was confined to two or three potters.

One potter whose ability is particularly manifest is Juliet Peter. This potter is especially sensative towards her materials and her brilliance in design makes her work of outstanding merit. One finds it difficult to fault her craft.

New Zealand potters must not think they are on a par with potters overseas. Certainly some of their work is excellent, but excellent works are few and far between.—G.L.E.