For the past few years Elizabeth Rees has been exhibiting her evocative figurative and landscape paintings predominantly in the South Island, but now returns to Auckland for her first show at ARTIS Gallery.
Entitled Another Stage, Rees returns to theatrical and idiosyncratic themes of the past, in which she has characterised the dichotomy between our public roles and our private lives. The aura of theatre, costume-drama and the adoration of cinematic matinee idols are all subjects, which Rees has explored in depth in her previous works.
Another Stage sees Rees explore her own interpretation of what people are and what they do –the private vs. public self.
I have brought this to life through a lively series of paintings, each linked by the humble lemon.
From the pursed lips and clenched fists of the Lemon Seller to the slightly menacing Lemonade Vendor, a pictorial marketing story unfolds. From the warehouse floor, through accounts, past the secretary and the art department, the lemon enters the world of advertising and ultimately fine art, in which three lemons and a figure form a large and beautiful still-life.
The works in this exhibition are composed as “set pieces” with luscious paint, delightful details and a delicate balancing of colour. By combining the lemon into the very fabric of her work, Rees succeeds in creating a story, which unfolds as you view her works.