Hamish Keith on 'In Time Like Glass'

Oct 1 2014

Artweek begins in just a few more sleeps, starting next week October 10 – 19. Here at the gallery we are getting ourselves ready. On October 9 at 6.30pm we will be opening no fewer than three exhibitions. Celebrated arts writer and commentator Hamish Keith will be in as a guest speaker, giving an introduction to Tony Lane’s exhibition. Keith has also contributed words for our catalogue - shown below - that make comment on Lane’s work as a whole and more specifically the piece In Time Like Glass.

“In the barren wake of the 2014 Walters Prize it is a good time to reflect on what art is for. Art is not for making statements. Art is for making things that engage and enrich the imagination.

Image makers like Tony Lane remind us that there are still tailors in town able to clothe us all in fine things – even if the Emperors of culture remain deluded by their pretentious charlatans.

In Time Like Glass began as a cellar wall in Moutere – not a painting on a cellar wall, but a wall. A wall opening out on to a half-remembered landscape. Hills ruddy with the rising or the setting sun. Curtains, just opened, or just to be closed. A leafless tree. A bloodless heart. An empty table waiting for a feast. And in the still air, a swarm of icons sweeping in. Icons which will, in time, colonise and colour the whole scene.

In those icons too there is the promise of a feast.

A lovely, magical and evolving image.

This is a much travelled work. From the artist’s studio in Auckland to its place as a Moutere wall. To Chicago. Back to Auckland. Reveal. Conceal. Reveal. It is fascinating to contemplate all the imaginations it would have touched on those journeys and all the different landscapes it would have completed on its way.

That is the wonderful thing about a work of art like this. It brings stuff to us. In our engagement with it we bring stuff to it. It is a conversation in which there really will be no last word. You cannot walk past a wall.”

Hamish Keith