New Exhibition Features Powder & Crack

8 August 2012

The walls of Toi Poneke Gallery are bare. There are no paintings, no prints, no signage on the white walls. There's no sculpture, no plinths, no video projection or performance. Instead you'll find multicoloured powder on the floor following the lines and cracks in the concrete.

Ground Work, by Gary Peters (from 17 August) is simple, yet striking. Peters says the resulting geometric shapes should change the way viewers experience the gallery space - and perhaps even what they consider to be painting.

"I know it sounds perverse, but I really wanted to make an exhibition about painting where there was nothing to see on the walls," says Peters.

His art practice is one to watch. Since graduating from Massey University with a first class Masters in Fine Arts in February, Peter is a star on the rise.

From a striking solo show of wall drawings at the Engine Room Gallery to a colourful wall piece for a group show at Enjoy Public Art Gallery and now Ground Work, Peters has had his work cut out for him. This is all before he heads off for a six-month residency at the prestigious Sydney Non-Objective Contemporary Art Projects space.

"For me this show was always going to be about painting and looking. Initially, there was a fair bit of wandering around Toi Pōneke Gallery and just looking at it," says Peters.

"I noticed little details - the way the vents sit in the wall, the uneven lines of the roof in the far corner. Eventually my eyes rested on the floor. The cracks and seams in the concrete and the distinct diamond areas around the pillars caught my eye."

"There's been lots of practice and learning not to make mistakes. When sprinkling the powder paint down, even the slightest touch of the surface ruins it. You have to sweep it up and start again. It's a nerve-wracking process."

What happens to the work after the show? Will it all be brushed away?

"Yup. I've really learned to enjoy the temporary nature of my work. The work exists, and then it's gone for good. Like going to see a good live band - to experience it you really have to be there."

Peters will discuss Ground Work and his art practice at a free artist's talk from 1.00pm - 2.00pm on Sunday 19 August Toi Pōneke Gallery.

Ground Work opens at 5.30pm on Thursday 16 August at Toi Pōneke Gallery, 61 Abel Smith Street and runs until Friday 7 September.

You can see more of the artist's work at:

Gary Peters website