Eyes will follow your every move at Wairoa Museum’s latest show Intrepid Journey to Truth by Tish Scott. The Wairoa-based artist moved to Wairoa a year ago from Rissington, Puketapu Hawke’s Bay. It is the first time she has shown her work at the museum. She grew up at Waimarama and Napier and studied art for three years at EIT, graduating in 1999, and then having a further studio year. Initially her interest was in photography then painting becoming a multimedia artist. Tish has exhibited around New Zealand and internationally, she has won a national photography award with her dark room work. "Tish has trained in other media to become a multi-media artist in acrylics, photography, screen printing, sculpture and for abstract expressionism. "A recurring motif in my work 8l/ the eye and it featured in my first series called Watcher of the Universe." For the Hawke's Bay artist, eye imagery represents an angelic unified force of the universe. "The eyes represent the watcher." A lasting influence on Scott is the work of Baird Thomas Spalding. A prolific reader, she has references to significant works of the 20th century laid out in her show including 1984 by George Orwell and Baird’s work. "I follow people who have at least thirty years of research and have dedicated their lives to a subject. "These ideas come back into my work and I see their thinking as a way of living above the chaos of the world and helping make sense of it." Viewers will see references to Wairoa River and without knowing the myth of the two brothers either side of the bar, she has figures representing two warrior spirits, in the first piece in the show, Intrepid Journeys. Other recurring imagery includes tentacles which represent energy. "I love expanding perceptions."
About Orphic Egg Gallery
Ineffable, hidden, brilliant scion, whose motion is whirring, you scattered the dark mist that lay before your eyes and, flapping your wings, you whirled about and through this world you brought pure light.
Orphic Egg Gallery is collective gallery for New Zealands' best contemporary & emerging artists to exhibit their works and participate in collaborative projects. Founded and managed by artist Tish Scott Orphic Egg Gallery | Sub Culture is a space for Tish to exhibit her own works and to provide a gallery space to include & curate other selected artists. Since 2014
Among the various early 20th century -isms that helped shape the direction of modern art was the most alt-worldly of them all — Surrealism. Tearing its way out of the rubber sac of the nihilism and anti-aesthetic of post-World War 1 movement Dada, Surrealism explored the strange world of the subconscious through dream-imagery, automatism, accident and what Salvador Dali called paranoiac-critical method (seeing forms in other forms, basically). Wairoa-based artist Tish Scott is not necessarily a proponent of the movement, formalised in a 1924 manifesto by Andre Breton to “resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality into an absolute reality, a super-reality”, or surreality. She does, however, use Surrealism's principle of deliquesced rationality to step away from her earlier style of lyrical abstraction and to free, or reveal, what lies beneath — possibly not unlike the child in Salvador Dali's 1950 painting, Dalí at the Age of Six, When He Thought He Was a Girl, Lifting the Skin of the Water to See a Dog Sleeping in the Shade of the Sea. “I'd fight with lyrical abstraction,” says Scott. “I'd go in there and not know what I was doing. That fight led to inventive breakthroughs which I will return to at a later date.” Although she has moved more towards Surrealism, she does not necessarily adhere to the movement's manifesto. She has always responded to her gut feeling, to her instinct, she says. “I sit outside the narrative of what we are in the outer regions of what we are as a species. I've been outside for a long time. I don't work under any doctrine. I just absorb and absorb. “Art, to me, is a sounding board for finding the truth. Going back to connection with the source, that pure, unadulterated love for all humanity. No doctrine or religion can interfere with it.” People now live in an inverted reality, she says. Pharmac, for instance, is the guru who decides which pharmaceutical products are subsidised for use while ancient treatments such as acupuncture are now called “alternative”. “We have 12 strands of DNA, 10 are renderd (sic) dormant,” says a speech bubble from the monoculared head in a dinghy from Scott's painting, Intrepid Journey to Truth. “We function on 2 . . . WHY . . . imagine th (sic) infinite possibilities if we functioned on all 12.” Since taking on the character of Surrealism in her work, Scott has begun to include the New Zealand landscape. “Artists who go deep are connected with nature,” she says. Which is possibly why living in Wairoa suits the artist down to the ground. “I love nature so much — the nature of where I am, and the earth — I love aesthetic, so I wanted that balance between nature and where we are in this reality, and the other-worldly.” During lockdown she felt like she was in a Dali painting, she says — so she included an image of Dali's famous moustache coming through the clouds in one of her larger works. “Dali was extraordinary. I love his eggs and how he had an obscure upbringing. I'm all about the eggs.” In a 1943 work, Geopolitical Child Watching the Birth of the New Man, by Surrealism's enfant terrible, a human form struggles to be born from a large, rubbery egg with the South American and the African continents in impasto. So it should come as no surprise Scott is interested in the Orphic Egg. A reformation of the Dionysian ecstasy cult closely associated with wine, the Orphics were an ascetic sect whose intoxication came by way of “enthusiasm”, of union with the god, wrote philosopher, historian and social critic Bertrand Russell in 1947. “They believed themselves, in this way, to acquire mystic knowledge not obtainable by ordinary means.” The Orphic Egg — often depicted as an egg with a serpent wound about it — was believed to have hatched a primordial hermaphroditic deity who in turn created the other gods. “It's all about frequency of the cosmos energy, the unlimited potential of the mind,” says Scott. “It's out-of-worldy, other-worldly.” She cites a line from an Orphic hymn that talks of an ineffable, hidden scion whose motion is whirring you “scattered the dark mist that lays before your eyes”.and flapping your wings you whirled about and through this world you spread pure light. “When I found that quote it was just what I'd been looking for. It's become me. “If your mind is truly open you know there is so much hidden from humanity. It's the job of artists and poets to go deep. You look for that intuitive depth. “This is a whole area for me to face my fear. You have to look at everything because there are certain tricks in all indoctrination. There seems to be a lack of critical thinking.” Intrepid Journey to Truth, an exhibition of Surrealist works by Tish Scott, Wairoa Museum, from January 26 until March 5.
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