Mind in the Cave/ After the Square 2005 Sanderson Contemporary Art, Auckland NZ, Cleveland Living Art Centre, Dunedin NZ






After Papatuanuku

170cm x 170cm, Oil, filler, stitching on canvas






After Ranginui

160cm x 160cm, Oil, filler, stitching on canvas, 2004





Painting with Rip

155cm x 155cm, Oil, filler, stitching on canvas, 2004

Two Paintings stitched together.

155cm x 155cm, Oil, filler, stitching on canvas, 2004





Section cut from Ochre Painting with Blue

60cm x 60cm, Oil, filler, stitching on canvas, 2005





After William Hodges' "Waterfall in Dusky Bay"of 1873.

170cm x 170cm, Oil, filler, stitching on canvas, 2004




Figurative Painting. Section cut from Ochre Painting

75cm x 75cm, Oil, filler, stitching on canvas, 2005


"The Mind in the Cave" brings us three convergent expeditions through worlds of painting. Giving sparks of light to dark places (physical and from the imagined landscape of the psyche) these works are documents of travel. Across many lands; re-tracing myth and retelling stories filtered through borrowed avenues.

In this exhibition the very earth is called upon to assist in the alchemic procedure of painting. The landmark endeavors of people unknown is given legendary status, and ancestral stories are re-experienced on planes of darkness and warmth.

The paths these works take to the point of completion seem as visible as the presented surfaces.

Rainy McMaster


After the Square

Series Notes

"Application is everything. Through application and experience one can develop better awareness of the chosen subject" Adam Douglass

In 'After the Square', Dunedin artist Adam Douglass explores surface and substrate over stunning large scale canvases. Pieces envelop the viewer, opening a portal to a primordial, multi layered world in which creation and destruction form the coherent whole of nature.

Drawing from a diverse range of sources, Douglass references ideas from Maori mythology - legends of Te Kore (the Nothingness) Ranginui (Sky father) and Papakuanuku (Earth Mother) - through to appropriations of early colonial paintings including the work of William Hodges. The development of the embryonic New Zealand can be seen as a metaphoric parallel to the ideas of creation and evolutionary forces.

Exploring these ideas of creation, transition and growth, the artist also moves into realms of destruction and decay. Accordingly, Douglass utilises both creative and destructive methods to change his canvases - an 'evolutionary' approach to painting where the past actions of the artist form to some extent the future direction of the piece. This interaction with the surface can also be seen to question how our perceptions of change can alter our realities - that which we think of creation possesses elements of the opposing destructive forces and vice versa. A cut through the centre of a painting becomes a source of beauty and new direction rather than 'ruining' the surface; conversely, the application of paint can be seen to scar and mark the surface rather than beautify it.

The universally applicable theme of opposing forces imbues works with grandeur and mystery- points of light arise out of darkness of unfathomable depth, their source and scale remaining ambiguous. The viewer is invited to contemplate the scene presented, to journey through and discover the alternate reality that may emerge at any moment.

Kylie Sanderson (Director, Artigiano Gallery)









©Copyright - Adam Douglass 2012
Dunedin, New Zealand