Graham Fletcher, untitled collage, 2009
A nearly full-time teaching workload this semester has kept me away from my lovely studio, but that doesn't mean I haven't been hatching ideas. We have three Pania Press projects lined up for the second half of the year when I'll only be teaching one paper at Massey.
A catalogue for an exhibition by Graham Fletcher at Melanie Roger Gallery in July 2013.
We produced a limited edition catalogue for Graham for his 2007 exhibition The Eternals. Each of the 45 copies (now sold out) contained an original drawing by Graham that corresponded to the 45 sculptures in the exhibition.
The limited edition catalogues for Graham's forthcoming show will each contain an original 'post-it note' collage, produced in 2009 while Graham was completing his Doctorate in Fine Arts at the University of Auckland. I was working on my PhD at the same time, and one day I popped into Graham's studio and saw a wall covered with cut-out pages from National Geographic magazines with brightly coloured post-it notes obscuring details of the image and text.
When I asked about these unusual works, Graham told me that they were inspired by a curious discovery he made while researching at the University Library. When he checked out a PhD thesis by Peter Shand, 'Adrift on an Ocean of Affinities: Modernist Primitivism and the Pacific: 1891-1984' (1997), Graham noticed that certain images reproduced in the thesis were concealed by post-it notes asking readers not to remove them. The hidden images were of ceremonies and objects sacred to Aboriginal people, including a small woven basket (beneath the green post-it note below), which appeared alongside paintings by Australian artist Margaret Preston.
Graham responded to this novel act of censorship and concealment by cutting pages from National Geographic Magazines depicting various cultural groups from around the world, and then hiding the identities of the people depicted with post-it-notes, twink, marker pens, or a combination of all three.
I'm in the process of writing a lengthy essay for the catalogue that draws a connection between this series of collages and Graham's paintings in his ongoing Lounge Room Tribalism series.
I'll keep you posted on developments as the publication date draws closer letting you know how you can go about buying a copy if you're interested.
I'll be back soon with details about our second Pania Press project for 2013.