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TIMEPIECE – An Exhibition Levi Hawken + Lee Ralph Opening Exhibition
Wed 4th September 6pm No. 4 Cross Street, Auckland

All other viewings by appointment :

Monday 2nd – Friday 6th September 2013

One Show. Two Maverick Artists !

Timepiece represents a new series of paintings by Levi Hawken, and sculptural works by Lee Ralph in a collaborative study of the nature of time. As Ralphʼs work emerges from the traditional carving of Pou, and Hawkenʼs paintings transcend his past graffiti style, we witness an underlying preoccupation with the classification of status, and a comment on the context of art in our contemporary reality.

Evolving with the desire to reach a new artistic existence Hawken and Ralph have pushed the boundaries of what their art forms traditionally represent. Through their individual making processes a visual tension is created using opposing aesthetic forces. The artistic relationship leading up to this exhibition has been one of counter influence. Both artists share the common bond of a history in professional Skateboarding and through an almost intuitive and instinctual exchange of ideas, these new works have emerged from their unorthodox experiences with meticulous intricacy.

Leeʼs work represents time through a counterbalance of media and technique and the historical and contemporary disposition of the balance. Considered and time consuming, the time-honored carving process is in stark contrast to the dynamic application of a spray enamel shell. He speaks of the works as if they embody a spirit all of their own. These sculptural ʻPouʼ, cloaked in paint, make reference to the ritual of dressing, “We dress up to get noticed, to celebrate, to fight, to mourn, it is a ritual in which we all take part in as human beings” explains Ralph.

Ralph describes the physicality of his carving process in what seems like a cave man-esk dance. Hacking away at the wood, and through a cloud of sawdust and wood chips appears a carving, almost fanatical, much like the man himself.Although Hawkenʼs art is now removed from any graffiti style, itʼs influence still remains. The paintings are a conceptual narrative of the struggle presented to artists working with the internal constants of this subculture, and the ongoing social revolt that comes with being a part of the graffiti movement.

Hawkenʼs process slows in time through the dismissal of spray enamel, in exchange for paint and brush. He uncovers the manifestation of control verses spontaneity and a removal of the urgency that once surrounded his art. The strong and architectural elements are a representation of the symbols and forms from previous works. Schematic in composition they form a relationship between the parts like a system of static mechanical movements. An aesthetic conflict is also revealed through different techniques of ʻhard edgeʼ hand rendered lines and expressionist use of paint beneath the surface layers. It is through this process of layering that the battle with censorship, rebellion and removal of this art form is represented.

The exhibition is presented on a backdrop of contextual landscapes that remind us of the shift of street art from the concrete jungle to interior grandeur, and the classification of traditional art forms as fine art or artifact. These contextual suggestions bring forth the question of contemporary art and itʼs place in our environments; historical and of the moment, public and private.