John Daly-Peoples

National Business Review
Friday, 11 March 2005

Arts: From home and away at Auckland's AK05 festival

Objectspace, Ponsonby Rd, Auckland

With Superstrata at Objectspace, rather than display a set of objects, ceramicist John Parker presents an installation of recent work in one of his most innovative exhibitions for some time.

The work involves piping the clay in threads and building up three-dimensional structures that have an architectural basis.

Whereas Parker's previous work is derived from industrial shapes and processes, these new works have a more traditional craft appearance and look as though they have more in common with knitting.

They are almost all derived from spherical moulds and so take on an organic shape, displaying the hand-made nature of the work and appearing to have been made of cake icing or stalactites.

These organic shapes are all based on a grid shape, have a structural appearance like the internal structure of an organic or architectural curved shape and are reminiscent of the latticed engineering works of architect Pier Luigi Nervi.

The installation is given a monumental operatic quality, with Parker acknowledging his other interests as a Designer with the pieces all mounted along one wall of the gallery and lit by fluctuating strong spotlights as well as being supplemented by opera recordings.