26 February - 28 March 2002
Outstanding New Zealand artist Ruth Watson, now
living in Sydney, has had a long-term fascination with the history,
politics and aesthetics of mapping and map making, with particular
reference to the history of Western conquests in land ownership.
More than just geographical signposts, the maps in Watsons
work also chart an emotionally charged journey, stretched and molded
as they are into heart-like shapes and rendered beautiful beyond
Returning to Christchurch for Without Parachute,
Watson is here "without map" as well, instead drawing
on aerial photographs of the Canterbury Plains to site this work.
Reproduced, not on paper or on screen, but printed onto a delicate
silken dress, we see a birds eye view of quilted paddocks and braided
rivers, between folds of cloth, and shaped to the wearers
body. In addition, Watson has created tiny heartshaped jewels to
accompany this outfit, inspired by items in the collection of Airforce
World Museum in Wigram, pendants made from the Perspex windscreens
of crashed planes by NZ POWs in the Pacific during World War 2.
A project developed in partnership with the Airforce
World, the Wigram airbase museum, Ruth Watson developed the work
in Without Parachute while artist in residence at the School of
Fine Arts, Canterbury University, in 2001. Without Parachute is
a linking exhibition with Let The Heart Take Flight, a historical
exhibition held at Airforce World as a part of the Romance Festival
2002. The Without Parachute
catalog is on sale at The Physics Room now!
COLOUR IS YOUR PARACHUTE?
essay by Andrew Paul Wood
essay by Jonathon Smart
Reviews, Essays & Articles
The Press, 2002 Mar. 20, p. 34
Without Parachute, by Ruth Watson.
Map of the Human Heart
The Listener, March, 2002
about Without a parachute and Let the heart take flight (Air Force
The Package, #143, April 18 - 24, 2002
WITHOUT PARACHUTE : Ruth Watson
Essay by Sarah Farrar
In The Physics Room Annual 2002