Kirsty Greggs' work centres round the ever present realities of behavial and social etiquette's and the controls we impose on ourselves as a result of these. From bar room pick up lines ('Haven't I Seen You Somewhere Before?', Jonathan Smart Gallery, 1996) to her more recent obsession with how rugby wives can catch (and keep) that elusive man, her work is informed by everyday situations where social norms are taken to an extreme. In This time It's Personal Gregg tackles New Zealands favourite pastime with a playful investigation of those larger than life idols the All Blacks. Fixed to the wall like a series of swinging doors or a music stores' poster rack, her slick black paintings with their neat fern insignia reference classic minimalism a la the Gordon Walters koru series.
Further inspection reveals the backs of the paintings, with canvas and timber exposed, where All Black signatures scrawled on the canvas transform the paintings into a giant autograph book. Complete with individual comments ranging from the coy ("to a special friend" from Anton Oliver) to the just plain stoic ("Rugby was the winner on the day" from Taine Randal), there is an air of 'notches on the bedpost' about the display, a scoreboard of encounters with the famed. Taking her cue from the media spaces where marketing, popular culture and art collide, this new series of paintings continues Greggs' investigation of the social battlefield that continues our day-to-day existence. As the artist herself puts it: "It's war out there".
Reviews, Essays & Articles
Smart, new, all in black
The Press, 1999 Feb. 17, p. 19
This Time It's Personal, by Kirsty Gregg; Grunt Machine, videos.