Westerlund 2 | Hannah Beehre
Exhibition Preview: Friday 5 May at 5.30pm
Exhibition Runs: Saturday 6 May – Sunday 11 June 2017
Artist talk: Saturday 6 May at 1pm
Hannah Beehre’s Westerlund 2 reorients The Physics Room’s South gallery with an immersive installation, dislocating the gallery with four walls lined floor-to-ceiling in velvet nebula.
Site provides an important anchor for Westerlund 2. Although it is situated inside The Physics Room, the work is distinctly separate from it as the reorientation of the gallery space takes primacy. Presenting the work as an installation departs from Beehre’s previous works on velvet and the immediate impact of this scale aims to make the viewer extremely aware of the air in the space, the dimensions, and the location, or non-location.
Westerlund 2 occupies a disjunctive space between reality and unreality. Beehre uses imagery from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope photographs of the star cluster Westerlund 2, located in the Milky Way, to blend iconic galactic imagery with an anti-monumental focus on familiar detail and scale, seen in the use of household Axminster carpet. The deliberate use of such recognisable and culturally oversaturated images contributes to the series of counterpoints constructed within the work – kitsch/high art, lo-tech/hi-tech, near/far.
Beehre utilises the highly recognisable galactic imagery for its somewhat ironic iconography to surround the viewer with a vertigo-inducing contraction of space.
Hannah would like to thank Rebekkah Pickrill for her contribution to this project.
Hannah Beehre lives and works in Lyttelton. She studied at both Elam School of Fine Arts and the University of Canterbury graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2000. She has been an Olivia Spencer Bower Trust Award Recipient, Artist in Residence at Scott Base, Antarctica and most recently winner of the Parkin Prize for Drawing in 2017. Hannah is represented by Jonathan Smart Gallery.