Sally Smith returns to Parnell Gallery in April with an exciting body of new work, entitled Murmuration. The exhibition invites a focus on the innate intelligence and beauty of our natural world. Living and working on Waiheke, a concern for the fragility of our natural environment is inherent in Smith’s unique, wall-mounted sculptural pieces.
“In this collection of works I explore Murmuration, the concept of moving as one, as observed in both bird and sea life with works that have no constraints of borders and frames, but are free to fly and go where they will…”
Smith developed complementary careers in architecture and art for over 20 years, and in 2010 turned her full-time focus to producing art. Her previous life as an architect can be sensed in the striking design of these installations. In Shoaling Series Two a shoal of fish swims in sinuous formation across the wall, the dappled patina and deep shadows casting a magical impression of serene ocean life. In another, ‘Te Hokianga’ we take to the skies as a flock of birds wheels and turns, each piece contributing to the beauty of the whole in their individual stages of flight.
A fine geometry can also be found in her single sculptures via the magnification of some of our smaller life forms. Spinifiex, a coastal grass finished in black, is stunning in its architectural symmetry. With subtle abstraction, Smith draws attention to the underlying patterns of our natural world through these diminutive but perfectly formed manifestations.
Whether extrapolating out to denote an entire flock of birds, or zoning in to magnify the beauty of a tiny sea dwelling animal, Sally’s finely conceived installations are bound to engage and delight the viewer. Cast in bronze or aluminium, they are finished with black or green/blue patinas to subtly enhance the work.
As these pieces take residence on gallery walls and in homes here and abroad, a subtle discourse on responsibility to our incredible natural species is invited through joyful aesthetic means. Murmuration will be on show at the Parnell Gallery until Tuesday 19th April.