Shane Cotton at the Auckland Art Gallery

view from Auckland Art Gallery CafeOn Saturday, I paid a visit to the Auckland City Art Gallery - partly because I haven't been in a very long time, and partly because Shane Cotton's exhibition had opened the night before.

I'd never seen his work before except in reproductions and online images. His work is larger than I had thought, and powerful too, in a lot of ways. The last time I'd been at the Gallery in that space was Colin McCahon's huge sheet-like works and Shane's aren't so disimilar in that they look at landscapes and writings, light on the dark.

I was suprised at the other works outside the collection - Tissot, William Blake, Marc Chagall and a couple of Picassos. All and all it was a nice day at the Gallery. For all the time I worked in town I didn't visit it, and now i don't I want to make an effort to make it a regular item in my diary.

I don't know enough about art to blatheron about it here - although a brushstroke here, or a fall of tone-on-tone there doesn't stop me flounsing on at the Gallery - I would like to share one of my favourite quotes from Hyacinth Bucket of the BBC Comedy Keeping up Appearances "I don't know much about art, but i do like a good frame that doesn't gather much dust."

Okay so here I am, June 1st and I've come back to this entry because I am going to say what I was going to say at the time of writing but got the confidence *wobbles* about sounding like a complete pratt. I was standing in front of his 1995 work "View". Looking at it I could hear the click-clack of a train on the track - the repetitive lines and the landscape made me think of traveling by train. Of a journey - maybe, one journey and the mountain growing larger as the destination came closer; or maybe a journey that is repeated every day - seeing the same landmarks, hearing the same sounds day after day making the same journey - maybe it was time I could hear between the click-clacking/the basketballing/the tick tocking of this painting. Is it a journey we all make? back to our home? to work every day? Maybe it's the journey of a culture through the landscape that is changing and the culture's changing/notchanging/vanishing over time.

I don't know a damned thing about art, but I know a thing when I see it. Shane Cotton has that thing.