See You In New Zealand by Mark Ussher

Spic and Span, 2010, Enamel and polyurethane on steel, 1020mm x 1120mm

See You In New Zealand

Mark Ussher

18 May to 06 June 2010

In his forthcoming exhibition See You in New Zealand, Mark Ussher continues to peel back the layers of recent culture and history to reveal a singular view of New Zealand society.
Rather than generating his own imagery, Ussher collects key images from advertising, signage, magazines or newspapers.
He then adjusts and recycles these images to expose a quirky impression of New Zealand life, replete with irony and humour.
In Colourful New Zealand for example, Ussher uses a simple, but instantly recognisable, paint sample chart to draw attention to the many issues which either define or affect us.   
Ussher’s work parodies long standing social institutions. His witty and unconventional juxtapositions highlight a range of issues that affect all New Zealanders ranging across political, social and economic boundaries.
The artist’s singular view draws attention to the way we habitually apply stereotypes to complicated areas of our lives.
Colourful New Zealand the Future is “rosy”, Tobacco and Unity are “grey” areas, while multi-colour strips like “Seabed to Crown” have the ability to change either subtly or more dramatically depending on which direction your eye travels over the chart.  
The select nature, juxtapositioning and finite number of colours implies compromise and indicates that for us as Zealanders, nothing is clear cut; everything depends on individual views, relationships, choice and contexts.
Rather than dogma Ussher prefers a philosophical view that incorporates simplicity, humour and a clean aesthetic to make his point.
These depictions therefore become relevant to the exploration of New Zealand’s cultural identity, holding up a mirror to the shifts that have occurred in the past 50 years of our development as a nation..

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