Songs From Yesterday
The Whangarei Art Museum presents Songs from Yesterday a series of works challenging spatial notions of object and
drawing by Northland artist Murray Gibbs.
Works in this exhibition often revisit the transition phase between the past and the present. With the luxury of
reflection, elements are added or subtracted to the art works, which become part constructed / part imagined
reinterpretations of past narratives.
“Over time our memory of an object, event or story from yesterday often becomes an embellished construction. With some
events encompassing a mix of fact and fiction, taking on an almost mythological context”
Gibbs’ art practice is strongly influenced by music - old favourites plus new discoveries. “The musical landscape
potentially records our own position in space and time. Our own personal histories are often anchored by sounds. Hearing
music from the past, either an album or individual song can trigger familiar experiences from distant places.”
Contained within the art works are narratives and concerns that have been revisited. Gibbs uses musical influences and
his own experiences to explore the universal conditions of human nature, decay and renewal, and our relationship with
the natural environment.
The collection of mixed media installations draws on domestic memories, backyard dreams, and societal observations. His
expressive use of graphite combined with industrial materials renders a calm, monochromatic space that takes the viewer
on a personal reflection of past, present and future.