ALL ALONG THE DARK AVENUES OF THE SOUL
18:08:2016 - 02:10:2016
The Return of Conrad, to her country of birth, Aotearoa, after many years away... Prototype Feminist, inimitable outsider artist, filmmaker, poet and performer, Christina Conrad.
"Conrad's art is never secular; it always conveys a deep tone of mystical or spiritual importance -- of the fundamental, factual, logical nature of such experience. And while this kind of perception is often attributed to 'primitive' non-Western cultures and to polytheistic or animistic religions, and while the modelling of Conrad's figures obviously owes something to Modernist primitivism, Conrad's links are really old European ones. Her art reaches back to a mediaeval, or Gothic, iconography. In a sense, it returns the recent legacy of Modernist primitivism to a remote European history. It enters that visual language in a mediaeval drama in which no aspect of life, however domestic, was merely secular -- in which objects of domestic life were imbued with malevolent or benign powers, in which banal characters could be seen as satanic or saintly, in which sexual and religious forces ran back together toward some suppressed, pagan source."
-- Ian Wedde, from Christina Conrad - Visionary Logic
Conrad's paintings, clay icons and artistic theories have been the subject of three documentary films, and her paintings and other works shown by major galleries and museums in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. She is the daughter of the English painter and philosopher, Patrick Hayman.
Conrad is the author of three books and a play, entitled A Modern Crucifixion. She is listed in the Bloomsbury Book of Women Writers (U.K.) and her poems anthologised in Emu & Kiwi (ed by Barbara Petrie), The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Verse (ed by Ian Wedde) and The Oxford Book of Modern New Zealand Poetry (ed by Vincent Sullivan). In June, 2000, the University of Auckland Press published a selection of Conrad's poems in Big Smoke, their definitive anthology of New Zealand poetry in the 1960s and 70s. Her work also appears in numerous print journals, little magazines, and newspapers round the world.
The poet, Billy Marshall Stoneking, describes the experience of listening to Conrad speaking her poetry as "tribal, unearthing some deep, instinctual understanding that has been buried in the unconscious. She is bardic."
Conrad will perform her poetry as part of the opening of the exhibition “Point of Hue” on Friday 2nd of September and the screening of her autobiographical film HERETIC will be included in the public program the following day, both at Lot23, curated by Dina Jezdic.