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Call me Snake, 2015 – Judy Millar

SCAPE Public Art

One of New Zealand’s foremost painters, Judy Millar’s work has garnered critical acclaim both locally and internationally – including representing New Zealand at the 2009 Venice Biennale. The central theme of her work is the relationship between the illusory and the physical, between our private inner world and our material existence, and the way the activity of painting can synthesise these contradictory ways of being. Best known for her large-scale digitally printed and painted canvases which loop and undulate through architectural spaces, exploring ideas of scale, and the compression of time and space, Millar’s work for SCAPE 8 New Intimacies, Call me Snake, pushes these ideas beyond the enclosed architectural spaces she has previously worked with, into the Central Christchurch landscape.

Call me Snake comprises of vibrant graphics of Millar’s looped paintings adhered to five intersecting flat planes. Drawing inspiration from the forms found in pop-up books, it adds a dramatic and rhythmic counterpoint to the city’s current urban landscape. The work employs theatricality, playfulness and visual trickery in which the viewer is unsure about the work’s flatness or three-dimensionality. What’s more, it has been designed to offer a different perspective from each angle. Call me Snake offers an optimistic provocation – ‘imagine what could be here’.

Commissioned by SCAPE Public Art. Images courtesy of the artist and Gow Langsford Gallery. Photos by Bridgit Anderson and Judy Millar.
Armagh Street, opposite New Regent Street
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