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Elspeth Shannon

Events > Exhibitions

Elspeth Shannon
at Zimmerman Art Gallery
2 Apr 2011 - 1 May 2011

Added by Zimmerman A former resident of the Manawatu, Elspeth Shannon is displaying her paintings in Palmerston North for the first time at ZIMMERMAN contemporary art gallery. And, in keeping with the region's provincial roots, the animals are the stars of this show. Yet the debut of Elspeth's paintings in the Manawatu is no dusty ramble through the Feilding saleyards, or cliched view from the farm gate. Instead, here on display are the domestic animals dearest to our hearts: the faithful canine companions, the prize show cow, the soft furry felines from whom we seek comfort when others let us down. It is Elspeth's exploration of the connections between people and animals for which the artist has become best known. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts (with honours) from Massey University, Elspeth exhibits both skill and playfulness in her exploration of the relationship between humans and the animals bound to them. On one level, the works are heart-warming expressions of love by people toward their treasured pets. Yet other emotions are also on display here - intimate glimpses of male tenderness and fragility, expressions of resigned indifference on the faces of the pets, and the sureness of strong-armed women, exercising firm control over the feline objects of their affection. These are works about relationships and emotions, confidence and vulnerability, devotion and dependency, where the feelings of man and beast do not always coincide. So if the artist has one message for us, it is this: that the connections between humans and animals are closer, and more complex, than we realise.

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