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Events > Exhibitions

Nicola Holden and Matt Heays
at Antoinette Godkin
Until 24 Mar 2018

Added by Vav God

Nicola Holden’s practice addresses the physicality of painting; the wooden support, the frame, the fabric surface, paint, colour and light. Her paintings engage the push of the flat picture plane combined with the pull of the empty spaces in the interior of the work.

“I consider my approach to painting to be more like an architect or furniture-maker than a painter. I look at the physical structure of painting. I'm fascinated by the fact that a painting on canvas was initially an innovation to help people move their art about when it had previously been painted directly on the wall. It’s interesting how this portable object - made like a piece of furniture - captures and reflects the surrounding light, and can be built up to contain complex spaces within it.

The translucent material surface of these works is often left uncoloured, revealing a maze of weft and warp in their construction, permeated by coloured-light.

“I construct the paintings as an architect might layer multiple plans on top of each other. Though it’s not actually a conceptual, intellectual or planned process at all - I make several flat pieces and then pair them - testing out their relationships in an intuitive way. It’s the unexpected pairings that often result in works that ‘stick’.”

Acknowledging conventions of minimalism and geometric abstraction, the works undo any grand modernist statement with their modest scale and delicate, translucent surfaces and colour.


Nicola Holden has a background in both fine arts and interior architecture. She works as an ‘experience designer’ and previously as a lecturer at Unitec and Victoria University. Holden is represented by Antoinette Godkin Gallery in Auckland.



Matt Heays’s work explores notions of space and location through an

amalgamation of conventions including sculpture, design, architecture and


Precisely constructed surfaces share the same square format and outer-frame

dimensions yet each has their own geometric qualities. Pitched angles create a

play between positive and negative, pointing outward and folding inward they

invite the viewer to consider the surrounding space they inhabit, as well as to

take notice of the dimensional shifts happening within the frame.

The compositions are reductive and high-contrast further stimulating a sense

of dimension and depth, while the flatness of each painted section acts as a

reminder of the works materiality

The greater subtleties occur as the viewer moves closer into and around the

work and the extension of colour and composition is revealed.

Areas of inquiry within Heays’s practice include notions of spatial ambiguity,

voids, body-space relationships and displacement.

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