‘Paper Tiger' is a literal English translation of the Chinese phrase zhilaohu (纸老虎／紙老虎). The term refers to something that seems threatening but is ineffectual and unable to withstand challenge. The expression became well known in the West as a slogan used by Mao Zedong's Chinese communist state against its opponents, particularly the U.S. government.’ (Wikipedia)
Anti-Paper Tigers - the exhibition - has absolutely nothing to do with the original context of the phrase quoted above. Instead the term is intended here as a metaphor for the imagined perception of drawing within the canon of the visual arts. Drawing is often considered as the precursor to the final product of the more ‘renowned ‘ disciplines such as painting, sculpture, design, fashion and architecture. It has been marginalised as a minor activity in visual culture and the mainstream. Drawing is perhaps the original long-term sufferer of ‘Status Anxiety”.
The Anti-Paper Tigers of this exhibition have had enough and are attempting to roar back to life. The works on show are the results of 13 Wintec students completing an intensive 3-week workshop entitled ‘Contemporary Drawing’ - hence the manic bombardment of imagery across the walls of the main gallery space. All manner of media, scale and style, combined with the exuberance and attitude of youth are ready to ponce on the curious gallery visitor.
From the front window, self-portraits of the participants stare back out at the viewer from hand held mirrors. At once self reflective and uncompromisingly ironic the drawn glass surfaces remind us that drawing, like all visual practice, share the exact same obsession, which is that of looking. Check it out.
0. Mark Braunias Apostle Genius (Acrylic and collage on paper) 2016-17
1. Rebecca Daczo Naughty Palm Trees in Paradise (ink and acrylic on paper) 2017
2. Lesley Payne Self-image with Cosmos (ink and pencil on paper) 2017
3. Dakota Moeau Untitled Palm (Vinyl on paper) 2017
4. Kellum King RIP (Print , acrylic and pen on paper) 2017
5. Rhiannon Jackson Paint Me (Paint, thread and pencil on paper) 2017
6. Haana Pratt-Rink Crusty Snot (Ink on paper) 2017
7. Pounamu Wharekawa Strychnine Daydream (Acrylic paint and pencil on paper) 2017
8. Hannah Magon I Started Drawing an Octopus (ink pens on paper) 2017
9. Shannon Hart Luminosis (ink and Gouache on paper) 2017
10. Thea Allison She Seemed Absolute (acrylic on paper) 2017
11. Brooke Willis Tree Life (mixed-media on paper) 2017
12. Alice Leonard Salvador (coloured tissue on paper) 2017
13. Shannon Dwyer My Mate Dave (pencil and acrylic on paper) 2017
Recent developments within drawing by Wintec students from the Winter School elective 'Contemporary Drawing'.
A site specific response to the perception of 'drawing' within visual culture and the mainstream.
Led by tutor and artist Mark Braunias, this group exhibition is the culmination of these student's Winter School work. Join us for an lunchtime event, celebrating this work on Tue 18 July, 12 - 1pm.