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281 Karangahape Rd Auckland

Ruth Watson

Without Parachute


Working from a long-term fascination with the history, politics and aesthetics of mapping and map making, particularly in reference to the history of Western conquests in land ownership, Watson’s work in Without Parachute draws on archival maps and aerial photography sourced from the museum Air Force World. Reproduced, not on paper or screen, but printed onto a delicate silken dress, we see a birds eye view of quilted paddocks and braided rivers, between folds of cloth, and shaped to the wearer’s body.

The catalog to accompany this stunning exhibition by Ruth Watson, this publication includes photographic documentation, two essays What Colour Is Your Parachute by Christchurch arts writer Andrew Paul Wood, and From The Air by gallerist and critic Jonathan Smart, and a giant pull-out poster work as well!

In From the Air Jonathan Smart describes Without Parachute as "typical of Watson’s ability to inflect the post-colonial with a visual construct both willfully cross-disciplined and resolutely informed" while Andrew Paul Wood eloquently argues a case for Watson’s work offering "something of a human and spiritual dimension to our cartographic imaginings" which is often lacking in a post-colonial world where identity is erroded and uncertain.