Inhale is half of a pair of simultaneous exhibitions that explore themes of human vulnerability and transformation. The exhibitions draw together two strands of Vincent Ward’s career, as a leading figure in the feature film industry with a background in fine arts.
Ward’s films are frequently acclaimed for their painterly aesthetic, the origins of which can be traced to Ward’s studies as an art student. If these beginnings have informed his films, it is his depth of experience as a filmmaker that underpins the visual language found in his artwork. These exhibitions show Ward stripping his cinematic work to its essence and re-imaging it with moving image, painting and photography to explore intersections between these media. Similarly, Ward’s work explores the space between disciplines and culture, and has been studied by researchers of film, history, and even psychology.
Like his films, Ward’s gallery works have a visceral sensibility, relying more on psychic or transcendent states than narrative and dialogue. They often focus on the body in precarious situations (submerged, floating, flying, falling) or transformational moments, which evoke a heightened sense of existence and human vulnerability. These passing moments suggest an intensity of life that is shared by all creatures; as direct, fleeting or fragile as breath.
While Inhale at the Gus Fisher Gallery features Ward’s cinematic installations, Exhale at The Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre showcases physically imposing photographic, print and painted works. Alongside the exhibitions, a new 180-page book, titled Inhale | Exhale, will be launched by award-winning publisher Ron Sang. These projects will go on to feature in the 9th Shanghai Biennale in October.
As one of New Zealand’s leading filmmakers, Ward has earned an international reputation for his otherworldly vision and distinctive approach to storytelling. His first three feature films (Vigil, 1984, The Navigator, 1988, and Map of the Human Heart, 1993) were the first by a New Zealander to be officially selected for the Cannes Film Festival, and have collectively earned close to 30 awards at national and international festivals. Having contributed so significantly to furthering the international presence of New Zealand cinema, it was long overdue recognition when Ward received an Order of New Zealand Merit in 2007.
Thanks to Creative New Zealand, New Zealand Film Commission, ASB Community Trust, The Lion Foundation, PRPVFX, Next Technology, Weta Digital, Park Road Post and Doug Owens.
Saturday 7 July, 1pm
Vincent Ward’s German-Jewish mother, Judy Ward, has been a key influence on Vincent. In conversation with Associate Professor Leonard Bell, co-editor of the Jewish Lives, Judy will discuss her escape from Nazi Germany and her experiences as a British army soldier in WWII.
Saturday 14 July, 1pm
Vincent Ward discusses his exhibition Inhale at the Gus Fisher Gallery.
Saturday 21 July, 1pm
Clinical psychologist Maree Martinovich discusses psychosis and vision in Vincent Ward’s work.