New Zealand Art Gallery
Art Of This World, Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand
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Opposite the Ferry Wharf, Devonport in Auckland. Open every day from 10am to 5pm
New Zealand Art Gallery Showcasing New Zealand Based Artists and Unique New Zealand Gifts
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Art Of This World
Shop 1, 1 Queens Parade
Devonport, Auckland
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Artist Profiles » Philippa Bentley

Philippa BentleyEach insect is individually screen-printed on to house weatherboard or paper, and then hand painted, labelled and framed as if archived in a museum boxed collection. The use of weatherboard started as a play on the old Kiwi 1950’s trend of a butterfly on a weatherboard house idea and is now an integral part of the work.

“I like the idea of taking something that is disposable and transforming it into something of greater use and value”. The organic nature of weatherboard presents its challenges when screen-printing by hand. “It’s the unpredictable nature of the process that I like, the fact that each print takes on its own life and is quite distinctive from the next.”

For the insect collection series a major source of inspiration has been the Auckland War Memorial Museum and the natural history and entomology departments there. “I think the collections are so, so beautiful and can spend ages looking over them. They are about the natural specimen and the human input of the collector - some from over a century ago and the social context of that time. I also consider the tension between containment and preservation, freedom and security; collective and personal memory.”

“I am producing the artworks as limited edition series for each insect. However, there is a lot of work that goes into each individual insect and the work as a whole. Also, each insect collection is printed on a different set of boards and so no two will be the same. They have got to be as close to a unique, one-off artwork as a print can be!”

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