Inspired by his installation 'Whakatata mai: do you see what I see, 2005, at Riccarton House in Christchurch in 2004, Paterson created the animated work, Te Pūtahitanga ō Rehua, which memorises with its black and white surging optical patterns...
Te Pūtahitanga ō Rehua has gone through many incarnations as an installation, but this is by far the largest and most immersive articulation of this artwork as a projection on a 7x3.5m glitter screen at Dunedin Public Art Gallery New Zealand, 2011 (March 19 - July 10). The scale and serenity of this final rendering is interesting because it belies the underlying handmade quality of this its production; it is created from multiple layers of cut out and reorganised drawings that are scanned and composited kaleidoscoped into a digital animation software programme. The beauty of this work is not in the labour of its construction; it is in the beguiling and awe inspiring moments – a precious experience which is seemingly so fleeting. As Paterson has noted in this regard:
“The act of looking twice has always inspired and intrigued me; it’s the act of seeing, and of not being able to see, of knowing, and of yet to learn, of being drawn into, and out of, to discover multiple layers of visual truths - those images that are obvious, and those that are hidden. Optical art distils these principles using them singly with force and commitment. It is the art of pure essentials that relies on total abstraction and visual confrontation. Optical painting may take various forms but its foundation is a non-objective perceptual response where simplicity is its dominant and most essential characteristic.”
Te Pūtahitanga ō Rehua sees this artist using new ways to explore conceptual and aesthetic concerns, and yet the motifs and how they are articulated are deeply rooted in Paterson’s existing painting practice. This digital animation installation provides a wonderfully playful and alluring ground for this artist to push and pull with our senses and yet what is ever present is the historical lineage of these patterns. With references to New Zealand art, in particular Maori kowhaiwhai designs and the paintings of Gordon Walters, the work also makes allusion to the journey taken by Kai Tahu to collect pounamu in the area of Lake Wakatipu.
Aaron Kreisler 2011
Te Pūtahitanga ō Rehua, 2005, single channel 4:22 mins