& Paul P.
As long as you want
Michael Lett gallery presents As long as you want, an exhibition of painting, print, and sculpture from Kate Newby (Aotearoa New Zealand/USA) and Paul P. (Canada).
Kate Newby’s ceramic tiles trace the impressions of people and place across time. Handmade, using terracotta drainage pipes as an armature, the tiles are structured in vertical lines that cut through the gallery.
Crafted in her childhood home at Te Henga (Bethells Beach), the tiles bear the textures and indentations of that place—her brother’s wooden benchtops, her mother’s gardening shed, the concrete floors of a space used as both a workshop and pottery studio at different times.
The clay tiles, mixed with sand from Lake Wainamu, were wood and gas-fired over twelve months, indexing the material, social, cultural, and familial sediments of a site and its inhabitants.
Paul P.’s intimate canvases draw lines towards and away from a historical moment for queer sensuality. His portraits are cropped from gay erotic magazines produced in the period between the advent of gay liberation and the surfacing of the AIDS crisis.
Pulled from this slade between two radically different eras of gay visibility, P.’s subjects are painted with a nineteenth-century symbolist’s mix of fantasy and fidelity that suffuses each face with melancholy and apprehension—figures caught between danger and desire.
The portraits are joined by architectural extractions, landscapes, and monochromes that further produce an askance view of this time and place.