'Iron man' exhibition opens at Museum

Tuesday, 01 December 2015

The corrugated curves and forms of sculptures by artist Jeff Thomson – the ‘iron man’ of Australasia – will be on display from 4 December 2015 at Canterbury Museum.

Corrugations 'chooks'Corrugations: The Art of Jeff Thomson, is a significant retrospective exhibition, celebrating three decades of work by the Kiwi sculptor. A corrugated iron-clad Morris Minor, a giraffe, ‘chooks’, French knitting, kete and bouquets of flowers – all crafted out of iron - are featured in the exhibition. The works are drawn from the artist’s own collection and from private and institutional collections.

Corrugations is curated around the processes Thomson uses to make his sculptures: moulding, shaping, cutting and printing, among others.
Thomson’s trademark style emerged in the early 1980s when he crafted a series of mailboxes from roadside materials gathered during walks near his then home base at Portobello, south of Dunedin.
Thomson has a national and international standing as a sculptor, completing numerous works including a giant gumboot at Taihape, iron curtains which adorn a Sydney apartment, and an iconic HQ Holden station wagon now in Te Papa’s collection in Wellington.

Museum Director, Anthony Wright says that Thomson’s chosen material of corrugated iron is often the antithesis of the forms he creates, which makes his work so appealing. “He is able to make the most delicate and beautiful pieces and patterns from a material that’s more closely connected with a garden shed (which he’s also created) than sculptures in an exhibition. Looking at how his work has evolved over the years, we can see that Thomson is forever challenging the way he works with the material, thinking of new ways to use it and new objects and forms to create.”

A book, Corrugations: the Art of Jeff Thomson, by former Tauranga Art Gallery Director, Penelope Jackson and University of Auckland senior lecturer, Dr Robin Woodward, accompanies the exhibition and will be on sale in the Museum Store.

Corrugations: The Art of Jeff Thomson is developed and toured by Tauranga Art Gallery Toi Tauranga with generous support of Cooney Lees Morgan.

Opens 4 December 2015 until 13 March 2016 at Canterbury Museum. Free exhibition; donations appreciated.