Jonathan Ward Knox, Hardly Held Lightly

The Contemporary Benefactors and members of the Chartwell Trust, enjoyed a sunny evening on the sculpture terrace surrounded by Jonathan Ward Knox’s new work, Hardly Held Lightly, a trio of super-sized sculptures, spun in the shape of giant spider webs.

Jonathan Ward Knox with one of the sculptures from his work Hardly Held Light
Jonathan Ward Knox with one of the sculptures from his work Hardly Held Light.
Shana Devenport with Jonathan Ward Knox work from the Hardly Held Lightly series, at Auckland Art Gallery
Rhana Devenport with Jonathan Ward Knox work from the Hardly Held Lightly series, at Auckland Art Gallery

The sculpture terrace at the Auckland Art gallery comes alive with John Ward Knox’s new site-responsive work, Hardly Held Lightly. Ward Knox transformed more than a kilometre of industrial chain into three vast weavings, imitating the webs of a giant spider. Joining the tree-tops of Albert Park to the building’s eaves, Ward Knox plays with a key aspect of our 2011 redevelopment – linking our Gallery building to the park.

Charlotte Swasbrook with Jonathan Ward Knox
Charlotte Swasbrook with Jonathan Ward Knox
The Contemporary Benefactor's Committee. Jane Browne, Nicky Pennington, Sue Waymouth, Kriselle Baker, Charlotte Swasbrook.
The Contemporary Benefactor’s Committee.
Jane Browne, Nicky Pennington, Sue Waymouth, Kriselle Baker, Charlotte Swasbrook.

The webs are not drawn from ancient cultural symbols of death or decay, or even Halloween. Instead, Ward Knox draws on an arachnid’s sensibility, by modelling the complex decisions about shape, link and length required to create a natural spider’s net. This intricate form of pattern-making which is rarely closely observed, hangs in tremendous weight and outsized scale and connects us to the natural beauty of the park.

Sue Gardiner from the Chartwell Trust
Sue Gardiner from the Chartwell Trust
Natasha Conland with Chris Swasbrook
Natasha Conland with Chris Swasbrook

This exciting installation is the latest in a series of commissions by emerging New Zealand artists for the level 2 space, thanks to Chartwell Trust and the Contemporary Benefactors.

 

Zara Stanhope, Principal Curator at Auckland Art Gallery
Zara Stanhope, Principal Curator at Auckland Art Gallery

24 October 2015 –  5 June 2016
Edmiston North Sculpture Terrace, level 2, amphitheatre and Albert Park

Image credit: John Ward Knox, Hardly Held Lightly, 2015, steel chain. Commissioned by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 2015. Supported by the Chartwell Trust and the Contemporary Benefactors

Text credit; Auckland Art Gallery

 

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