The Emperors new nose.
An Exhibition of new works by Diana Bidwill.
Spray paint and silhouettes:
Diana has been working on an evolving a body of work that is throwing the old and new together. This exhibition is a journey through her three current series - all using silhouette forms and exploring spray paint as a medium - spraying and masking through found objects and local flora.
This work started with raw forms, has further evolved in to a series of profile portraits in the style of old Victorian paper cut portraits, juxtaposing subjects for a contemporary twist. The latest series returns to past subject matter, new takes on old military portraits and profiles, for example the famous painting of Napoleon crossing the Alps, by Jacques-Louis David (painted in 1801-05) - which is where the title ’The Emperors new nose’ is derived from.
Origins and evolution:
Beginning with more contemporary New Zealand icons and forms - as single images of a collection of forms in silhouette - across which Diana has used found flora as a mask to spray through. This developed as she played with ways to derive texture and depth within the masked forms.
She has developed recent work (on paper and canvas in large scale) to work on mid scale works that play on using old images and found objects, formal contexts and informal mediums.
Diana says "Through the series as they have developed, I've been interested in the juxtaposition between the tight, hard cut lines of the stencil/masking, and the loose, random and very free form nature of the spray paint”.
“Every work is considered, and crafted, yet there is a complete randomness only uncovered when I peel the final masking away".
The work on the exhibition poster is referencing the painting Napoleon crossing the Alps, by Jacques-Louis David, 1801-05. 'The Emperors new nose’ refers to the ‘spin' central to this work - it’s an enduring image and one carefully crafted to create an impression, but not an accurate portrayal of events - during the real crossing, Napoleon reputedly rode a donkey.