Henry Wong Doe - Pictures at an Exhibition
Henry Wong Doe (piano) plays
DE CASTRO-ROBINSON: A zig-zagged gaze and MUSSORGSKY: Pictures at an Exhibition
(recorded at University of Auckland Music Theatre by RNZ)
Auckland pianist Henry Wong Doe's recital at the University of Auckland Music Theatre.
This piano recital is made up of two works that were inspired by paintings and artworks. First, commissioned by Henry Wong Doe, Eve de Castro-Robinson's a zigzagged gaze responds to ten strikingly diverse pieces of New Zealand art selected by the composer from the Wallace Arts Trust Collection.
The second piece is Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.
Composer’s notes for a zigzagged gaze for solo piano
For me to be let loose in the art collection of the Wallace Arts Trust was a gleeful trawling of riches. I pared back my longlist to ten works which spoke to me with singular, wildly differing voices. I offer a brief description of my reaction to each, and a wee haiku.
Philip Trusttum: Il Vecchio Castello The Troubador
Trusttum works big, thinks big, even the domestic and intimate is rendered ruggedly, realised boldy, with a sort of knock-the-bastard-off blokey vigour.
Come, come one, come all
Let me bombard you with bliss
Hue, cry, ballyhoo, come forth.
Josephine Cachemaille: Diviner and minder
I was struck by the bold whimsy of this work, its cheeky yet elusive attitude. An elegant shoreside talisman, with a winky smile in its finger.
two-tined woody stick
u v w wishbone
what are you playin’ at?
Rohan Weallens: Tingler
This drew an interior belly laugh, it’s buffoonish, bulky, apparently clumsy, yet displays a dignity, like that of an elephant in motion. Tingler’s exterior cumbersomeness belies its intricately layered depths, like a gargantuan millefiori paperweight.
oh bulky buffoon
oh your tongue-in-cheekery,
you pendulous blob!
Jim Speers: White Interior
Jim’s work draws the gaze into the infinite through light, allows the viewer to bask in a seductive celestial glow. The restrained White Interior is like a downscaled Turrell, no less potent for its luminous containment.
still, luminous block
draw me into your shadows…
What, no answers there?
Miranda Parkes: Trick-or-treater
Parkes’ deliciously wilful concoctions of quasi-edible paint ooze and squeeze their way out of their confines in an exhilarating liberation. Deliciousness!
lucky lumpy lush
tumbly tonguey push and shove,
lick me all over
Vincent Ward: The Return
For me, Ward is New Zealand’s Bill Viola, and Return captures something of that artist’s visionary grandeur. There is something dark in our midst, and Ward’s out to find it.
you are dark devil creature.
Marie Le Lievre: Blue Lady
The natural gravity of this hung form draws the eye downward, taking in the slippage and merge of its mottled, inky depths.
pour and bleed the paint
slip and blot across the fields.
the ocean is held
Jacqueline Fahey: The Passion Flower
I love the strop and thrust of Jacqueline’s heart-on-the-sleeve, painterly declamations. I based this on the anthem of the women’s suffrage movement, March of the Women 1911, by Dame Ethel Smyth, who conducted it with a toothbrush through the bars of Holloway Prison. JF and ES, a couple of fabulously feisty sheilas.
Wide blows our banner
and hope is waking…
Shoulder to shoulder/and friend to friend! (with thanks to Cicely Hamilton)
John Ward Knox: x (life, still. Baby)
JWK’s work has been quietly bowling me over ever since I saw his white carved-away wall years ago. The deeply affecting intimacy and humanity of this miniature painting is like a visual whisper.
hush, hush, not a breath
everything is momentous
nothing is known here
Judy Millar: Big Pink Shimmering One
I couldn’t help but be struck by the muscular viscerality of Millar’s largescale work, reminiscent of a shopwindow cleaner with soapy mop in play.
deals in pink boldness