Seeds Sex & Menopause

Solo Exhibition, Form Gallery, Christchurch - February 2009.

This work Seeds Sex & Menopause acknowledges and celebrates the fertile phase of life.

Seeds: Relate to male but also symbolize new beginnings and possibilities.
Sex: Activity, fertility, reproduction; and
Menopause: The transition from function and vulnerability to freedom.

Other ideas invested in this work: My interest in forms, function, behaviours and patterns which may occur on a cellular or bacterial level and equally on a macrocosmic scale. Relationships between objects or organisms - what draws them together or holds them apart; attraction and repulsion. The wholeness of everything broken down to its smaller and smaller parts. The colour palette of black and white / pink and blue: the dichotomy male and female, colour-coding babies; pink is so personal and red - the colour that connects us, of tissue and blood - our biological essence. Red also symbolizes passion, love and fertility.

To view the works please click on the images:

Seeds Sex & Menopause - Reviewed by Barry Allom

New Work by Fran Maguire at Form Gallery until February 26 2009

In this show Fran Maguire ramps ceramics up a notch both technically and artistically. Ideas are thematically lined and well-developed. All the pieces are technically superb in their execution. The choice of provocative title is reinforced by arresting eye-catching sculptures. Original forms, bright and contrasting colours and glazes contribute to the impact.

Seed pods, genetic boats, wombs, sperm, ova, balls, seeds and the odd penis all appear in almost metaphoric forms or as graphic decoration or subtle reference. The longer you linger, the more you see.

Thoughtful pieces like the two Genetic Boats are amongst the most successful because of their compactness. Both plant and human, both male and female, they resonate with their multi-layers of meaning and rich contrasting colours. The seeds and seed heads are strikingly realistic in their outlines, then transformed by the rich reds and pinks. The colours, matt and shiny, speak of fertility in both the human cervix and uterine linings and plant life. The male is portrayed in sharply contrasting black and white. One of the most impressive of these is Tumescence Detumescence, where the artist cleverly portrays each stage of male arousal by optical sleight of the potter's hand shrinking the clay with a high degree of inventiveness. By way of complete paradox Maguire uses these same colours on her large virtuosic Black and White Seed Head. This is one of the most feminine works full of fancy filigreed beadlike lacework. In the signature piece, Genetic Time Capsule, she brings together male and female.

If all this sounds rather clinical and biological, it is not.

The images are beautifully and skilfully presented in a highly seductive way.

This is an original must-see exhibition.