Hawke’s Bay Today: Drawing on History

Hawke’s Bay Today: Drawing on History


Parlour Projects is pleased to present Angels and Icons, an exhibition of large scale, new works by New Zealand born New York based artist Natasha Wright. Throughout Wright’s practice she has continuously challenged means of representation and abstraction in contemporary painting. 

As the title suggests, these new paintings draw on the history of art – paying homage to medieval painting and religious iconography. Wright’s paintings use (secular and religious) historical images of women as a foundation on which to develop an expanding series of feminine archetypes. 


“I think a lot about the representation of females throughout history alongside contemporary references. The Venus of Willendorf, Mary Magdalena, The Three Graces and Cardi B are some of my many muses,” Wright says.Through painterly exploration, Wright has fused these references to create her own iconic language and emblematic representation of the female form. 


In Power Women X the schematic structure of the painting suggest both the form of a vessel and feminine X chromosome. Painted in oil and glitter, the materials further emphasise the spiritual quality of the work. 


The women Wright paints are simultaneously strong and otherworldly, mythological creatures. Thickly painted using oil, glitter and sand when they materialise they have an almost ethereal presence, an embodiment of the divine. Wright’s women remind us the viewer that angels can take on many forms. 

“I like to think my paintings create my own symbol of female power and energy. This doesn’t only involve the subject and composition but also the attitude I bring to my paintings – I’m interested in the idea of attitude, to me the attitude is just as important as the subject,” Wright says.


This confidence can be seen in the directness of Wright’s drawing and sweeping bold gestures. The overall movement in the paintings is consistently rough and fast while individual passages are more meditated. 


Angels and Icons will run from October 5 – November 1 at Parlour Projects, 306 Eastbourne St, East, Hastings. The public are invited to attend an opening reception and to meet Natasha Wright on Saturday, October 5, from 3pm to 5pm.