Barbara Tuck: Delirium Crossing
Published 2022 by Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington; Anna Miles Gallery, Auckland; and Ramp Gallery at Wintec’s School of Media Arts, Waikato Institute of Technology, Hamilton.
240 x 175mm, softcover, with colour illustrations
Edited by Christina Barton and Anna Miles
With essays by Hanahiva Rose, Susan Ballard, Rebecca Rice, Sarah Treadwell, Nathan Pōhio, Simon Gennard, Christina Barton, Natasha Conland, Lachlan Taylor, Jan Bryant, Robyn Maree Pickens, Abby Cunnane, Richard Frater, Emma Smith; and Emma Fenton.
Design by Area Design
Printed by Print Consultants
Born in the Waikato in 1943, Barbara Tuck’s painterly expedition of five decades has been characterised by restlessness. Her engagement with painting has been driven by travel and wide-ranging reading across art, philosophy, poetry and science. Over the years, she has traversed many forms of expression, format and support, and confronted a range of issues and problems, happily confounding normative definitions of abstraction and representation.
Around 2000, Tuck began to unravel a beguiling new painterly terrain that circles a local preoccupation with the subject of ‘landscape.’ Tuck’s oblique revisiting of a painting tradition — brought here along with the contested processes of exploration, settlement, and nation building — became the unexpected basis of a contemporary immersion in painting’s perceptual and lyrical possibilities. She has reformulated painting’s programme to produce works that are alive to eons of geological time, attuned to histories of human habitation, and attentive to the present environmental crisis.
Eschewing the idea of a survey or retrospective, this publication and its accompanying exhibition open the artist’s recent work to new varieties of scrutiny. Named after Tuck’s painting, Delirium Crossing, the project has been envisaged as a platform for thinking about painting now. The exhibition and the publication sample paintings made by the artist between 1999 and the present. The selection of works has been determined not by the artist nor a curator, but instead through a collaborative exchange with the publication’s writers.
Delirium Crossing features fifteen new texts from a multi-generational group of leading Aotearoa art writers, curators, artists, and art historians, who have responded to this invitation by offering their unique perspectives. These deepen our appreciation of Tuck’s work, but also tell us something about how painting is understood in our times.
Our thanks go to the fifteen writers: Hanahiva Rose, Susan Ballard, Rebecca Rice, Sarah Treadwell, Nathan Pōhio, Simon Gennard, Christina Barton, Natasha Conland, Lachlan Taylor, Jan Bryant, Robyn Maree Pickens, Abby Cunnane, Richard Frater, Emma Smith; and Emma Fenton. We also thank the artist for her careful and candid reflections in her interview.
Delirium Crossing was formulated in response to an invitation from Lynda Wilson and Tim Croucher of Ramp Gallery at Waikato Institute of Technology. We are grateful to them and to present Ramp Director, Hollie Tawhiao, who has overseen all aspects of the organisation of the exhibition. We would also like to extend thanks to the staff of the three presenting galleries — Ramp, Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery, and Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū. The publication has been designed by Alan Deare of Area Design and would not have been possible without the generous assistance of Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa.