Palindromes, proverbs, puns, idioms. John Reynolds loves word play. He loves language’s malleability and ambiguity; its ability to be stretched, distorted and grouped together to create metaphors, images and meaning greater than the sum of its parts.
His latest exhibition, A car, a man, a maraca, is named after a collection of poetry by Australian artist and writer, Oscar Perry. The title, which is a palindrome (meaning it reads the same way forwards and backwards), suggests doubleness; that something can be read, seen or interpreted in more than one way.
Ranging from the poetic to the explicit, the works in the exhibition employ language to foreground the climate crisis. Quoting Greta Thunberg and contemplating blueness, the ocean and Aotearoa’s place in the South Pacific, the works span 2015 – 2022 and represent John's ongoing interest and concern for the environment, forming an extended body of work that combines art with activist tropes.