• Miranda Parkes

In Baller, Miranda Parkes continues to extend the field of painting into three dimensions. There are new scrunched and billowed paintings, featuring gold and copper leaf folded in perpetuity. Ice princess and feverdreamer are the first substantially gilded paintings that Parkes has compressed into three dimensions. The very large open relationship (fresh) lights up the back gallery – a gently heaving mass that balances breath with tumult. It is a work consummately recycled from a 2015 installation at Tauranga Art Gallery.

There are also two paintings, the title work Baller, and jostler, where Parkes paints directly onto curiously contoured, commercial pallets mass produced in MDF. We watch the hand of the artist coming to grips with the industrial geography of an object. It is a testing relationship. Cavities are explored and embodied, with little paintings and other miniatures appearing within the larger painterly field. In this way, Miranda’s painting exists both independently of, but also as part of (or in honour of) its strange support. Sometimes colour and texture look wholemeal, like the support. More often however, Parkes’ joyful colour and strength of composition trump the repetition(s) of mass-produced industrial form.

So, visual and sensate experience do triumph here. The sparkling dynamism of a high summer’s day is captured in the diptych Tōtaranui. It is wonderful that experiential abstraction can so poetically describe landscape form. And in a rich suite of tabletop collages, human form is re-arranged with delight and vigour. Exploding the plates from a book of Modern Painting, these paperworks are surreal and fun and personal – with little details from the hand of Ollie, Miranda’s daughter. The intimacy of these collages feels very valuable to this exhibition.

Jonathan Smart

Opening Hours

  • Wednesday - Friday, 11am-5pm
  • Saturday, 11am-3pm
  • Or by appointment


  • 52 Buchan Street, Sydenham
  • Christchurch 8023