• Kāryn Taylor

The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatū is proud to present Nelson artist Kāryn Taylor’s exhibition Future Philosophies.

Taylor’s longstanding interest in both metaphysics and the scientific world of quantum physics has remained constant since achieving her Master of Fine Arts degree from Elam School of Art, University of Auckland. She couples her enquiry into the aesthetic pleasures of line, colour, and light with her preoccupations about the ‘big questions’ surrounding existence. This exhibition brings together a selection of the artist’s recent investigations of luminous, rich colour and light, geometric forms, and ambiguous effects, including shifting spatial and dimensional perspectives.

This abstract artistic vocabulary, of which there is a dense history of use in modern to contemporary art, was motivated by an intuition and curiosity about, not just quantum studies in science, but the metaphysical, spiritual world. Geometric abstraction is a way for Taylor to simplify complex, non-logical ideas. She believes colour and light, and geometrical structures, especially the circle and square, offer their own energy frequencies. The mysteries of our existence and the universe still elude full human comprehension and defeat the objectivity of science and the ability of words to adequately explain. Future Philosophies aims to provide: ‘an opportunity for discovering new ways of thinking and non-thinking.’

The artist aims to allow the observer to experience both the apparently solid ‘reality’ of the world that our brains can see and rationalise, along with a sense of changefulness, instability, and the unknown. This changefulness is most evident in installation works such as The Structure of Things, 2023 and Answer in the Abstract, 2023. Her cast-acrylic lightbox works have evolved over time from what she describes as highly minimalist compositions, to compositions with a richer colour palette and circular play. These have a glowing quality that can induce a state of wonder. Free-standing sculptures are another new departure for Taylor.

Geometry, illusion, light, and colour are the most obvious way for Taylor to express non-rational, non-verbal ideas, which ironically, she has been expected to verbalise – to an extent. The question that reverberates behind Taylor’s artworks and is suggested in her artwork titles, is: how are we, our worlds, time and space, consciousness – and perception, connected? This is neither detached philosophising nor ‘dry’ science for Taylor. It is both personal and universal in implication.

Kyla Mackenzie, June 2023

The exhibition is supported by Creative New Zealand.

A catalogue, with a text by Ed Hanfling, will accompany the exhibition.

Kāryn Taylor is represented in Aotearoa New Zealand by Jhana Millers. Email for a copy of the catalogue

Opening Hours

  • Open daily
  • 9.30am - 4.30pm


  • 208 Bridge Street
  • Whakatū, Nelson