• Veronica Herber

In creating works for Awareness, the key to it all, Veronica Herber was determined to extend her practice both physically and emotionally. With overseas travel, and a well-earned break, came immersion in different cultures and art galleries throughout Europe and Japan. Specifically, inspiration was found in the minimalist work of Enrico Castallani, Japanese aesthetic gleaned from Kyoto architecture, and Giambattista Tiepolo’s dramatic oil painting The Last Judgement, c. 1730-1735.

A progression can be seen flowing through this body of work by Veronica, from the safety of her open grid works, moving to her solid grid—in its variations—and finally to the tonal depth and complexity of the three Awareness works. The first, and biggest, of these works (and the namesake of this exhibition) Veronica found extremely challenging and, after working on it for one month, almost gave up but for once (I) kept making it more complicated and it eventually revealed itself.

‘As with most of my work, the title is a lyric from one of my late husband’s songs—Derek (dDub) Browne. Even though he is gone, I feel we still collaborate. His words describe the work in ways I’m unable to.’

Grounded within the realms of geometric abstraction and the materiality of her chosen medium—Japanese Washi tape—Veronica Herber’s unique art practice has evolved organically and instinctively. From early influences of Piet Mondrian and Agnes Martin, to more recent and intuitive connections with the practice of Lee Ufan, Veronica continues to find the essence of each of her artworks in the making and mining of layers. With a practice producing large installation pieces to intricate works on paper, each work is borne through complex layers which are—until the Awareness works—pared back until the work reveals itself. Unearthing each work’s essence begins a flow of information and energy for Veronica which naturally informs her next work.

Veronica Herber is originally from Ōtautahi Christchurch and now resides in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland where she completed a fine arts degree at Auckland University of Technology in 2006. In the intervening years, Veronica engaged in post graduate studies at Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland; exhibited in New Zealand and internationally; has been a finalist in the Parkin Prize Award and Wallace Award numerous times; and won the Wallace Arts Trust New Zealand Sculptor Award - Sculpture by the Sea, Sydney, 2015.

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