• Alice Langbrown
  • Dayle Palfreyman
  • Steph Arrowsmith
  • Willa Smart

Eros exists because certain boundaries do. In the interval between reach and grasp, between glance and counter-glance, between ‘I love you’ and ‘I love you too,’ the absent presence of desire comes alive. But the boundaries of time and glance and language are only aftershocks of the main, inevitable boundary that creates eros: the boundary of flesh and self between you and me. And it is only, suddenly, in the moment when I would dissolve that boundary, that I realise I never can.

On Blushing is a group show invoking this particular absent presence that eros (proverbial desire) leaves us with—an interplay of absence and presence constantly lapsing in and out of focus as desire flickers within us. Developed in response to Anne Carson’s Eros the Bittersweet (1986), a sense of longing and yearning permeates these works. Pieces are missing here—words without a page, teeth without a mouth. Only one half of a whole. But the works here are not trying to complete themselves, they are staying suspended perfectly in this twilit margin, forever in a state of unrequited desire.

Researching this show, I’ve become enamoured with endlessly repeated images of love, now emptied of real feeling. We re-enact movements and looks and words of love, and these symbols, mutated over centuries, echo our movements back to us in turn. Swirling lights in the dark, clouds in soft focus technicolour with sweeping orchestral swells. The crystalline glamour of love imagined may briefly fill the absence and quell the longing, the weeping and gnashing of teeth. These works reveal the twist in the stomach, the tear leaking through the vision sick with beauty. A moment of life in the likeness, the movement and melting of statues.

Curated by Tom Denize

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Opening Hours

  • Thursday – Friday, 11am – 6pm
  • Saturday, 11am – 4pm


  • 211 Left Bank
  • Te Aro
  • Pōneke Wellington