Hinterland II
Sandra Schmidt

Michael Hirschfeld Gallery
(at City Gallery)
10 October – 18 November 2007

The crystalline shapes and icy-coloured forms of Sandra Schmidt’s Hinterland II make up the sequel exhibition to her 2006 hot-hued Hinterland which appeared at Mary Newton Gallery, Wellington. The earlier spiky-shaped works in Hinterland expressed ideas of fire, heat, pressure and friction. In Hinterland II the focus is on cool colours and references to ice and water. Both extremes of temperature represent inhospitable areas, the back country or underdeveloped place, either metaphorical or real.

(more after the jump)

Schmidt’s works comprise of many small, often identical units which build up into wall or floor-based installation pieces; this is a system which unifies her diverse material use. A stand-out feature of Schmidt’s practice is her abstract wall-based works made from Hama beads, which are manufactured as a children’s craft activity material. The beads are painstakingly built-up into coloured shapes which are then melted together to form hardened backless paintings. As the individual beads retain some of their pixel-like shape after heating, the abstract forms leave themselves open to multiple interpretations; from computer pixels to knitting patterns, to pointillist paintings. Schmidt’s palette has a retro feel about it; dull, pale colours are placed beside vibrant primary colours, with the effect of playfully clashing and shimmering against each other.

Sandra Schmidt was born in Zwickau, East Germany in 1976 and is now a NZ resident living in Wellington. In 2003 she gained a Masters in Fine Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden, Germany. Her most recent solo exhibitions include: Hinterland, Mary Newton Gallery, Wellington, 2006; Soliloquy, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington, 2005, and Divided Skies, Whakatane Art Museum, 2003. Schmidt is represented by Mary Newton Gallery, Wellington.

City Gallery