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The Infinite Smallness of Being: R Rolfe and D Lupton

The Infinite Smallness of Being: R Rolfe and D Lupton

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  • Fri 13 Jul ’18, 10:00am – 7:00pm
  • Sat 14 Jul ’18, 10:00am – 3:00pm
  • Mon 16 Jul ’18, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Tue 17 Jul ’18, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Wed 18 Jul ’18, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Thu 19 Jul ’18, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Fri 20 Jul ’18, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Sat 21 Jul ’18, 10:00am – 3:00pm
  • Mon 23 Jul ’18, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Tue 24 Jul ’18, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Wed 25 Jul ’18, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Thu 26 Jul ’18, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Fri 27 Jul ’18, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Sat 28 Jul ’18, 10:00am – 3:00pm
  • Mon 30 Jul ’18, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Tue 31 Jul ’18, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Wed 1 Aug ’18, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • View all sessions


Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts, 33 George Street, Palmerston North


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

The Infinite Smallness of Being features paintings by Raemon Rolfe and photography by David Lupton. Both well-known artists working in different media but sharing a vision, Rolfe and Lupton have combined to present an exhibition celebrating the small and often unseen elements which make up our universe.

Raemon Rolfe will exhibit seven small diptychs produced using oil paint mixed with wax medium and incorporating particles of materials such as sand, ash and marble dust to build up textures as well as adding meaning to the works. David Lupton will show thirteen works printed in black and white: three A2, nine A3 and one approximately A5.

The photographs were printed with a pigment printer on Ilford Gold Fibre Silk photographic paper. They are strictly one-off images not an edition as the work is part of an ongoing collaborative project David is working on with a Brazilian poet and author. The images in the exhibition are essentially publication ‘proofs’ and each bears as its title the title of a poem it will illustrate in a future publication.

“The processes that occur in the universe at the smallest end of the scale have been a continuing source of inspiration for me” writes Raemon Rolfe. “In his book of poems ‘On the Nature of Things’, Lucretius, Roman poet and philosopher (96?-55BC) wrote that ‘nature ever by unseen processes works’.

He was referring to the theories of the ancient Greek atomists 500 years before that, who believed that all matter was made of atoms or indivisible particles. In modern particle physics, the uncertain world of quantum mechanics explains how all matter and energy in the universe behaves on an atomic and subatomic level.

“The idea that we are made up of atoms and that those atoms have consciousness and curiosity so that we can wonder about our place in the universe, is the theme of the series of seven small diptychs. The poem ‘An Atom in the Universe’ by theoretical physicist Richard Feynman was the inspiration.”

David Lupton says “I have been thinking a lot about a part of a poem by my friend Adriana Lisboa, it’s not the complete poem, it is the half that keeps floating around like a seductive cloud in a darkening sky that I cannot stop looking at.

It’s a challenge to fill emptiness with the universal while trying to describe the near nothingness of simple things. How to see what is invisible at the same time and capture both in a fraction of a second. These photographs are the start of that journey, the journey of exploring these two realms of the real.

Rolfe’s brief biography states: “I’m self-taught contemporary artist. Being an artist was not seen as a viable career option in the 1960s so after graduating in geography in 1969, I entered teaching in 1970. Creativity, however, was an important part of our family life; my father was a draftsman and engineer, my mother drew and painted, and I learnt to draw and paint from an early age.

Various summer school workshops were inspirational and I have continued to explore oil painting procedures and techniques and have had regular exhibitions since the late 1960s. In 1985 I joined the art department at Palmerston North Girls’ High School.

Twenty-five years of art teaching and practice across a wide range of disciplines including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, digital art and art history have given me a versatility of form and medium, and my studies in geography, the sciences and philosophy are a continuing source of inspiration.”

David Lupton is a well-known Palmerston North photographer whose most recent general audience publication was Between the Rivers: The Manawatu co-authored with Bettina Anderson in 2012.

Lupton is also the co-owner with Ms Anderson of Hau Nui Press, a boutique publishing company based in the Manawatu. In 1995, The Palmerston North Public Library published Lupton’s Everybody’s Somebody, a book of intimate portraits of Manawatu persona based on his 1993 exhibition of the same title.

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