A Place to Put the Ghosts
Alan Ibell, 21 March – 11 April 2020
Jhana Millers, Wellington
Alan Ibell’s painting practice explores narrative and figuration alongside the uncanny and the Antipodean gothic. Borrowing imagery from dreams, memories, personal anxieties and existential musings — and wider sources ranging from classical mythology to pop music — Ibell creates visual allegories of a perilous paradise — tranquil, inescapable, disjointed.
Figures exist in surreal landscapes searching for fulfilment, be it spiritual or other, conveying a poetic or abstract visual experience.
In A Place to Put the Ghosts, Ibell experiments with new colours and forms, while returning to familiar themes and images — the house, the figure, the landscape. By resurfacing these motifs, as from the depths of memory, he gestures towards a type of ghost, that of the past self, half- forgotten but never fully erased. With these works Ibell encourages us to consider the nature of our own self-reinventions and place-building. Are we ever in control of where we put our own ghosts?
Alan Ibell lives and works in Auckland. He studied painting at the Otago Polytechnic School of Art in Dunedin, and spent several years in Melbourne before returning to New Zealand in 2016. Ibell has been a finalist in the Wallace Art Awards and received 1st prize in the City of Dunedin Art Awards and the Edinburgh Realty Art Award.