Beth Hilton – Pyrrha (06/08/2020 – 29/08/2020)

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Please join us to celebrate the opening of Pyrrha, a new exhibition by Beth Hilton.

Happily, Beth will perform at the opening event alongside ambient musician, Perry Bouy (Sarah Bouy).


“Focused vision confronts us with the world whereas peripheral vision envelops us in the flesh of the world”
– Juhani Pallasmaa, Eyes of the Skin (1996)


Pyrrha is a city described by the character of Marco Polo in Italo Calvino’s 1972 novel, Invisible Cities, in which Marco Polo recounts the coastline, the long streets, the stirring wind and the colour of the dust in the air. In the Calvino’s novel, Pyrrha exists equally and simultaneously in experience and as a manifestation of memory. As Invisible Cities unfolds, the question is posed: Is the reality of Pyrrah a product of experience, or is it only truly experienced through recollection?

Regardless, Pyrrha is remembered and is the namesake for this exhibition.

The works included in this presentation are also based on a fictional space where the experience is embodied as fragments of perception and memory. The exhibition examines the dialectic relationship between subjective experiences of space and the role which memory plays in interpreting them. Often romanticised are the peripheral observations such as the play of light on a table top, or the resonant quality of a vase, and Hilton’s works propose that, while they are perhaps more surrogate descriptions than accurate representations, it is in these anecdotes that the truest meaning of a space is to be discovered.

Throughout the exhibition spaces are articulated through a series of large format silver gelatin prints and collected sounds. These photographic works are made without the use of a conventional camera and are meditations on texture, light and surface. They are intimate studies of recollection and remembered resonance rather than objective representations, inviting a kind of ‘Rorschach engagement’ which allows viewers to discover their own associations and meanings.

As with all sounds heard within enclosed spaces, what is heard within the galleries is dictated by both the spaces’ acoustic envelopes and by the physical materials which engender them. The sounds themselves may not be of distinctive importance to the observer, however it is in the context of the space that gives the experience of a sound its anamnesis value – its meaning in relation to that which exists in memory.


Associated event: Guided tour and discussion with the artist followed by a casual workshop exploring alternative means of recording spaces including frontage/surface rubbings and abstract drawing.
Saturday 8 August, 1pm


Beth Hilton is an Ōtepoti based artist whose work stems from an exploration of form and texture through varied manipulations of light. Producing both live projection works and static prints, her early engagement with architectural study continues to shape her sensitivities to composition and towards her treatment of light and shadow. Working primarily with analogue methods, her work embraces the notions of impermanence and atrophy. This is particularly evident in her treatment of texture seen in her hand made negatives.

She has previously worked under the name Satori performing live expanded cinema as audio/visual collaborations with sonic artists.


Opens: Thursday 6 August, 5.30pm (with refreshments from Liberty Brewing Company)
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12.00pm – 4.00pm
Closes: Saturday 29 August

Special event: Saturday 8 August, 1pm