On Paper…

August 14, 2017 § Leave a comment

Earlier this year, the lovely folks at the Wallace Arts Trust curated an exhibition of works on paper, drawn exclusively from the extensive art collection. The exhibition, titled On Paper: Drawings from the Wallace Arts Trust, sought to provide a glimpse into the varied practices and concepts of artists working on paper. Included in the exhibition was one of my works, Untitled (Panic), which had its first outing as part of the exhibition at Plaything, and acquired by the Arts Trust some years ago. As great as it was to be reunited with this work again; it was an even greater thrill to be exhibited alongside artists who I admire, respect and whose work keeps me endlessly engaged in an increasingly image saturated world.


Below is the introduction to the exhibition, written by curator Nicholas Butler:

Our first major exhibition of 2017 features works on paper from the Wallace Arts Trust collection, created with graphic and paint media. This selection aims to showcase the breadth of the Trust’s holdings by presenting nine decades of New Zealand art. Predominantly drawings or watercolours, these works are displayed throughout the first floor galleries and lobby spaces in particular groupings: mid-20th Century, drawings by sculptors, and contemporary practice.

In the Boardroom and Little Gallery are works from the mid-20th Century. Observation of daily life is a consideration for these artists with subject matter being portraiture, life drawing, studies and localised industry. Rudolf Gopas’ watercolour Portrait of Barry Ferguson of 1958 is one of several portraits taken from life, of people who sat for artists in studio or in domestic settings. These portraits convey the past – Barry Ferguson is very much a man of the 1950s with his hair slicked back and large collar. A similar sense of documenting ‘what was’ is recounted in drawings of people in factories or most notably WWII in Tail Gunner c.1940 by Christopher Perkins.

Drawings by sculptors have a particular characteristic that relates to their practice. There is a strong sense of the three-dimensional inscribed on a flat plane of paper. The forms in Marte Szirmay’s Untitled 1992 are rendered tonally, resulting in a solidity of mass. It appears as if one of her sculptures were present so viewer can perceive an actual materiality. Sculptors often draw to present ideas for commissions that may later result as sculptures – one instance being Chris Booth’s Working Drawing 1986. The drawing by Booth is diagrammatic with text and details outlining technical information, whilst also being an actual rooftop setting showing the sea in the distance.

Drawing has an important place in contemporary practice with a particularity of its own. Notably it is now an intrinsic part of an artist’s identity – who they are and do. Further, drawing is very much an end in itself as opposed to a process for producing something else. The use of motif is disparate, even a mark or brushstroke being what it is. For many of the selected artists it can be said that drawing/painting on paper is a thread, continuity of their practice. Of particular mention in this regard are: Kathy Barry, Mark Braunias, Kushana Bush, Michael Harrison, Marita Hewitt, Georgie Hill and Sam Mitchell.

Foyer View 01

(left to right) Peter Robinson, John Reynolds, Richard Lewer

Foyer View 02

(left to right) John Reynolds, Richard Lewer, Kathy Barry

Foyer View 03

(left to right) John Pule, Kathy Barry

Master Bedroom 01

(left to right) Nicola Donald, Kushana Bush, Aleksandra Petrovic, Luise Fong, Allen Maddox, Emma Paton; (above) Gregor Kregar

Master Bedroom 03

(left to right) Kushana Bush, Aleksandra Petrovic

Master Bedroom 02

(left to right) Ross Ritchie, Francis Upritchard, Georgie Hill, Jessica Johnston, Julian Hooper; (above) Gregor Kregar

Master Bedroom 04

(left to right) Jessica Johnston, Julian Hooper, Mark Braunias, Seraphine Pick, Sam Mitchell, Michael Prosee; (above) Gregor Kregar


All images Copyright 2017, Aleksandra Petrovic


Experiments in Chalk, Part Two…

August 12, 2017 § Leave a comment

Allpress drawing_August 2017

Allpress drawing_March 2017

Allpress drawing_March 2016

Allpress drawing_January 2016

All images Copyright 2017, Aleksandra Petrovic

Experiments in Chalk…

January 8, 2016 § Leave a comment

Allpress drawing_July 2014

Every once in a while, I get asked to contribute a drawing as ‘payment’ for all of the coffee I regularly consume. It has been no secret to anyone who knows me that I greatly enjoy my coffee and can happily consume it at any hour of the day, or night, hot or cold, and in any season. Additionally, it is common knowledge that I loathe the hours between 4am and 11am, so consumption of this magical elixir makes for a more tolerant, co-operative, and all around buoyant version of myself than would normally be greeting the outside world.

Below are some drawings done on the chalkboard which normally hangs on outside the entrance to the Allpress retail store, located on Ponsonby Road, in Auckland. Some have a theme, whereas others advertise the special Christmas blend which is only sold during the month of December.

Allpress drawing_December 2015

Allpress drawing_January 2016

Allpress drawing_December 2014

All images Copyright 2017, Aleksandra Petrovic

Paper Assassins…

December 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

Wallpaper Piece-Brown Frame, Sharpie Pen_low res 2

A good friend got me involved in an upcoming group exhibition, called Paper Assassins, which will kind of act as a clearing out of the proverbial cobwebs, otherwise known as folders upon folders of drawings, and a refreshing start, to what is hoped will be a productive summer of working. On drawings as well as my moon tan.

Below is the posted for the exhibition, which only runs Saturday 5th December, until Sunday 6th December. There will be an opening function, from 6pm on Friday 4th December, with support and goodies kindly provided by The Biz Dojo, Tiger Beer and the Online Printer.The exhibition itself will be in Gallery One Oh Eight, Suite 108, which is at Bizdojo, Ironbank, 150 Karangahape Rd, Auckland.

I should also extend the most gracious of thanks to my friend for reminding me about this exhibition, as things currently are a whirlwind and are forgotten unless they are written down in the diary!


Paper Assasins colour poster


All images Copyright 2017, Aleksandra Petrovic


The old becoming the new…

July 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

freeing swallows_instagram

A while ago, I wrote about revising some old works of mine, that have been tucked away in my studio. Well, now they are seeing the light of day, again, albeit while exhibited on a gallery wall. A former colleague of mine fell in love with a work from the series, and now a dozen others will be exhibited at Depot Artspace, in Devonport, from 12th July.

    Artworks 01_low res

It’s been lovely to revisit these works, and re-discover why I drew them, to return to those old inspirations and examine the process of progress. It is also a good to look at these works after such a long period of distance, since they were originally created. Below are the drawings that I’ve decided to include:

The exhibition opens Saturday 12th July, from 1 – 3pm. You can find out more on Depot Artspace below:


All images Copyright 2017, Aleksandra Petrovic

Streets of Laredo. Part One

January 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

A couple of years ago, I posted about working on a t-shirt illustration for Closet, which was run by Dave Gibson. Since then, we had kept in touch, often at the same bars, restaurants and social events, and swapped tales of various projects which were occupying our time. In 2012, Dave, his brother Dan, and wife Sarah, moved to New York. A short time later, they formed a band called Streets of Laredo. Taking inspiration from 1970’s travelling folk bands comprising of family members and close friends, they embarked on playing shows and writing songs. I was incredibly flattered to have been asked to provide them with some material for posters, and later on for the cover art for their two-volume EP.

Below are the covers for Volumes I and II:


Volume I EP cover_low res for web

Volume-II_low res for web

Below are images of the various posters for shows, promoting the covers for EP Volumes I and II.

gig poster 29 Dec 2012

gig poster_7 Jan 2013

gig poster 27 Jan 2013

gig poster_March 2013_facebook

gig poster_6 June 2013

gig poster_11 Oct 2013

gig poster_22 nov 2013 02

gig poster_22 nov 2013

Upon listening to some material, drawings were chosen that fit well with the imagery evoked by the music, as well as my previous knowledge of the band members themselves, and their tastes. I also chose drawings that would not only succeed as a graphic poster, but also create a narrative based around the imagery which could engage passers by.

Posters were pasted around New York, as well as in Auckland, and I have included some images below:

gig poster_promo 06

gig poster_promo 07

gig poster_promo 01

gig poster_promo 02

gig poster_promo 03

gig poster_promo 04

gig poster_promo 05

The New Zealand Herald published a review of Volumes I and II in November 2013, including my cover illustration.

NZ Herald review


All images Copyright 2017, Aleksandra Petrovic

When Music is the Muse….

August 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

Untitled_Starlight_2003_low res for web

Untitled (Starlight), (2013), pen, ink and pencil on paper, 330mm x 250mm

For my second group exhibition at Uxbridge Gallery in Howick, the brief was to take inspiration from a composition or song, and create an artwork based around an this auditory information. My selection was Starlight, by Benjamin Cleaver, which is richly textured song, whose brevity only hints at the wonders to come from Cleaver. The lyrics speak of isolation and nighttime thoughts and meanderings, but it was the music that struck me as particularly inspiring. The layers of instruments allude to action, and it compelled me to investigate my thoughts around particular hours in the night.

I am rather fond of working at night, and have often mentioned that my practice of toiling over sheets of paper surrounded by vials of ink is a solitary act, seldom witnessed by others. This habit of working at nighttime developed at a young age, when my respite from the noise and bustle of the day was after dark, and has easily progressed into adulthood. I like letting my thoughts wander; I often look out at the sky, even if it is overcast, and let the free association that occurs in an uninhibited mind take over and lead me to my next work. Perhaps it was this affinity that attracted me to the song by Cleaver; and I appreciated the many associations evoked by the instrumental arrangement and overlay of vocals, which soar with ease like another instrument.

Below is the flyer for the exhibition:

When Music's the Muse_low res for web

The exhibition opens on Thursday 22nd August and continues until 6th October.

Below is a photograph of the work installed, courtesy of Julie Zhu Photography.

Exhibition photo 01

More information about the exhibition can be found on the Uxbridge website:


All images Copyright 2017, Aleksandra Petrovic