Monterey Gallery still evolving 18 years on

This month, Monterey Gallery co-owner, HOLLY DAVIES talks about the gallery’s new exhibition featuring the abstract work of Mo Stewart and ceramics by Kiya Nancarrow.

Last month we celebrated Monterey Gallery’s 18th birthday and it’s no small feat that this humble little gallery has continued to evolve for nearly two decades in our beautiful but far east Auckland suburb! It wouldn’t be without the continued support of our patrons,
artists, our faithful regulars, new friends and the Howick Village community, so, thank you!

It’s hard to believe just nine months have passed since I started at Monterey and it has been a roller coaster of back-to-back exhibitions, eight in total so far, but we’re not stopping yet – we have two more exhibitions before the end of the year and next up is a solo show of paintings by Mo Stewart which opens on November 4, 3pm.

If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing Mo’s earlier works you’ll know she hasn’t always focused on abstracts. Her earlier paintings included huge bodies of stunning portraits and even a period where she painted highly detailed tin-can cities complete with matchbox cars and crowds of tiny pedestrians.

Abstract painting was a challenge Mo set upon herself a few years ago and her intention is to find balance between calm and chaos with her heavy, oversized brush strokes and soft graphite details.

Gesture is evidently important within her search for those harmonious combinations and the optimum balance is an elusive thing.

Each painting transforms several times but countless layers hiding beneath add positively to the overall texture of each piece.

Mo has been a practising artist for over 15 years and she has been a finalist in the Estuary Art Awards, placed second in the Franklin Art Awards and first place in Royal Easter Show. Her paintings will be accompanied by elegantly coiled ceramics made by Waiheke-based
artist, Kiya Nancarrow.