A former Otago Polytech art student, now based in Spain, is holding his first solo Dunedin show at The Artist’s Room. Angus Collis spans style and place in his paintings, producing haunting work redolent of European cities and woodlands and small-town New Zealand.
The exhibition’s title, “Dispora”, seems a portmanteau of diaspora (the outward drift of life from one place to others) and dysphoria (a general feeling of unease). This applies particularly well to these paintings, all of which seem unsettling, unreal impressions of place. Small towns, painted in a semi-naive style, seem too bright and clean to be anything other than memory trace. The empty cityscapes with their strident perspectives seem as alien as those of Hopper and De Chirico. The woods, also studies in perspective, seem too regimented, too neat.