Time, Text & Echoes
Leigh Davis Flag Poems.
From July 20, 2010, Jar is presenting a sequence of thirty exhibitions, each devoted to a single Leigh Davis flag poem. Were it not for his death last year Jar would not be showing these works, since Jar was founded to present the works of others, not those of its of its founders, and Jar was principally his idea. As a 300 day project Time, Text & Echoes, is in keeping with Jar’s commitment to long term installations of consequential art works and it is intended to celebrate Davis’ life and work, including his role as Jar Trustee. Time, Text & Echoes re-presents the poems which first demonstrated the radical new direction of his practice in the 1990s. They foreshadow and inform the achievement of his last works which will appear within the time span of the exhibition.
All but the last of the flags to be shown at Jar were previously exhibited as single installations under the title Station of Earth-Bound Ghosts, first in the Auckland Railway station, from June 15-28th, 1998, and then at the Gisborne Army Hall, from March 27 to February 24, 1999. Both were contextualized in Te Tangi a te Matuhi, Jackbooks, 1999, edited by Davis and Curnow. Colour images of these works may be accessed on the Leigh Davis website www.jackbooks.com
While Leigh Davis authored of the concept and texts of these works, their transformation into flags was the result of his collaboration with two designers, Christine Hansen and Stephen Canning. Nothing Will Keep (flag 21) is an exception, being designed and painted by John Reynolds.
Davis wished to thank Mrs. Tihei Algie and her family for the use of the image in Macoute (flag 2), the National Archive for the image in Un Guerrier (flag 18), the British Museum for that in A Flag Compared (flag 24), and the Bibliotheque National for that in Adoration of the Bleeding Edge (flag 26).
From these designs the flags were manufactured by Blue Grass Flags. Traditional labour-intensive techniques were used to realize the computer-generated images supplied by the designers. Most of the detailing, including the texts, was hand-traced, machine-appliqued, and hand-trimmed. Most of the flags are dyed polyester knit, appliquéd onto dyed woven bunting, with canvas head, sisal halyard and brass slip clips. They measure 1.5m x 3.5m.
In keeping with its commitment to extended presentations, Jar will show Davis’ 30 poem flags one at a time in a sequence of ten-day hoists. This procession of exhibitions will continue for 300 days, commencing in July 2010 and concluding in May 2011.