LATERAL re BOOT
Opening November 15
James Cousins and William Field completed Bachelors of Fine Art in Painting at the University of
Canterbury in 1989. After 30 years of divergent art practices and professional pursuits, they
converge in Lateral re Boot at the Olga Gallery. Over this time Cousins has developed his art
practise completing a MFA in 2001 and continuing as a Senior Lecturer at Elam School of Fine
Arts in Auckland. His works are represented in private and public collections throughout Aotearoa.
Field went on to study landscape architecture and to practise as a professional landscape architect
utilising design skills informed by his fine art background. In 2018, Field recommenced painting
with Lateral re Boot presenting a selection of recently completed works.
Lateral re Boot presents a reunion of sorts, an opportunity to bring together two painters whose
shared formative art school years have been instrumental to the paths each has taken. This
exhibition is a culmination of new works that in some way represents these years of divergent art
and design pursuits.
James Cousins is known for his complex paintings which are formed from combined stencils,
found imagery and processes extending from a paint, canvas, materiality nexus. Born and raised in
Christchurch, painter James Cousins completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (1989) before qualifying
as a teacher (1998). He later went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts
in Auckland (2004), where he is currently Senior Lecturer.
Cousins’ first exhibition was in 1996 and he has exhibited regularly in New Zealand and Australia
since. In 2000, he was the recipient of the Christchurch-based Olivia Spencer Bower Award
Fellowship. Recent exhibition highlights include inclusion in Necessary Distraction at Auckland Art
Gallery Toi O Tāmaki (2016), and a solo exhibition entitled Restless Idiom at Te Uru Waitākere
Contemporary Gallery (2015).
William Field’s works are explorations of improvisational form and painting processes. The
canvases are treated as sites. As areas constrained by boundaries with a given architectural
shape and surface. These constraints trigger improvisational responses of colour interaction,
gestures, accidents and compositional transformation through a draughting-like technique
developed over many years of preparing landscape plans and graphics. The paintings are
deliberately self-referential and non-objective, and open to being interpreted and experienced in
different ways by viewers.
Raised in Dunedin, Field moved to Christchurch in 1985 to commence his fine art degree. In 1997
he completed a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (Hons) at Lincoln University and has since
practised as a registered landscape architect. William has maintained his interest in contemporary
visual art and was a member of the 6th SCAPE curatorial group in 2011. More recently he has
also been a part-time Senior Lecturer and Studio Tutor at the School of Landscape Architecture,
William Field, Garden Games, 2019
James Cousins, Untitled, 2019
An exploration of the sonic possibilities of the acoustic guitar as
a pure resonant amplifier of sound..