Sylvia Marsters, Mahiriki Tangaroa, Reuben Paterson, Kay George, Andy Leleisi’uao, Benjamin Work
Bergman Gallery Winter Group Show
4 May – June 27

This exhibition was not accompanied by an official opening due to COVID19 social distancing restrictions. 

Gallery Hours
Monday – Friday: 10-2
Saturday: 10-12 
Also available to view by appointment.

If you’ve ever had a hankering to get off the proverbial hamster wheel, chances are you have recently been gifted that experience.

It’s a global tale, with few exceptions. Entire countries’ populations have been told to stay home, in lockdown, for a month or longer. Your old normal is already a distant memory, most likely along with your old job.  For the truly unlucky, their loved ones are no longer with them. In an attempt to mitigate the full potential of the new virus, the global economy is ‘on pause’, with the subsequent economic and social consequences yet to be fully understood. A global pandemic is something, while the subject of numerous movies, TV series and books, few could possibly comprehend until today.  But we are now living amongst it, in all of its dismay, and while the world’s media devour and regurgitate it with carnal delight, it is difficult to accept what is happening and to see what comes next.

I am lucky to be far away from the virus itself. It has not invaded Rarotonga. We are very lucky in that regard. But we are not immune to its impact, our island has become an isolation zone, devoid of our most prized economic asset, tourists. Like the rest of the world, our economy has slowed to a crawl, and there is no get out of jail free card in sight.  For the moment, our government is in full economic damage control and the population is calm.  We don’t know what comes next. Like you, I try to make sense of the news, and listen to politicians closely (sometimes too closely) to garner some sense of future normal.

In the meantime, we look to our immediate surround, for comfort, food, conversation and release.  What was dull and old has become shiny and engaging.   What and whom we did not have time for then, we now have ample. It is time to reevaluate, reappreciate, to (re) look. In that vein, I re-present a series of paintings that need to (re) speak to you.  They were created before the virus however their message is pertinent.  They offer a viewpoint of hope, an appreciation of history, they possess strength and character – attributes that are valuable at any point, especially now.

We will beat the virus, eventually; and when we do, I hope that a new degree of appreciation for who we are and what is important to us comes from the experience. Ben Bergman.

All images courtesy Turama Photography.