Interview: Lance Kerr
Luca Curci talks with Lance Kerr during VISIONS, second appointment of CANVAS INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2023, held in Venice, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Kerr received a Diploma in “Visual Communication Design”, from Ara Institute, before studying Art theory and Japanese Literature at Canterbury University. He has exhibited widely throughout New Zealand since 1999. In 2009 was selected in “Preview 09” a group show of emerging South Island Artists, curated by Dr Warren Feeney. Teaming up with QB Studios in 2017 for a solo show in Christchurch, he now has work on display with them in Christchurch and Auckland. In 2021 his work was featured in “Curatorial 3” published by Melbourne’s Capsule Books. In the same year, he was “Art Edit” Magazine artist of the week. In 2019 he made his first trip to Japan, which made a profound impact on his creative process. He is a two-time finalist in the “Aspiring Art Prize”. In 2022, He was selected for a group show of international artists called “Little Treasures” in Italy. In 2023 he took part in an international art fair in Venice Italy called “Visions” curated by “Itsliquid Group”. Now a qualified Qigong teacher, he is based on the west coast of New Zealand.
Luca Curci – What is the trigger that leads you to paint?
Lance Kerr – Strong black coffee, meditation, and music led me to paint.
LC – which artists influence your work?
LK – Monet, Rothko, Giacometti, Andre Hemer, Jose Parla, Zhang Daqian, Judy Millar.
LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
LK – I have a feeling as to what kind of approach/style I’m aiming at, but the process is instinctual. There is an element of rational decision making but this is integrated with the instinctual, where gestural mark-making predominantly emerges from muscle memory. I like to limit my artmaking to a limited collection of tools, brushes and colours and explore a range of effects within these limits.
LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it your medium of expression?
LK – Yes, I’m very much interested in Eastern spirituality and philosophy, so I look to express the mystery of existence through the play of form and emptiness. I use painting as my sole medium of expression, recontextualising abstract expressionism as my response to the current world meta-crisis.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
LK – The feeling of contentment with an inspired, blissful state of mind, I experience a feeling of mental well-being, which arises from contemplating the work, I like to listen to ambient music when viewing.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this event? How is it connected
to the theme of the entire exhibition?
LK – For the individual and collective to be open to periods of transition and change as we move into a radical and emergent future. My message connects to the theme of the exhibition in ideas around the shifting roles of our identities and how we are emerging into new roles and evolving into a new reality.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
LK – Yes, I’m in line with Itsliquid’s vision, I also value an integrated vision of art and its value in our emergent world space.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID platform?
LK – It’s a great platform that gives artists like me who are based in remote countries like New
Zealand has an opportunity to showcase its creativity in cultural centres like Venice. I see it as a way to bring artists together to inspire and share their vision and unique versions and perspectives on reality.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
LK – Yes, for me it has been a way to show my work to a bigger, wider audience, giving me greater
opportunities as an artist. Without its liquid, getting my work displayed in an international gallery,
alongside groundbreaking artists would be only a dream and not a reality.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
LK – Yes, it has been an enjoyable inspiring experience. Having the support of an experienced and
cooperative team during the whole process gave me so much confidence that my art would be
handled and shown with the same respect as if I was doing it myself.