Grant Thompson: Surfacing: (Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin 6 March-29 April 2001)
When attending recent ANZAC day services, I was taken by the sameness of the rows of 'official' headstones in the local cemetery. At the end of each row was a stone with no name engraved upon it. The stone stood for all the men who could not be named; possibly missing in action, it will never be known how or when they died. The ANZAC commemorations seemed to be an attempt to personify the sheer blankness of the memorial stone, and somehow remind us that these rows of stone represent individual men. Grant Thompson's installation surfacing renders a similar surface to the white shirt. He reminds us that beneath a starched white simplicity there are multiple stories, and decades of individual men wearing white shirts and making selections within what appear to be narrow ranges of style and possibility.