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Dead Reckoning - Megan Brady & Oliver Perkins

Oliver Perkins, Study for TPR Mural, acrylic on pre-primed canvas, 2018
Megan Brady, The prime number few (detail), Dunlop memory foam, 2018/9
16 Jan 2019 to 17 Feb 2019
Wednesday 16 January to Sunday 17 February
New work by Megan Brady and Oliver Perkins. Two large scale installations address the site of The Physics Room’s temporary home within the Christchurch Art Gallery, Te Puna O Waiwhetū.
Event type: 
Art, Exhibition
The Physics Room
49-59 Worcester Boulevard Christchurch central


Dead Reckoning
Megan Brady and Oliver Perkins

Exhibition Preview: Wednesday 16 January, 5.30pm 
Exhibition Runs: 17 January–17 February 2019

Wednesday 16 January, 12.30pm: Exhibition Talk with Megan Brady, Oliver Perkins, and Jamie Hanton

In Dead Reckoning, Megan Brady and Oliver Perkins directly address the site of The Physics Room’s temporary home within the Christchurch Art Gallery, Te Puna O Waiwhetū via two large-scale interventions.

In the terminology of navigation, ‘dead reckoning’ is a process of orienting oneself using the visual signs of the immediate surroundings without a compass or other wayfinding device. How does this occur in The Physics Room’s current site: a gallery within a gallery? The artists consider this space as both a destination and as a thoroughfare for a potentially more obvious destination—especially in these tourist-heavy summer months—two quite distinct environments to negotiate.

Perkins’ Painting for the Clarification of Internal Architecture and Institutional Identity (PCIAII) borrows from the language of the public mural. Painting directly onto the hallway windows between the Worcester Boulevard entrance and the Christchurch Art Gallery’s Design Store, Perkins has reversed the original architectural intention; transforming transparency to opacity. His intervention is a distant cousin of the whitewashed shop front, though the sentiment is still murmured by the visible marks of the roller.

Frequently seduced by the subtleties of our surroundings, Megan Brady’s practice explores ideas around intention, interaction, and navigation. Through contemplating the transitory nature of our public spaces, she collects and celebrates the soft details of these environments. Looking for ways to distract those whose presence within The Physics Room is somewhat accidental, Brady proposes an alternative route employing soft sculpture and sound to slow navigation and induce contemplation—not only of the work inhabiting the gallery, but of the space itself.


Megan Brady is a Dunedin-based artist working across multidisciplinary fields. Newly graduated (2017), she holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts (First Class Honours) from the Dunedin School of Art, and recently exhibited her first solo show A quiet corner where we can talk (2018) at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Within the creative community of Ōtepoti she is a board member of the Blue Oyster Arts Trust and facilitates creative practices at Studio2/Margaret Freeman Gallery – a small, all-inclusive art studio for local artists with disabilities.

Christchurch-based Oliver Perkins received his MA from Chelsea School of Art, London, and is well represented between London and New Zealand. Perkins has developed a register of material processes that both promote and disrupt the physical confines of painting. Perkins’ diverse and energetic works range from large-scale austere line paintings, to small, dense, three-dimensional constructions. Recent exhibitions include Bleeding Edge (2018), Hopkinson Mossman, Wellington, Japanese Laurel (2017), Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, Auckland, Painting: A Transitive Space, St. Paul St Gallery, AUT, Auckland, Necessary Distraction: A Painting Show (2015), Auckland Art Gallery.

Special thanks to Dunlop and Resene for their generous material support of this exhibition.

Written by

The Physics Room

16 Jan 2019

Interests The Physics Room exists to act as a catalyst for the development and promotion of ideas and debate through art.