A defiant roar against despair by Harry Bartle
Wellington-based digital and ink illustrator, Pepper Raccoon, is extremely excited that her first solo exhibition WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I'M LOST has gone on display at Thistle Hall. On until the 15th of May, Pepper says this exhibition features works in a variety of mediums, exploring themes of nature, magic, and what happens when the natural world evolves beyond what we imagine.
“The pandemic has created this feeling of being unmoored from the outside world, like New Zealand is floating in space, and like I'm floating in my house… I flatly refuse to be lost,” Pepper explains. “The art I've created for this show celebrates the themes I've always enjoyed working with but now with a bit of a mutation or strangeness to them.”
While working as a full-time artist for the best part of five years, Pepper has done some group shows for the NZ Art Show and the Löemis Winter Festival. With this experience, Pepper feels she is finally ready for her first solo event.
After initially focusing on just fine line details with the use of black and gold ink, Pepper was commissioned by a friend to create custom panel artwork for a Ducati Monster motorcycle. The motorcycle, which will be in the gallery until the 13th of May, brought some colour to the mix and Pepper began creating more gouache and watercolour works to include alongside it. Woodland creatures with unusual features are presented in portraiture while assortments of artifacts from their imagined world are presented in upcycled frames. The titular piece presides over all, a young leopard in repose on a backdrop of gold.
“WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I'M LOST is a defiant roar against despair, a celebration of nature and magic, with swirls of fine line inkwork and washes of shimmering gold,” Pepper concludes.