A new 'Offcut' series from Welfe Bowyer ~ View HERE ~

Various Saturns Nick Mullaly

KAUKAU presents Various Saturns, a solo exhibition by Nick Mullaly. This is Mullaly’s first showing with the gallery, and first exhibition in Aotearoa New Zealand.

VARIOUS SATURNS: Exhibition Response by Sholto Buck

'If I were superstitious, I’d tell you to be careful around the paintings. They move in omens and wishes and the longing in them turns on the axle of a fate yet undecided. He loves me, he loves me not. Nick Mullaly’s distinct images merge desire and superstition to produce open narrative meaning. Spilled salt portends bad luck and treachery, supposedly dating back to Judas’ betrayal of Jesus. Meanwhile, in the language of dreams a toothache signifies a loss of trust in oneself. A coin tossed in a fountain or well, an appeal to the gods for a wish to be granted. This is heavy symbology for work that is so light on its feet. Though melancholy, we are presented with openings. The paintings anticipate futures. A spark ignites or goes out. Crisis foreshadows the split that ruins love. Mullaly’s work explores the vernacular of signs and superstitions in order to show the paths that desire always, inevitably, has and will again, lay out for us.


Elizabeth Wilson says of the tarot that “the images act as a gateway to the different perception of emotions. You do not have to believe in the occult to see in the allegorical depictions of power, love, despair and expectation and hope a different mirror for your life, in that space between play and hidden meaning” (154). When I look at two lovers kissing in the background of a salt shaker on its side, I want to play in the associative spaces that open up—perhaps an affair, or a final embrace before things go bad. When I look at the painting of my back as I toss a coin behind it, I think of all the things I might wish for. I have never sung karaoke, but when I do, I’ll be crooning to the celestial bodies above me. I’ll be begging for signs.'

Artists