It is great to see Peter Stichbury showing back in New Zealand with a suite of nine new works on paper.
Executed in coloured pencil on a dark grey paper the drawings are exquisitely detailed and employ delicate lines and subtle chiaroscuro to reveal their characters in a style reminiscent of early silver gelatin photography. The nine works are each portraits - head shots of neatly groomed male figures with pensive stares.
Peter has titled the exhibition 'Sources and Methods', a term used to describe the practice of intelligence collection and analysis. The individual titles of the drawings, each being the name of the depicted character, allow us to define their association as a squad of men linked by their connection to UFO's.
Frederick Valentich for example was a 'flying saucer enthusiast' and amateur pilot who in 1978 at age 20 disappeared on a training flight over Australia's Bass Strait. Having radioed air traffic control to report that he was being followed by a large unidentified aircraft, he disappeared without trace and the cause of his disappearance remains undetermined.
All the portraits have a similar tale to tell, with the subjects being closely associated with government cover ups and leaked top secret reports - rendered in Stichbury's unique and signature style.