Crown Lynn New Zealand - The Ambiguous Image
her dissatisfaction with her holiday, her surroundings and her life
Physics Room, Christchurch, 2000.
A major public art project for the Physics Room in 2000, this temporary
billboard was erected on the High Street side of the Physics Room building.
The billboard was produced by Crown Lynn New Zealand - a collaborative
team of artists and designers - in this instance including Rudolf
Boelee, Maria Langley and Brian Shields.
The former trademark of Crown Lynn Potteries Limited was acquired by
the artists in 1994, and has been used to present several projects since
then, including the Ambiguous Image series. Once known as the crowning
glory of the ceramic industry in New Zealand, in the postwar period Crown
Lynn offered a stylish range with a touch of elegance and modern perfection.
The Ambiguous Image billboard uses a still from a 1960s new wave film - a
visual style which has been an influence throughout much of Rudolf Boelee’s
artistic career. The filmic element is blown up to cinematic proportions
in the billboard, the dimensions and scale similar to that of a movie
screen. But the image presented is a grainy close-up, distorting the
image and rendering the billboard familiar yet indistinct.
Although the image has been sourced from film, the style and the format
of the billboard are equally suggestive of the visual language of advertising.
Aping the methods of advertising, Boelee and Crown Lynn presented a visual
statement for Christchurch without any commercial message. The text provides
the only suggestion of narrative, evocative of a general malaise observed
by the artist as an immigrant to New Zealand, that living here is regarded
by many as an unsatisfying step towards some greater goal or a better
Following on from this project, Crown Lynn produced The
Ambiguous Image - figures
in a mental landscape, a publication featuring 12 virtual billboards
for Christchurch. And with a Physics Room exhibition in 2003, Boelee
presents the third part of The Ambiguous Image - her
reworking the billboard and expanding the debate around living in Christchurch
as an artist.
Reviews, Essays & Articles
Physics Room shows
Christchurch star, 2000 Sept. 27, p. A8
That's Entertainment and The Ambiguous Image.