Circles and natural forms are part of the work of Mark Wooller. A group of paintings called Crop Circles are in his extensive show at the Warwick Henderson Gallery. All the works with one exception use his established style of painting extensive areas of dense bush made up of large trees packed closely together. The trees are uniformly dark green with touches of red rata berries. The painting is done with minute care.
In Crop Circles, an exactly circular area of different and brighter touches of vegetation suggests some sort of ritual intervention. It is an appealing motif with a touch of magic.
The other pieces are similar to Wooller's previous work where the bush is crossed by intersecting roads with familiar street names, such as Nelson St or Cook St. These evoke pioneering beginnings. The mood is intensified by groups of envelopes, once again exactly painted down to the stamps and postmarks of correspondence related to the later inhabitants of these streets. Similarly, the dark bush is divided by paintings of carpenters' rulers, with the artist especially fond of the brass hinge of the tool. Pioneer building is evoked.
One exceptional painting represents the empty land that is to become Auckland dramatically reaching down to the sea like a giant hand tattooed with early surveyor's marking out of sections. It is a potentially useful variation on the artist's milder take on the development of the city's landscape.
T J McNamara, The Herald, April 27, 2013.