This two metre high gnome silently gazes out across the streetscape, contemplating all who pass by. A cheeky piwakawaka (fantail) playfully perches on his right shoulder, while a curious pepeketua(New Zealand frog) quietly rests on his hand. While gnomes are commonly identified with cute and kitsch garden ornaments, they have a rich and complex history. The word gnome originates from the Greek gnosis, meaning knowledge. Gnomes were closely associated with the science of alchemy, and were thought to be guardians of minerals and metals. This bronze gnome stands as a thoughtful guardian of his surroundings. A hero of the wise philosophers of everyday life, the monumental figure is both ridiculous and sublime.
Reflecting his broad range of subject matters, Gregor Kregar's oeuvre encompasses an extensive and unique array of media that ranges from stainless steel, glazed porcelain, lambda print photography, and found objects such as recycled timber and neon lighting, that inevitably make the audience question their role as the viewer. While such works as Pygg Bank Project (2005-2006), and the Matthew 12:12 RWC series (2011) play on the artist's role in a national and international cultural identity, his more recent work such as Fragmented Illuminations (2013) sees a refreshing and challenging take on audiences' preconceptions of what constitutes 'good' and 'successful' architecture.
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