Reuben Paterson The End 2016. Cotton fabric with metallic particles. Courtesy of the artist and Milford Galleries, commissioned by Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

Reuben Paterson The End 2016. Cotton fabric with metallic particles. Courtesy of the artist and Milford Galleries, commissioned by Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

Reuben Paterson - The End

I am a clown. I spent my whole life perfecting the art of idiocy, learning my trade outside the Gallery on the corner of Worcester Boulevard and Montreal Street –  cutting my teeth as a street performer. Then one day, I was invited to step inside the Gallery, to write about art. Naturally, I felt nervous, but excited.

After playing for perhaps a little too long with the kids’ puzzle wall in the foyer, I took a slow stroll through the richly adorned, august walls, surveying the works of legends Ralph Hotere and Bill Hammond. I felt tiny, stood in the shadow of their imaginations.

My instinct was to write about Shane Cotton’s five-panel monster, Haymaker – it was cryptic and overwhelming, and my head was whirling, so I decided to go outside, to catch my breath.

Wow.

But out in the air I couldn’t stop thinking about the journey downstairs – the simplicity of sparkles in a square box that I’d encountered. I’d enjoyed my one-floor adventure and I wanted to ride again. I found myself laughing, how extraordinary that in a building racked with wonder, that this galactic cube would tickle me most. Becoming disorientated in a box that travels through time and space was initially a very challenging experience – it overloaded my senses, distance and depth disappeared. What way was up, what way was down? As it started to travel I felt weightless, like I was in space, like I was travelling to another time, another place.

I rode that galactic time machine again and again like a child. A mother and two small children joined me for one trip, and I was validated by one of the kids as he said “WOW!” too.

What would I write about I asked myself?

Reuben Paterson’s upgrade on the great glass elevator, called The End.

31 August 2021

Shay Horay

Shay Horay is an actor, comedian and street performer. He holds two Guinness World Records, has performed in thirty-two countries, and is so funny he should have been twins.