The recently opened Ron Mueck Sculpture Exhibition at the Christchurch Art Gallery is providing a much need escape from the continuing aftershocks (1500 and still counting) that have been rocking Christchurch since the beginning of September.

Instead of talking earthquakes, people are talking about naked bodies. To be exact, they are talking about Ron Mueck’s hyperrealistic human body sculptures which faithfully reflect the most minute physical details of the human body. From head to toe, young to old, nothing is missing. Skin pores, moles, wrinkles, hair – all factors of the human condition are exposed.

Many of the sculptures give new meaning to the ‘larger than life’.

But not all of them. Some are ‘smaller than life’.

But all are so detailed that, if they had been made to human sized, they could almost be mistaken for real people.

But unlike real people, who are able to mask their feelings, these hyerrealistic bodies, unable to hide behind a mask, convey feelings of loneliness, vulnerability, and alienation.

The Ron Mueck Exhibition at the Christchurch Art Gallery from 2 October 2010 to 23 January 2011.

(photo credit: Liz Lewis 2010)

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Liz Lewis is a New Zealand based writer who favors wine tasting and food markets over bungy jumping and mountain climbing.

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