Oscar Enberg at Mossman

Artist: Oscar Enberg

Exhibition title: Goodwife Bishop

Venue: Mossman, Wellington, New Zealand

Date: November 15 – December 21, 2019

Photography: Harry Culy / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Mossman, Te Aro

In the bleak mid-winter,
Or the long summer moan;
Goodwife Bishop set a table,
So full it did groan
Laden with a bird,
Seventeen times done
She opened the door,
And closed it to none.

Enough for those, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk,
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for those, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel,
Which adore.

In the bleak mid-winter,
Many gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim,
Thronged the air;
In her house all lit up,
While she toiled and nursed
Goodwife Bishop was betrayed,
She was cursed.

The biscuits scorched badly,
And the milk ran with blood
No more singing from heaven,
No more messages from above
Children pure as snow
And fathers who protect,
Turned wicked and foul,
Began to suspect.

Her goodness, heaven could not
Hold her, nor earth sustain,
Heaven and earth shall flee away,
When they hear of her pain:
In the long hot summer,
They gave her a new name
Accused her of craft and
Committed her to flame.

How could I help her,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd,
I would offer a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man,
I would do my part –
What can I give her,
Give her your heart.

-Henry Davidson, Poem for Goodwife Bishop, 2019, born from Christina Rosetti’s 1872 poem In The Bleak Midwinter.

Mossman is pleased to present Goodwife Bishop, a solo exhibition of new sculpture by Oscar Enberg.

Oscar Enberg (1988, Christchurch) lives and works in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include: Death of a Housewife, Stadium, Berlin (2019); The first cuck, St. Joseph, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2019); Taste & Power, a prologue, Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland (2018); Der Amethyst, Die Opale, Die Agamemnon (curated by Maurin Dietrich), Frankfurt am Main, Berlin (2017); troubles de la croissance (der ursprung des pendels), Sculpture Terrace, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki (2016); and the prophet, the wise, the technician, and the Pharisee, Artspace, Auckland (2015). In 2017 Enberg presented Red Beryl and crocodile, Opal (Irrational Exuberance in the White Man’s Hole) at Art Basel Statements and was awarded Germany’s ars viva 2018 prize, that included exhibitions at Kunstverein München and at S.M.A.K in Gent, Belgium.