Year: 2013

Blue water colour at Ramp Gallery

Blue Water Colour. Simon Morris. 2 – 23rd October. Ramp Gallery A group of 8 small square format paintings displayed in the window space titled “Daily paintings” from their process, form the entrance into Simon Morris’s “Blue water color” at Ramp gallery. A new addition to the ongoing body of work, taking on new physical forms adapting and responding to its architectural underpinning. On first viewing the work, I was reminded of a quote from a tribute piece too Julian Dashper in The Reading Room Issue 4 (2010) which says, “Take something away to make it stronger”. Morris employs this reductive method in painting to his in-situ work. His approach in a formal scientific-like process — the addition of a specific measure of water to pigment in an exponential manner — along with the brush stroke applied directly to the wall, create a segmented vertical gradient both taking over, and conform to the space it inhabits. Here 59 brush strokes, each created in one single motion, starting from blue. The large gestural application and its …

Investment Position at Dog Park Art Project Space

Investment Position. Oliver van der Lugt 19 Oct – 10 Nov 2013. Dog Park Art Project Space. Thoughts on Oliver van der Lugt’s Investment Position at Dog Park Art Project Space (19 October – 10 November 2013) through the lens of Sut Jhally’s mapping of “commodity fetishism” in four successive stages. 1. Utility/idolatry, in which commodities are freed from being merely utilitarian things. A precarious arrangement of generically based objects overwhelms the gallery space, offering a series of individual elements within a field of replaceable sameness. Attentions to the arrangement’s structure and aesthetic value fall away as the objects themselves define a narrative of economic references. Stacks of cheap jeans and cinder blocks sit on and around the scaffolding, with a risibly enlarged clothing store receipt draped over the top of the structure and across the floor. In one area, a pair of jeans stretches across a section of scaffolding, carrying the weight of three 20kg cinder blocks. Another pair of jeans cradles a television screen as it presents a series of short, choreographed clips …

One Night, Four Weeks at Window Gallery

One Night, Four Weeks. Bryn Roberts, Bridget Riggir, Robin Murphy. September. Window Gallery. One Night, Four Weeks by Bryn Roberts, Bridget Riggir, and Robin Murphy is a recent installment of the student co-operative – Window.  The exhibitions display of The John Weeks Memorial Trust, come baring the disenfranchised relics of an earlier school of Elamites.   The collection of paintings, drawings and prints come carrying names, big and small. Colin McCahon, Don Binney, Toss Woolaston and the trust’s naming-figure John Weeks, together representing some of the major proponents of New Zealand modernism. Among these titans of our tentative national canon, are less certain names – Ben Corban, Adriana Tuscia and Helen Mitchel; but-a-few of the anonymous figures that announce the collections breadth and eclecticism.                                                                                                                                                      Roberts, Riggir and Murphy have not delivered a long overdue survey-show of the collection, but rather presented the artworks collared with their current institutional reliance. Through the snippets of back door politics made available to us, the objects are recast as insurance liabilities, status symbols of the Executive branch, and …

Ranui 135 at Anna Miles Gallery

Ranui 135. Edith Amituana’i. 19 June – 27 July 2013. Anna Miles Gallery The traditional idea of home being a physical location, usually a hometown where one was raised, is not so relative to people today. The idea of home has become an abstract concept. With large communities of immigrants moving to New Zealand, what becomes of their home now? Is it the one they left behind or the one that they are creating in their new country? How do we connect to a physical place that we may have only just newly arrived at. Auckland artist Edith Amituanai questions these notions herself through her photographic practice. Her images involve communities, people and their everyday lives. It is the simple act of living and connecting to our surroundings that inspires and motivates Amituanai’s work. Her last series of work involved photographing children passing by her driveway on their way to and from school. Rather than continue to keep herself contained in her own immediate surroundings, for her latest showing Ranui 135 she has chosen to …

Painters in the Third Dimension at Nathan Homestead

Painters in the Third Dimension. Carolyn Gilbert, Kenneth Merrick, Emma Smith, Catherine Fookes. 18 July – 11 August. Nathan Homestead. The group show recently on at the Nathan Homestead (18 July to 11 August) presented a diverse and coherent body of work. Carolyn Gilbert’s photographs, Kenneth Merrick’s objects and paintings and Emma Smith’s installation combined to produce four distinctive spaces that call to one another. Catherine Fookes’ works connected object and painting. “Rena (Bay of Plenty)” evokes the stranded wreck of the container ship, perilously balanced on a reef; an environmental disaster, a monument to bad policy and the loss of innocence along New Zealand’s coast. The naïve powder blue waves lull me into an appreciation of this ungainly form, as its brown rusted and utilitarian hull protrudes physically and stylistically from the image itself. It’s a beautiful disaster. “Lucky Dip” is a bright orange square that energises the wall, shouting to another loud but balanced object. I recognise the object from the flyer. But on its plinth it becomes accessible; its worn edges tell …

Logical Coherence at Ferari Space

Logical Coherence. Mason Vincent, Jessica Driver, Fu-On Chung. 2-17 August 2013. Ferari Space. “It has been said that in order to receive kindness, one must be generous with acts of kindness of their own. Or to treat others in a manner in which they themselves would like to be treated. And thus the idea of friendship came into fruition in this world. The idea of camaraderie is alluring, helping our fellow brothers and sisters in order to move forth in unison. There is comfort in the knowledge of belonging to a fellowship or a pact. Through the act of lending sympathy towards each other, Logical Coherence becomes an amalgamation of disparate aesthetic values.” I don’t really know what that paragraph has to do with the show, but, but the actual paintings that it’s promoting are excellent. I had not been to Ferari before, and being keen to check it out for months, the Ferari boys were kind enough to open up on a Wednesday afternoon while I was up in AKL. The space is much …

A Message for Otis Frizzel at Williamson Ave

Public Mural. Otis Frizzel. Williamson Ave, Ponsonby. A MESSAGE FOR OTIS FRIZZEL. Since you are one of the few “street artists” that “broke out and made it in the art scene” by being one of the few that isn’t a “lazy bum” (your words), and as you are “educated”, you must know a thing or two about context. The hood you are talking about has an average house price of $1.003m. Before Grey Lynn and Ponsonby were brutally and systematically gentrified under Robert Muldoon at the hands of the police, it used to be the hood. Dawnraids happened. Young kids and whole whānau were raided at the wee hours of the morning and thrown out of their homes. This was a time of revolutionaries. Ngā Tamatoa and the Polynesian Panthers were formed. In response to the continued attacks on Māori and Polynesian youth, the PIG (Police Investigation Group) patrol was formed as an arm of the Panthers. The group’s main objective was to monitor police activity to try and protect young Māori and Pacific islanders …

Hit me with your best shot at The Physics Room

Hit me with your best shot. Janet Lilo. The Physics Room. 26 July – 25 August. The kids from Hornby High. At home I’m always conscious of how white I am. Strolling down the main road of Otahuhu, I have the farest skin. I am Samoan. Arriving in Christchurch I am very conscious of how Pacific I am. When I shared my story about art and life with the Pacific kids from Hornby High, it almost slipped out. So often in Auckland based youth mentorship programs we talk about how there are few Pacific people in our tertiary institutions or art schools. We go on to say ‘that’s why we’re so important, because people like us are needed to provide these Eurocentric spaces with diversity’. I genuinely believe this. For many years I’ve been involved in organisations like Tautai, programs like Tuakana all about bringing us together to foster tight communities of diversity. Without these programs important things wouldn’t come into fruition for me and many like me. But as I was speaking I realized …

Dakapo’s Photostream at Dog Park Art Project Space

Dakapo’s Photostream. Joel Cocks and Sorawit Songsataya. Dog Park Art Project Space, Christchurch. 20 July – 11 August 2013. Dakapo has been a member of Flickr since January 2007. Since then, he has amassed 1,214 photos on his Photostream. At first I thought this seemed like a lot, but then I went to see how many photos I have on my Facebook photo album: 960. So I guess Dakapo’s Photostream is quite modest in size and quality, especially considering in the last 6 years he has visited ski fields, car museums, concerts, sports events and social media nights across Europe and America with his Canon EOS 30D. This guy is pretty slick, he goes places, he knows people. Dakapo is the perfect kind of Flickr member. I wonder if I Google him will I find a different kind of Dakapo on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? Flickr itself has been around since 2004; snapped up by Yahoo! in 2005; and only this year been redesigned to resemble more of a photo blog site, which coincided with …