Year: 2014

Au at Mint Gallery

Au. Murray Eskdale and Tara Douglas (with Ben Webb). 5th September – 18th September. Mint Gallery.   Au is a selection of new photographic works by Murray Eskdale and Tara Douglas. Both are Dunedin based artists who have presented their individual bodies of work on opposite sides of the gallery in a very conventional and accessible manner. A photographic installation by Webb exists in between these works on the floor. Although consistently overlooked, one felt most drawn to this work. Eskdale presented a highly cohesive series of urban landscapes taken in Shanghai. These works were inherently reflective, both in subject matter and the clever way in which these works occupied the space. This is not merely in terms of interaction with these works within the gallery, but also the space outside the gallery; the surrounding environment. Offering a documentarian approach to an unfamiliar space and a mediation perhaps upon globalisation, these images lacked a nuanced socio-cultural understanding of both site and photography. Pertinent, as photography is embedded with what it reveals, something inherently ‘cultural’. Witnessing Douglas …

WWTD: In conversation with Tracey Williams

WW..D? Is a monthly interview segment where we get to know awesome people that are part of the create community in New Zealand. This month we spoke to senior arts and culture programme leader from Auckland Council Tracey Williams. Read more for What Would Tracey Do? How long have you been working for the arts and culture team in Auckland council? I’ve been working for Auckland Council’s Arts and Culture Unit since January 2011; first as the manager of Papakura Art Gallery and from March 2013 (following a restructure) in my current role as senior arts and culture programme leader. What does a senior arts and culture programmer do? My job description says my role is a senior creative position in the curatorial team that develops the strategic regional arts and culture programme in the context of the Auckland Plan, covering all disciplines and audiences, including public art, (within and outside Council’s facilities) and delivery channels (for example, exhibitions, festivals, events, pop up programmes, seminars, classes et al). I have a regional role with a …

WWFD: In conversation with the FUZZYVIBES 5

Our monthly feature WW…D is an interview segment where we speak to various artists, writers, curators and art folk. Ophelia King, Emil Dryburgh, Nina Lloyd Joy, Liam Pram and Tristan Marler make up F U Z Z Y V I B E S on Auckland’s Krd. Between day jobs, night jobs, and running a gallery they found time to answer our questions. This month we spoke with the crew behind the new Auckland based space F U Z Z Y V I B E S. Read below for What Would F U Z Z Y Do? Who are the people behind F U Z Z Y V I B E S and what are your day jobs? Ophelia: Graphic design is my day job, fuzzy is my fun job. Emil: I work as a Gallery Assistant at Auckland Art Gallery. At this stage of my life, I can’t imagine a better day job… I give tours of the permanent collection, and meet lovely and interesting people everyday. Until very recently I was also a student at the University of Auckland, moping …

Heads On Portrait Prize at Northart

  Heads on Portrait Prize.                                                                                                                                                              June 3 – 18. Northart Gallery.   Portraits attract people, we like to look at ourselves (even more than at cats). I have to admit myself being a sociopath of sorts, but even I am drawn to portraits. Wondering what a formal definition is, I referred the Oxford English Dictionary a portrait, n. is:  A drawing or painting of a person, often mounted and framed for display, esp. one of the face or head and shoulders; (also) an engraving, photograph, etc., in a similar style. Something which represents, typifies, or resembles the …

WWLD? In conversation with the Waxing Lyrical.

WW..D? Is an interview segment where we get to know awesome people that are a part of the creative community in New Zealand. This week we spoke to curator Luke Alexander, as well as being one of our key contributors Luke Alexander is also a talented actor and heavily involved in the theatre. Read more for What Would Luke Do? Describe yourself in 3 words. Between existential crises. What is the ‘best’ book you’ve read? I don’t like to play favourites; it’s unfair to my other books, but some of my favourites are Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy), The MaddAddam trilogy (Margaret Atwood) and Frida: aBiography of Frida Kahlo (Hayden Herrera) Why write? Putting thoughts on paper makes room for new ones… it’s a catharsis that stimulates neural processes. When you’re not writing for #500words what are you doing? Wondering when Nicki Minaj will grace us with her new album. That or in a theatre, library or gallery. What is it about art that interests you in critical dialogues? I once had it said to me that the theatre of war, the …

Always My Sister at The Basement Theatre

Always My Sister. Written and directed by Michelanne Forster, starring Torum Heng, Jess Sayer & Chris Tempest, Costumes by Charlie Baptist, Lighting by Ruby Reihana-Wilson.  June 10-21. The Basement Theatre. Michelanne Forster’s newest play, Always My Sister tells the story of Maggie Reardon, partner of Joseph Burns (whose grisly murder of Lt. Snow and his family shocked colonial Auckland), and her sister, Sophia Aldwell. The sisters’ silence in the murder’s wake almost condemned an innocent man. Forster talks in the programme of “being drawn to that female silence” in her work and, while it is a dynamic lens through which we can view history from a new angle, the 55-minute length deprives Forster of much opportunity to fully capitalise on the relationship. With the play’s action spanning several years, temporal and spatial shifts relied heavily on expositional dialogue and Reihana-Wison’s lighting changes for demarcation. While I applaud the lighting design’s ability to mark this shift so subtly, it felt that Forster was asking a lot of the technology and the blocking did not adequately support Reihana-Wilson’s …

Love and Strife = Cosmic Cycle at Gow Langsford

I first learnt about Love and Strife = Cosmic Cycle at Gow Langsford in an unconventional way for the digital age. I was passing by the gallery in the evening and looked inside. There were people with glasses of wine in their hands, meaning something was on. The next day there were photos from the show opening in my Facebook feed. Somebody had been to an opening of a “Vogue photographer”. Not that New Zealand is a small country far away from anything, but we don’t see Vogue photographers coming to town every day. I was curious and decided to pay a visit. Think of a “Vogue photographer” and the first things that come to mind are exotic settings and hot skinny females in extravagant clothing (or not). That was how I imagined Spiros Poros. I was not that wrong. There were hot naked bodies there, and not much clothing involved. But there was more to it than a fashion photo shoot. There is definite sense of glamour about the photographs, and something cinematic, surprisingly …

My Country: Contemporary Art from Black Australia at The Auckland Art Gallery

My Country: Contemporary Art from Black Australia. Group Show. 28th March – 11th August. The Auckland Art Gallery. Aboriginal culture is linguistically and culturally diverse. Originally over 200 Indigenous Australian languages existed, with numerous dialects. Many types of expression were traditionally part of cultural practices, including rock painting, body painting, carving, bark painting and sand drawing. An alternative world where this was celebrated, rather than subjugated, is the hypothetical situation one is met with upon entrance to My Country. Michael Cook’s ethereal inkjet photographs (Civilised #1, #2, #6, #10, #13 & #14) hopefully imagine a world where the colonists had accepted the Aboriginal people as fellow human beings rather than having them listed as “Flora and Fauna” (which they were, until a referendum in 1967 overturned it). The works are haunting; Aboriginal subjects wearing traditional Victorian garbs, underscore the alienation experienced thanks to The Crown. This notion is further explored in this first room (of particular note is Alick Tipoti’s large-scale 2007 print Kuyku Garpathamai, examining the arrival of Christianity in The Torres Islands). This …

Leisure Valley at St Paul Street Gallery

Leisure Valley. Gavin Hipkins. 4 April -17 May 2014. AUT St Paul Street Gallery. ROMANCING THE STONE I consider myself to be occasionally impotent and unable to perform the task of reciprocating pleasure when I view art. Part of what I find intriguing about art is that sublime stuff – the ahhhh, that speaks to my core. Intellectual yada yada is great but if I’m being completely honest, I am expecting the big reveal. I know that as an audience member, expecting to be impressed and challenged to that degree by every artist is a high expectation and a completely unfair burden. Having said that, that’s just how I feel at this moment in time. I felt this sublime hocus pocus when I viewed Gavin Hipkins’ latest Leisure Valley at St Paul Street gallery, AUT. As a fellow Brutalist architecture appreciator, Gavin’s photographs of the ruins of Chandigarh, India – a city designed by Le Corbusier & Co – moved me. I see the large format photographs on newsprint of partially disintegrated architecture, and representation …