Month: January 2015

WWLLD? In Conversation with Lucy and Luke Create.

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 Lucy and Luke of Lucy and Luke Create. Lucy and Luke are a wicked duo who write, produce and direct their own theatre. Their latest play It Ends With the Sea is about to come out at the Basement Theatre. Read more for What Would Lucy and Luke Create Do?  1. Who are you and what are roles within Lucy and Luke Create? Lucy: We don’t hold specific roles all the time, things get shared out from production to production depending on what we’re creating, what we want to do, what we’re best at and who has more free time. For It Ends With the Sea, I wrote the script and am handling the publicity, Luke is directing and we are producing and designing the set and costumes together. Luke: Lucy & Luke create is our creative partnership, which is essentially a formal version of our friendship. Roles are divided according …

Playgrounds of the Liveable City

There is a James K. Baxter poem called The Bay, in which the writer laments his lost youth while revisiting his childhood beach. Until recently, Baxter’s inertia was simply a literary memory; a moment taught to me in high school. Finally, I have found my own bay. There’s no sand, water or thistle shrubs, but the distress between site and memory feels the same. A quick edit of Baxter’s title line, and the feeling is caught. I remember the [playground] that never was And stand like stone and cannot turn away. My childhood playground – nestled in Myers Park – was humble as any, its construction was crude; wood and steel bound together on a bed of bark. A classic of the post-war generation, Myers Park playground allowed for few extravagances. It seems natural to attach the same reverie and nostalgia to a playground as Baxter does to a beach. After all, playgrounds are among our first interactions with the built environment. For young urbanites, these sites become a conditioning of youth, a system en-lieu …

Natasha Matila-Smith on dicks: Dick Owens – Stunt Queen

Part Four It might not be immediately obvious but as part of my own creative fulfilment, I’m very keen on fashion.  I get the kind of adrenalin from buying clothes that you would from having a crush on someone so for me fashion and lust are intricately intertwined.  I get a kick out of fashion based art practices and I have my favourite t-shirts that I will never throw away despite holes, stains and thinning material.   Now I’m done with stating my love of fashion, I have a special place in my heart for fashion designer Rick Owens.  That guy is really good at fashion dick. You may have seen headlines last week like ‘Penises on the runway – a flesh flash too far?’ and ‘Rick Owens Models went commando down the runway’.  Rick Owens’ Menswear Fall 2015/2015 collection caused some controversy in the form of ‘free-balling’ models aka pantsless male models, apparently leaving some front-rowers shocked at unexpected full frontal nudity.  It is from this collection that Rick Owens has earned a new …

FORM at Papakura Art Gallery

Pot Ritual effusion/beauty and sadness Resistance is beautiful, despair is counter revolutionary. The present struggle between the lovers of trees and the masters of concrete reiterates the political and scientific exclusion of collective voice from the political realm. The other, as its own authority and obscured by specialised logic, becomes both managed and incomprehensible. Women and children venture into the night and uplift surveyor’s pegs. The surveyor is a key to the war machine, the women and children to the Whenua. The mark can be erased but its idea remains at the disposal of the plough. To critique Colonial Imperialism as an ideology feeds back into its own PR. So let’s take those words and drop them in an astringent bath. Sand in the engine does not erase the car or thwart cities as they become finely latticed containers for remnant life spaces. The artificial embraces nature; if we can build sky ramps why not vases for endangered localities? A nightmarish ornamental gesture? we only lose what we feel is lost.  We navigate and negotiate …

Sometimes you’re too romantic. 

The sentiment is not lost on me that it takes a lot of effort for a person to exert so much positivity in regards to romantic outlooks on life.  There is something innately cynical that edges me towards a distrust of artists who have blind faith in the romantic gesture.  It is almost like setting yourself up for a failure that you can’t live up to.   As artists we sometimes live in a romantic Utopia, not resisting hard enough to refrain from presenting all things as beautiful and perfectly personal.  Even if this were a relationship, I want something real and longer lasting.  Something I won’t be disappointed with when the truth is finally revealed – that the commitment to romanticism is short-lived.  I just don’t believe it. I wrote a while back about the romantic ruin in regards to Gavin Hipkins show Leisure Valley at AUT’s St Paul Street Gallery.  I was being an idealist, latching onto a moment with a stranger as we watched the same film.  I believed we were strangely …

WWLD? In Conversation with Leilani Kake

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 Leilani Kake – artist, educator and gallery coordinator for Papakura Art Gallery. Leilani is a powerful film maker, mother and activist, whose work imbues sophisticated questioning about our own perceived ideas. Read more for What Would Leilani Do?  From reaching visual arts in tertiary institutions and also high schools to now being a gallery coordinator must have been a big change, what are some of the new challenges you face you as the Papakura Gallery coordinator? Having teaching experience in both secondary and tertiary sectors has been hugely beneficial in my new role as a gallery coordinator. I am able to communicate with people from all walks of life. My main challenge is breaking down stereotypes that people have of art galleries and gallery coordinators. That only a certain “type” of person can enter or have an opinion on art and that were snobby. I’m far from that model!  What have been …

The Drowned World virtual exhibition

Too young to be out with the men fishing in the open waters exposed to the elements. They say you begged them to go. Holding on for as long as you could before being swept away. No lifejacket, a boy in a mans world. A daily ritual, your mother waited for you where the ocean kisses the shoreline. Denial is the first process of grief. Steal Away. Stolen. Nina Oberg Humphries’ work hits me hard. Paralysed by memory. Haunted by the presence of death. The Drowned World. Past tense. We are offered no false sense of hope. Victims of the future. They say a lot can be learnt from hindsight. A virtual exhibition featuring the work of seven New Zealand based artists of Pacific heritage, The Drowned World explores the intimate connection between human life and water. Unable to escape the reality of rising sea levels and the catastrophic impact climate change is beginning to have on our region, perhaps unsurprisingly, the show is framed by a sense of loss, a contemplation of grief and a …

When you preach to a cow

It can’t tell you whether your sermon is good or not. Those are the words that shout into my ear as I duck down into the back pew. My spot. Again. Reserved for the late comers, the new comers and the island timers. Forty years in the wilderness. Day and night. A dry desert like the cracked heels of the lady in front of me. Dry like my heavy eyelids failing to stay awake. For the next forty minutes shadows of more island timers slip into the gaps behind me. We are here but we’re not really there. As the Minister talks proudly about being humble, a child’s sticky hand gripping a broken blue toy car speeds it along his mother’s cheeks. The blue stands out against her hot angry face. God never abandoned you in the wilderness.  He has mana and Manna kept them alive.  It was white like my new puletasi now glowing in the sun piercing through the yellow stained glass windows. The one my mum brought from Samoa last week during …

Labour, Leisure and Low-Carb Beer

“Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit” A retired builder philosophised this quote. At the time, he was sitting on a boat starring out to sea, drinking a low-carb beer. While its not exactly high-flung stuff, it doesn’t need to be. There is plenty to be gleamed from folk wisdom – a working class proverb crafted at the end of the working day. Thinking back, it was a distinctly kiwi scene – not something I’m usually drawn too – so why, years later does it still hold an impression on me? One week into January and already the year’s expectations are beginning to stack up. When can you finish that article? Have you been to the refuse station? Can you take on extra shifts? Leisure is one of the most vulnerable things in this economy, and while it is constantly marketed to us, contractually promised to us, we seem to very rarely experience it. It’s a common misconception that doing nothing is easy. It’s not. While doing nothing has many names (laziness, …