Month: March 2016

Sleep

This is an on-going series that investigates Bella Horlor’s new role as a young mother. An artist and poet, Horlor shares the banal quandaries that exist between artistic and maternal labour. You know you should do the vacuuming when your baby does a shit and you have to pull a 20cm long hair out of her ass. This week we have had a sleep regression, meaning she wakes every couple of hours, rolls over and it’s disco time baby. Sleep deprivation used to make me achingly poetic, I could drink gin and bite on that cold moonlight like a cube of ice. It was a sexy thing to be an insomniac once. Artistic. Vaguely French. I used to find it inspirational. But after about two weeks on four hours a night sleeps, it definitely isn’t sexy anymore. My skin feels simultaneously on fire and completely numb, I feel like someone has bottled me in the eyes, and I cant walk straight. The night my girl was born they put me into the maternity ward at …

Invisible Bodies Part Two: Fatshionista

Invisible Bodies is a short term column by Natasha Matila-Smith, here is part two.  Even with a high demand and disposable income, it seems that very few companies are willing to sell big women a product that they are happy with.  In 2014, the US plus-size women’s market brought in approximately ten billion dollars, yet consumer requests for more variety (in body sizing and clothing options) have been largely ignored.  Sure, there are plus-size lines in chain stores but they lack the range of the average-size clothing line. Kmart has an appalling range of stretchy leggings, bejeweled t-shirts with Paris written on them and little in between. Lots of sleeveless flowy loose shirts, kaftans, print maxi-dresses and off-tint mullet tops. Not everyone wants to dress like they are going on a boat cruise. It’s just a lot of the same. I’m also not aware of any women who want to feel like the options presented to them are an after-thought dependent upon the availability of cheap bulk polyester fabrics. Even Beth Ditto, who is well-known for …

WWZD? In Conversation with Zara Stanhope

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 Zara Stanhope. Zara is the Principal Curator at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki as well as Adjunct Professor at AUT University. Before coming to Toi o Tāmaki Zara was the Deputy Director and Senior Curator at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, Director at Adam Art Gallery Wellington and Assitant Director at Monash University Museum of Art, Melboure. Read more for what would Zara do? What kind of art gets you excited? Art that I don’t understand There are a lot of moving parts in a big institution like the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. For the everyday Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki visitor where can they find your own curatorial influences? My influences are often not evident as they are varied and might only become clear in retrospect. Like most people I am inspired by the world, both the natural world and the civilisations we …

Invisible Bodies Part One

Invisible Bodies is a short term column by Natasha Matila-Smith, here is part one.  In Amalia Ulman’s Instagram art project, the artist convinced her 90K followers that she was an over-consumptive, materialistic, timid flower.  Using common tropes of ‘femininity’ found on Instagram, Ulman used her posts to question the literal construction of femininity. Ulman posed in Kardashian-esque fashion – mirror selfies in hip bone grazing body suits while forming a written narrative about female empowerment. Not to make fun of female agency, but to garner public response. This artist featured on various news sources as someone who outsmarted and outwitted the public; now she is not only an artist, but a critically acclaimed artist. Ulman even features on the Forbes: 30 Under 30 list, whatever that means.     I turn to Ulman’s work to discuss another unquestioned stereotype – women who access their naked or partially naked bodies to investigate various concepts – these are typically thin to average sized women. Actually, thin white women – to be specific – are more often recognised in …

Fear Horror Terror at Wallace Gallery Morrinsville

Fear, horror, terror – all the primal human emotions gathered together in three simple words was the starting point for an exhibition of international print works exhibited recently at the Wallace Gallery, Morrinsville. It brought together 19 printmakers from around the world and displayed their work for the first time in New Zealand. The venture behind the show, called, The International Print Exchange Programme, (IPEP), was established as an annual event to raise the profile of printmaking. It does this by arranging multiple exhibitions of the same show worldwide through an agreed process whereby each selected artist consents to take home to their respective countries the 19 winning prints with instruction to have them exhibited. This year, New Zealand printmaker, Hanah-Amelia King was one of the selected artists. Her work, Narcissistic Significance, enabled New Zealand to have the opportunity to participate in this venture for the first time. Artists from India, Peru, Iran, Ukraine, Mexico, USA and Australia were involved, each producing one work that reflected on the tripartite and universal human emotions mentioned above. …

WWFMD? In Conversation with Fresh Milk

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 Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc. Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc. or Fresh Milk for short is an artist run, nonprofit organisation based in Barbados in the Caribbean. Fresh Milk was founded in 2011 and is based on a working farm, they offer a diverse multi-disciplinary programme including international residencies. Read more for what would Fresh Milk do? Some artist run initiatives start as a way of showing their own work or showing artists that they feel aren’t getting a lot of attention. Does Fresh Milk have a similar story? Fresh Milk originally manifested as a space to address the nearly 100% attrition rate of BFA students at Barbados Community College (BCC), the only institution on the island offering a BFA programme. In 2011, it launched as a project/research space for the visual arts, and by late 2012 it had developed a micro-residency programme for local, regional and international artists. It has continued to grow …

Body Hair 

My body has not always felt as if it was my own. For most of my life, it has felt as if it belonged, at least partly, to men. One year during high school, the boys in my class made fun of the hair on my arms. I already felt nervous and ugly around boys. Forgetting to shave my legs, not bothering to shave above my knees, and having hair on my arms and on my stomach (where most of the other girls seemed not to), induced a sense of guilt. I felt as if it was my responsibility to make myself physically attractive to heterosexual and bisexual men, according to the Western beauty standards that had been drilled into me for as long as I could remember. I felt as if my body hair was my fault – that I wasn’t ‘feminine’ enough to please men and it was my duty to fix that. I needed to fit into the arguably prepubescent image of ‘acceptable femininity’ (1) that has been fed to men through the …

WWID? In Conversation with I: project space

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 Anna and Antonie. Anna and Antonie are the founders of the independent I: project space located in down town Beijing, China. As well as a diverse exhibition programme with accompanying public programming I: project space also runs an annual residency for New Zealand artists funded by The Asia New Zealand Foundation. Read more for what would I: project space do? What is I: project space? I: project space is an independent and non-profit art space based the Hutongs, in the heart of Beijing. The space was founded by Antonie Angerer and Anna-Viktoria Eschbach in August 2014. It consists of three main elements: An exhibition programme, residencies for artists, curators and researches supplemented by a public programme in the form of art salons, artist talks, screenings, conferences, workshops etc. For those of our readers who might not know too much about I: project space what are the curatorial drivers going on and …