Month: September 2016

Crystillizing Universes at Skinroom

A load of old bricks at suitably named Brickbat Bay and their historical significance prompted artist Ziggy Lever to think about some of the big questions: Time, memory and metaphysics. T S Eliot was thinking something of the same when he began writing the Four Quartets in 1935. Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future And time future contained in time past. The backstory for Lever is the site of what was once a thriving business; Amalgamated Brick and Pipe, a nineteenth century pottery factory that was later deliberately destroyed in the twentieth century when the company had depleted all he clay reserves in the area. The remains of the works, huge chunks of the kiln and other detritus were simply discarded, dumped on the beach and for the last 100 years the sea has gradually reclaimed them, becoming home to mangroves, crabs and molluscs. It gets one thinking. It got Levers wondering about subjectivity, perception and time. The rocks become, in the artist’s hand, reimagined as meteorites or asteroids, …

In conversation with Georgie Johnson

Georgie Johnson is an emerging artist based in Wellington who has just had her first ‘official’ gallery show (as she called it) at Brunswick Street Gallery (BSG) in Melbourne Australia. The other first show-ers I have known have been with a local gallery where they have had the support of their friends and often family to help them navigate, or had at least met the gallery staff before opening day.  I caught up with Georgie about the experience of having her first show offshore and her thoughts about how she will move forward with her practise. Meredith Leigh Crowe: Was this your first time visiting Melbourne? Georgie Johnson: Yeah, I have been to Australia before, but never Melbourne, so it was a bit of an adventure. M: How did you come to show with BSG? G: I’ve shown before but it was in more causal locations and set ups.  This is my first official gig with a gallery which was a pretty cool thing! I’ve been doing a few commissioned pieces recently and selling to people overseas, and …

Briefly on the Precarity of the Emerging Artist

Precariousness is the new contemporary condition of the emerging artist. Even the very words ‘emerging artist’ — that is towards some sense of stability or establishment within the art world — are words that are now intermingled with the notion of precarity. To be an emerging artist, more often than not, is to be in a state of precariousness, meaning to live with an insecure and unforeseeable future especially through the corrosion of state support systems and privatisation of almost every realm of life. Now emerging artists are increasingly dependent on “something outside themselves, on others, on institutions and on sustained and sustainable environments.”(1)  To be an emerging artist today is to be dependent on many facets of the art world, more so than it ever has been. And because life is already precarious, under the current neoliberal agenda, artistic labor of the emerging artist is increasingly undervalued by the state. The precarity of living itself; the paying of bills, food, rent, power, internet and clothes etc., all impact artistic production. The harder it is to …