Art

Come on Doll Face

Come on Doll Face

Col­lage seems a use­ful meta­phor for con­tem­por­ary life in the digit­al age. A col­lage dis­rupts accep­ted mean­ings by tak­ing found images clipped from their ori­gin­al con­text, then mix­ing them up and rearran­ging them. It’s hap­pen­ing around us con­stantly across all media. Cur­at­or Sian van Dyk provides a small sur­vey of the prac­tice in Cut + Paste, […]

Desire hath no rest

Desire hath no rest

No ideas but in things,” wrote Amer­ic­an poet Wil­li­am Car­los Wil­li­ams in 1946. As I talked to Vivi­en Atkin­son, Petra Stueben and Kelly McDon­ald about their ornament/artefact exhib­i­tion at Toi Pōneke, the quote swam in my head. Wil­li­ams was refer­ring to poetry, but these artists con­sider our rela­tion­ship with things — what we emo­tion­ally invest […]

Histories of harm

Histories of harm

Enjoy Pub­lic Art Gal­lery has been on the cul­tur­al land­scape in Wel­ling­ton since 2000. If you haven’t been there, it’s on level one at 147 Cuba Street, and was estab­lished as an artists-run non-com­mer­­­cial pro­ject space. As a pro­ject space, Enjoy is able to show work that pub­lic insti­tu­tions don’t take on. It’s a place where […]

What is suburban depravity?”

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I was in a grey mood the after­noon I vis­ited Yvonne Todd’s Creamy Psy­cho­logy exhib­i­tion at City Gal­lery (on until 1 March). In the back­ground of my day, a lov­er was play­ing stu­pid games, and the wind and rain, unabated for days, made everything annoy­ing. I felt depressed and fed up. The pho­to­graph­ic images in the […]

Cups, plates and bowls

Cups, plates and bowls

A couple of months ago, Raewyn Atkin­son and I met at Golding’s to talk about her new work, cur­rently on view at the Bowen Gal­ler­ies. It was a light Septem­ber after­noon and we sat out­side warm­ing our backs in the late-after­­noon sun. I told her my sorry story of miss­ing her 2013 exhib­i­tion at Bowen […]

Arts — Toi Pōneke: Te Aro’s creative hub

Arts — Toi Pōneke: Te Aro’s creative hub

Hid­den in the depths of Wellington’s cre­at­ive dis­trict lies a treas­ure trove of multi-tal­en­ted people ded­ic­ated to the arts. The Toi Pōneke Arts Centre com­prises two rather unas­sum­ing build­ings on Abel Smith Street (ori­gin­ally the home of the Wel­ling­ton Edu­ca­tion Board and giv­en their new role in 2009, some 20 years after the board was […]

At the Māori Art Market

At the Māori Art Market

Art mar­kets and art fairs have been part of the inter­na­tion­al land­scape of con­tem­por­ary art for about 30 years. In Aotearoa they are a rel­at­ively new phe­nomen­on — the Auck­land Art Fair opened only in 2006. In Wel­ling­ton, the art fair concept took a more spe­cial­ised route with the advent of the Māori Art Mar­ket in […]

The Modest Modernists

The Modest Modernists

When I worked at City Gal­lery Wel­ling­ton in 2001, we bor­rowed some Janet Paul works for an exhib­i­tion from Kaye Roberts. Kaye ran the Brook­er Gal­lery in Kel­burn for many years but had retired by then. The day I col­lec­ted the works from her home, I admired a ceram­ic horse by Juliet Peter in the […]

I hereby resign as general manager of the universe

I hereby resign as general manager of the universe

The City Gal­lery is at last liv­ing up to its prom­ise. Former dir­ect­or Paula Sav­age had a big vis­ion for the gal­lery and was instru­ment­al in bring­ing in inter­na­tion­al exhib­i­tions and artists through­out the 1990s. This included mem­or­able work by Tony Oursler, Tony Cragg, Rose­marie Trock­el, Keith Har­ing, Robert Map­pleth­orpe, Frida Kahlo, Nam June Paik, […]

Touchy feely

Touchy feely

I first encountered Seung Yul Oh’s work at Te Papa six years ago. Four Oddooki 2008 pieces were installed in the sculp­ture court on the rooftop. Seung describes these large egg birds as per­form­ance sculp­tures — they rock back­wards and for­wards when pushed, like some toy from child­hood writ large. Their wit and joy­ful­ness are […]