Contemporary Christchurch

A celebration of the range of innovative arts being practised and created in Ōtautahi today.

This survey exhibition has been selected by an expert panel of influential art figures - curators, writers, and artists. The artworks in Contemporary Christchurch are all linked to the city, and have been produced in the past three years. The exhibition captures a moment in time, demonstrating the vibrancy of the local community and exploring the city as a stimulating environment for creative people.  

A lively programme of public events to accompany the exhibition will focus on young people and the city’s emerging arts stars. It will be a chance to discover new and existing practices as we showcase what's inspiring and innovative in music, dance, theatre, design and architecture.

Since 1880, CoCA has been at the heart of creating a vibrant art scene and nurturing the contemporary, emergent practice. CoCA is committed to harnessing and nurturing the local community’s creativity and potential by promoting community-based participation. This exhibition marks the first of a series of exhibitions that focus on Christchurch artists and their contribution to New Zealand and the international art scene.

SELECTION PANEL

Jamie Hanton - Director, The Physics Room

Aaron Kreisler - Head of the Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury

Paula Orrell - Director and Principal Curator, CoCA Centre of Contemporary Art Toi Moroki

Nathan Pohio - Artist and Curator 
Kāti Mamoe, Ngāi Tahu and Waitaha

Dr Lara Strongman - Senior Curator, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu 

Read Jennifer Katherine Shields' commissioned survey essay, 'Structures of Brick and Quiet Undertones: Considering Contemporary Christchurch' here.

The Artists

  • Ana Iti
    Ana Iti
    New Zealand

    Ana Iti (Ngāpuhi, born 1989) graduated from Ilam School of Fine Arts with a BFA in 2012. Employing sculpture, spoken text and archival materials, Ana’s work often focuses on the colonial architecture of cities and the difficulties of trying to navigate a Māori identity through colonial and Western knowledge systems.

    In 2016, Ana has undertaken residencies at Blue Oyster Art Project Space and the Australian Experimental Art Foundation (facilitated by The Physics Room). Recent exhibitions include Heavy to Hold, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin, 2016; and Golden Hour, Room Four, Christchurch 2014. 

     

  • Daegan Wells
    Daegan Wells
    New Zealand

    Daegan Wells (born 1989) is a Christchurch based artist who recently graduated from Canterbury University with a Masters of Fine Arts. Recent projects include Lodgings, a body of work carried out in the Christchurch residential Red Zone that intercepted a moment in time, beginning in March 2014 and ending March 2015.

    Daegan has Co Founded two Artists run spaces in Christchurch: Room Four, an open studio and artist showing space, 2012-2014 and Man Friday, a project space that operated out of a shed in North Projects garden, 2015.  Previous exhibitions include: Kissing the wall at North Projects, Christchurch, 2015; and Persistency at the Physics Room, Christchurch, 2015. Current exhibitions include a solo exhibition, Private Lodgings at Blue Oyster Gallery in Dunedin, 2016.

  • Emma Fitts
    Emma Fitts
    NZ & UK

    Emma Fitts, born Ashburton, New Zealand. Emma’s individual practice and collaborative work as Fitts & Holderness and Victor & Hester, has seen her participate in exhibitions and residencies both nationally and internationally.

    Most recent exhibitions include: House Studies, curated by Sophie Bannan, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch, 2016; New Work, Melanie Roger Gallery, Auckland, 2016; Necessary Distraction: A Painting Show, Auckland Art Gallery, 2015- ­2016; Embodying the Archive, curated by Melanie Oliver and Anneke Jaspers, The Physics Room, Christchurch 2016; Scottish solo show with Victor & Hester, VH­16­-22-­7­-12-­3­-22-5 Dreams of Machines, Transmission, Glasgow 2015; Fit­out for Olivia Spencer Bower, Ilam Gallery, Christchurch 2015; 74 Heaton St, with Kirstin Carlin, Christchurch 2014.

    Web site
  • Jacquelyn Greenbank
    Jacquelyn Greenbank
    New Zealand

    Since Graduating Canterbury University School of Fine Arts with a Distinction in Painting Greenbank has exhibited in galleries and biennials both here in New Zealand and internationally. Her work is held in major public and private collections. Jacquelyn Greenbank lives at the base of the Rapaki track in Christchurch with her partner Jamie Richardson, and her daughter Jet June.

    She was the recipient of the Oliver Spencer Bower Award in 2015.

  • James Oram
    James Oram
    New Zealand

    James Oram (born 1980) works across a range of media, often using phenomena of contemporary culture to explore aspects of social behaviour and individual existence.

    Recent exhibitions include: Sleight of hand, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 2014; Limited Time, Auckland Art gallery, 2012; Physical Video, Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), 2011; Brisbane; Unnerved: The New Zealand Project, GOMA, 2010; But It's Worth It, Christchurch Art Gallery; Domestic departures, Chalk Horse, Sydney, 2014; and WANDERING LINES; towards a New Culture of Space, SCAPE, Christchurch, 2008.

  • Louise Palmer
    Louise Palmer
    New Zealand

    Louise Palmer is a New Zealand artist currently based in Christchurch where she is a Senior Lecturer in sculpture at the Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury. She completed a Master of Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Art at Ilam School of Fine Arts.

    Louise's practice explores the intersection between sculptural conventions and the personal underpinnings of an artwork. It draws on sculptural approaches, such as casting and site-specificity, which inform the work both materially and conceptually.  

    Exhibitions include: Inventories, Opekta Ateliers, Cologne, 2011; Headland Sculpture on the Gulf, Vertical Horizon, SoFA Gallery, Christchurch, 2009; and small monuments, little Jewels, Peloton; Sydney, 2008. Palmer has exhibited extensively in New Zealand and Australia, an undertaken artist residencies in Sydney and Cologne.

    Web site
  • Nina Oberg Humphries
    Nina Oberg Humphries
    New Zealand

    Christchurch born and bred, Nina Oberg Humphries (b.1990), is of Cook Island and Pakeha descent. Nina studied towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Sculpture at Ilam School of Arts in Christchurch between 2013- 2015. Nina’s work explores her dual Pacific and Western heritage. Through the use of traditional Polynesian art forms such as Tivaevae, costume and dance, combined with elements of popular culture, she seeks to convey issues of gender, identity and social politics. 

    Nina’s exhibition history includes The Drowned World, Silo Park Auckland, The Physics Room Christchurch, Enjoy Gallery, Wellington, 2014;The NZ Art Show, Wellington, 2014; Between This, Man Friday 2015 P.O.A, Cathedral Junction, Christchurch 2014; Remake-Remodel, SOFA Gallery, Christchurch 2014.

  • Pauline Rhodes
    Pauline Rhodes
    New Zealand

    Born in Christchurch, Pauline Rhodes lived in Wellington, Westport, Nigeria and England before returning to Christchurch in 1970. She studied at Ilam, Canterbury University School of Fine Arts, graduating in Sculpture in 1974. Rhodes was the first ever recipient of the Olivia Spencer Bower Foundation Annual Award in 1987 and received grants from the Queen Elizabeth Arts Council in 1989 and 1992. In 1993 she was selected as the Otago Polytechnic Art School Artist in Residence. She received the CoCA Travel Award in 1995 and was awarded a Merit Prize in the 1996 Visa Gold Art Award. Rhodes began her outdoor projects in the mid-1970s and has exhibited work internationally since the early 1980s.

    Recent exhibitions include Dark Matter 2016 at ST Paul St Gallery, Auckland - accompanied by a publication of the same name; Mobile Tangles as part of SCAPE 8: New Intimacies, 2015; Cones of Possibilities and Impossibilities, 2014 and King Tides Rising, 2008, at The Physics Room, Christchurch; Fluid Connections, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch, 2009; and New Twists, Bowen Galleries, Wellington, 2008. Pauline contributed works to the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2012; and to Sculpture on the Gulf, Waiheke Island, in 2007 and 2009.

     

  • Rob Hood
    Rob Hood
    New Zealand

    Rob Hood (b.1974) is a Christchurch-based artist. He holds an MFA (2011) and BFA Sculpture (1999) from Ilam School of Fine Arts, Canterbury University. Rob utilises a range of media from photography and drawing to installation and video. He is known for his penchant for taking up and transforming the found detritus of pop and consumer culture. Hood was the Olivia Spencer Bower Fellow in 2007 and is represented by Jonathan Smart Gallery. 

    Web site
  • Scott Flanagan
    Scott Flanagan
    New Zealand

    Scott Flanagan (born 1970) was formerly based in Christchurch and recently relocated to Dunedin, alongside a summer residency at the Blue Oyster Project Art Space in 2012.

    He is a prolific artist including major commissions at The Suter Gallery in 2012, and his first solo exhibition The Hopeful Monster, at the original artist led gallery in Christchurch High Street Project, 2001 including major exhibition at The Physics Room, Dr Don: or how I learned to stop worrying and love Helen, 2004.

    In 2010, he undertook the International Artist in Residence, Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea. His last large scale public work was in 2012, Do You Remember Me Like I Do, as part of the off site gallery programme of Christchurch Art Gallery.

     

     

  • Steve Carr
    Steve Carr
    New Zealand

    Steve Carr was born in New Zealand and completed a Masters in Fine Art at the University of Auckland. His work has been included in many major exhibitions, including Videos of New Zealand, a touring exhibition through New Zealand, Germany and Denmark in 2008; and Les Rencontres Internationale at the Centre Pompidou, Paris in 2011. He represented New Zealand at the 2006 Busan Biennale, South Korea, and he was also the recipient of a Headlands Center for the Arts Residency in San Francisco in 2013. In 2014 he featured in Where do I end and you begin, at City Art Centre, Edinburgh for the Edinburgh Art Festival.

    Steve Carr is represented by MICHAEL LETT, Auckland, and STATION, Melbourne.

    Web site Vimeo
  • Tim J. Veling
    Tim J. Veling
    New Zealand

    Tim J Veiling (born 1980) is currently a Lecturer in Photography at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts, New Zealand. He is a prolific photographer and is currently engaged in long-term projects relating to the aftermath of Christchurch’s devastating 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and is a key contributor to and administrator of Place in Time: The Christchurch Documentary Project.

    Web site
  • Tjalling de Vries
    Tjalling de Vries
    New Zealand

    Tjalling de Vries is a Dutch New Zealand artist currently based in Christchurch, NZ. He holds a Master of Arts in Painting from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts, NZ. Recent exhibitions include Land/Made, Jan Van Eyck Adacemie, Maastricht, NL, 2016; Ooo oooo, (with Keir Leslie), North Projects, Christchurch, NZ, 2015; and I might look confused but I am, Chambers, Christchurch, NZ, 2015.

    Web site
Ana Iti
New Zealand

Ana Iti (Ngāpuhi, born 1989) graduated from Ilam School of Fine Arts with a BFA in 2012. Employing sculpture, spoken text and archival materials, Ana’s work often focuses on the colonial architecture of cities and the difficulties of trying to navigate a Māori identity through colonial and Western knowledge systems.

In 2016, Ana has undertaken residencies at Blue Oyster Art Project Space and the Australian Experimental Art Foundation (facilitated by The Physics Room). Recent exhibitions include Heavy to Hold, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin, 2016; and Golden Hour, Room Four, Christchurch 2014. 

 

View artwork
Daegan Wells
New Zealand

Daegan Wells (born 1989) is a Christchurch based artist who recently graduated from Canterbury University with a Masters of Fine Arts. Recent projects include Lodgings, a body of work carried out in the Christchurch residential Red Zone that intercepted a moment in time, beginning in March 2014 and ending March 2015.

Daegan has Co Founded two Artists run spaces in Christchurch: Room Four, an open studio and artist showing space, 2012-2014 and Man Friday, a project space that operated out of a shed in North Projects garden, 2015.  Previous exhibitions include: Kissing the wall at North Projects, Christchurch, 2015; and Persistency at the Physics Room, Christchurch, 2015. Current exhibitions include a solo exhibition, Private Lodgings at Blue Oyster Gallery in Dunedin, 2016.

View artwork
Emma Fitts
NZ & UK

Emma Fitts, born Ashburton, New Zealand. Emma’s individual practice and collaborative work as Fitts & Holderness and Victor & Hester, has seen her participate in exhibitions and residencies both nationally and internationally.

Most recent exhibitions include: House Studies, curated by Sophie Bannan, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch, 2016; New Work, Melanie Roger Gallery, Auckland, 2016; Necessary Distraction: A Painting Show, Auckland Art Gallery, 2015- ­2016; Embodying the Archive, curated by Melanie Oliver and Anneke Jaspers, The Physics Room, Christchurch 2016; Scottish solo show with Victor & Hester, VH­16­-22-­7­-12-­3­-22-5 Dreams of Machines, Transmission, Glasgow 2015; Fit­out for Olivia Spencer Bower, Ilam Gallery, Christchurch 2015; 74 Heaton St, with Kirstin Carlin, Christchurch 2014.

View artwork
Jacquelyn Greenbank
New Zealand

Since Graduating Canterbury University School of Fine Arts with a Distinction in Painting Greenbank has exhibited in galleries and biennials both here in New Zealand and internationally. Her work is held in major public and private collections. Jacquelyn Greenbank lives at the base of the Rapaki track in Christchurch with her partner Jamie Richardson, and her daughter Jet June.

She was the recipient of the Oliver Spencer Bower Award in 2015.

View artwork
James Oram
New Zealand

James Oram (born 1980) works across a range of media, often using phenomena of contemporary culture to explore aspects of social behaviour and individual existence.

Recent exhibitions include: Sleight of hand, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 2014; Limited Time, Auckland Art gallery, 2012; Physical Video, Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), 2011; Brisbane; Unnerved: The New Zealand Project, GOMA, 2010; But It's Worth It, Christchurch Art Gallery; Domestic departures, Chalk Horse, Sydney, 2014; and WANDERING LINES; towards a New Culture of Space, SCAPE, Christchurch, 2008.

View artwork
Louise Palmer
New Zealand

Louise Palmer is a New Zealand artist currently based in Christchurch where she is a Senior Lecturer in sculpture at the Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury. She completed a Master of Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Art at Ilam School of Fine Arts.

Louise's practice explores the intersection between sculptural conventions and the personal underpinnings of an artwork. It draws on sculptural approaches, such as casting and site-specificity, which inform the work both materially and conceptually.  

Exhibitions include: Inventories, Opekta Ateliers, Cologne, 2011; Headland Sculpture on the Gulf, Vertical Horizon, SoFA Gallery, Christchurch, 2009; and small monuments, little Jewels, Peloton; Sydney, 2008. Palmer has exhibited extensively in New Zealand and Australia, an undertaken artist residencies in Sydney and Cologne.

View artwork
Nina Oberg Humphries
New Zealand

Christchurch born and bred, Nina Oberg Humphries (b.1990), is of Cook Island and Pakeha descent. Nina studied towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Sculpture at Ilam School of Arts in Christchurch between 2013- 2015. Nina’s work explores her dual Pacific and Western heritage. Through the use of traditional Polynesian art forms such as Tivaevae, costume and dance, combined with elements of popular culture, she seeks to convey issues of gender, identity and social politics. 

Nina’s exhibition history includes The Drowned World, Silo Park Auckland, The Physics Room Christchurch, Enjoy Gallery, Wellington, 2014;The NZ Art Show, Wellington, 2014; Between This, Man Friday 2015 P.O.A, Cathedral Junction, Christchurch 2014; Remake-Remodel, SOFA Gallery, Christchurch 2014.

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Pauline Rhodes
New Zealand

Born in Christchurch, Pauline Rhodes lived in Wellington, Westport, Nigeria and England before returning to Christchurch in 1970. She studied at Ilam, Canterbury University School of Fine Arts, graduating in Sculpture in 1974. Rhodes was the first ever recipient of the Olivia Spencer Bower Foundation Annual Award in 1987 and received grants from the Queen Elizabeth Arts Council in 1989 and 1992. In 1993 she was selected as the Otago Polytechnic Art School Artist in Residence. She received the CoCA Travel Award in 1995 and was awarded a Merit Prize in the 1996 Visa Gold Art Award. Rhodes began her outdoor projects in the mid-1970s and has exhibited work internationally since the early 1980s.

Recent exhibitions include Dark Matter 2016 at ST Paul St Gallery, Auckland - accompanied by a publication of the same name; Mobile Tangles as part of SCAPE 8: New Intimacies, 2015; Cones of Possibilities and Impossibilities, 2014 and King Tides Rising, 2008, at The Physics Room, Christchurch; Fluid Connections, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch, 2009; and New Twists, Bowen Galleries, Wellington, 2008. Pauline contributed works to the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2012; and to Sculpture on the Gulf, Waiheke Island, in 2007 and 2009.

 

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Rob Hood
New Zealand

Rob Hood (b.1974) is a Christchurch-based artist. He holds an MFA (2011) and BFA Sculpture (1999) from Ilam School of Fine Arts, Canterbury University. Rob utilises a range of media from photography and drawing to installation and video. He is known for his penchant for taking up and transforming the found detritus of pop and consumer culture. Hood was the Olivia Spencer Bower Fellow in 2007 and is represented by Jonathan Smart Gallery. 

View artwork
Scott Flanagan
New Zealand

Scott Flanagan (born 1970) was formerly based in Christchurch and recently relocated to Dunedin, alongside a summer residency at the Blue Oyster Project Art Space in 2012.

He is a prolific artist including major commissions at The Suter Gallery in 2012, and his first solo exhibition The Hopeful Monster, at the original artist led gallery in Christchurch High Street Project, 2001 including major exhibition at The Physics Room, Dr Don: or how I learned to stop worrying and love Helen, 2004.

In 2010, he undertook the International Artist in Residence, Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea. His last large scale public work was in 2012, Do You Remember Me Like I Do, as part of the off site gallery programme of Christchurch Art Gallery.

 

 

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Steve Carr
New Zealand

Steve Carr was born in New Zealand and completed a Masters in Fine Art at the University of Auckland. His work has been included in many major exhibitions, including Videos of New Zealand, a touring exhibition through New Zealand, Germany and Denmark in 2008; and Les Rencontres Internationale at the Centre Pompidou, Paris in 2011. He represented New Zealand at the 2006 Busan Biennale, South Korea, and he was also the recipient of a Headlands Center for the Arts Residency in San Francisco in 2013. In 2014 he featured in Where do I end and you begin, at City Art Centre, Edinburgh for the Edinburgh Art Festival.

Steve Carr is represented by MICHAEL LETT, Auckland, and STATION, Melbourne.

View artwork
Tim J. Veling
New Zealand

Tim J Veiling (born 1980) is currently a Lecturer in Photography at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts, New Zealand. He is a prolific photographer and is currently engaged in long-term projects relating to the aftermath of Christchurch’s devastating 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and is a key contributor to and administrator of Place in Time: The Christchurch Documentary Project.

View artwork
Tjalling de Vries
New Zealand

Tjalling de Vries is a Dutch New Zealand artist currently based in Christchurch, NZ. He holds a Master of Arts in Painting from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts, NZ. Recent exhibitions include Land/Made, Jan Van Eyck Adacemie, Maastricht, NL, 2016; Ooo oooo, (with Keir Leslie), North Projects, Christchurch, NZ, 2015; and I might look confused but I am, Chambers, Christchurch, NZ, 2015.

View artwork
D,P,O., 2014, Tim J. Veling
More about this artwork

The cornerstones of Tim J. Veling’s practice are the psychological landscape and social-political environment. His work is a subtly evocative blending of the genres of fine art and documentary photography. At its core, his work is an ongoing exploration of concepts of home and belonging, informed by personal connections to place and family. He is currently engaged in the production of several bodies of work documenting the aftermath of Christchurch’s devastating 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

At the end of October 2014, Tim received a text message from his father. He was in the middle of a meeting at work, but his iPhone happened to be on the desk in front of him. He glanced at the message that flashed up on the screen. It read, “I have been admitted to hospital. Please don’t worry, but call me when you can. Lots of love, D,P,O.” That’s how he always signed off his text messages; shorthand for Dad, Pete, Opa. Tim excused himself from the room and called him straight away.

Exactly what his father said he can’t recall, but Tim does remember the words, “Lung cancer,” and “Maybe four months, if I’m lucky.”

Over the following months, twice a day, Tim and his wife Lizzie bundled their seven-month-old daughter, Frankie into the car and drove to his father’s house. They’d spend at least an hour with him, drinking coffee in the morning and a beer at night. Frankie would run around the room with crackers coated in Marmite and smear dirty fingerprints on her Opa’s furniture.

During this time, Tim exposed over 100 rolls of film. Under the dark cloth of his technical camera, he’d use a magnifying loop to find focus on the fine detail of his father’s blue eyes. They’d talk and laugh and mostly just be, all the time with Tim clicking away, one frame after the other.

The work in this exhibition is a distillation of the larger body of work D,P,O, which was originally presented in the form of a short run artist book.


 


Photo Credit: Daniela Aebli

Towards the Light, 2016, Pauline Rhodes
More about this artwork

Pauline Rhodes is known for her artworks related to the landscape, which take two forms: outdoor works, in which she makes minimal sculptural interventions in the landscape, which exist only through her documentation, and sculptural installations in gallery spaces, which are conceptually related to the outdoor works.

Responding to the given space of the gallery, this installation is a variation of a previous one. In the projects generally, the minimal working elements respond to places or things, and touch only lightly, delicately. In Towards the Light, carefully propped green wood rods point towards the light and vegetation of the land. They move along the space towards the natural light at the end of the North Gallery.

These lightweight, portable materials, both natural and manufactured, act as pointers or wands. Some of them have been used previously in the landscape or beside the sea, forming a transient continuum finely tuned to the natural environment.

While at art school in the 1970’s Rhodes began working outdoors, becoming one of New Zealand’s prominent environmental sculptors. Rhodes’ work takes two main forms: sculptural installations in buildings, usually art galleries, using materials that have often been modified through exposure to the elements (such as paper stained with rusted metal), and ephemeral outdoor interventions, where contrasting coloured elements and forms (such as dyed cloth or coloured rods) are placed in the landscape, photographed by the artist, and then removed.  While Rhodes has made outdoors works in New Zealand and Britain, most have taken place in Banks Peninsula, Canterbury, the area in which she lives.


 


Photo Credit: Daniela Aebli

Louise Palmer, Exterior, from 90 Canon(a series of empty rooms), 2016

Louise Palmer, Exterior, from 90 Canon(a series of empty rooms), 2016

90 Canon (a series of empty rooms), 2016, Louise Palmer
More about this artwork

The ongoing project 90 Canon, which began earlier this year, used the artists now demolished house in Christchurch as the site and material for work that deconstructs the very structure of the building.  The project addresses the home as a place for reflection and action. 90 Canon (a series of empty rooms), presents documentation of the sculptural interventions within the house, walking the viewer through rooms that are voided of personal belongings. Areas where furniture once stood have been cut away to expose layers of the buildings structure, this strata of materials serving to reveal histories both lived and lost.


This project extends on a number of concerns, namely the intersection between sculptural conventions and the personal underpinnings of an artwork. Site and place inform works which are responsive to environment, referencing and intervening with existing architecture. Here the day-to-day domestic site informs the artist’s practice, while the artist also reflects on their home environment and in the process they transform this space into an ever-evolving living studio.


Photo credit: Mitchell Bright.


Photo Credit: Daniela Aebli

Emma Fitts, Fit-out for Olivia Spencer Bower, 2015 Photo: Daniela Aebli

Emma Fitts, Fit-out for Olivia Spencer Bower, 2015

Photo: Daniela Aebli

Fit-out for Olivia Spencer Bower, 2015, Emma Fitts
More about this artwork

An assortment of garment patterns, building plans, conversations and the lifestyles of art heroines provide templates for Fit-out for Olivia Spencer Bower, an installation originally shown in 2015 at the Ilam School of Fine Arts gallery.

Using texture as its main research methodology the fabric hangings, clothing cutouts, grass mats, plants, objects and text is added to, edited and rearranged to form a textile architecture that acutely relates to our situated knowledge, the proportions of the body and our experience of space, while also implying far less measurable qualities of a social history. 

Emma Fitts was the recipient of the Oliver Spencer Bower Award in 2014. 


Images:


Installed at CoCA: Emma Fitts, Fit-out for Olivia Spencer Bower, 2015
Photo: Daniela Aebli


Floor Plan: Emma Fitts, Fit-out for Olivia Spencer Bower, 2015
Photo: Tessa Peach


Garden Image:
Emma Fitts, A Painter's Garden, 2015
Photo: Daegan Wells

Ana Iti, First, they chose a name, 2016Recycled Halswell quarry stone with engraving, audioCourtesy of the artist

Ana Iti, First, they chose a name, 2016
Recycled Halswell quarry stone with engraving, audio
Courtesy of the artist

First, they chose a name, 2016, Ana Iti
More about this artwork

Ana Iti (Ngāpuhi) graduated from Ilam School of Fine Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2012. Employing sculpture, spoken text, drawing and archival materials, Ana’s recent work focuses on the colonial architecture of cities and the difficulties of trying to navigate a Māori identity through colonial and Western knowledge systems.



First, they chose a name explores the use of Karaitiana as a forgotten or defunct name for Ōtautahi Christchurch. After encountering this name on Wikipedia -- described as meaning ‘Christchurch’ or ‘Christianity’ -- and struggling to trace its origins, the artist has used this as a starting point to consider the slippery, political nature of naming and its relationship to collective and personal identity.


The work includes an audio recording of the artist reading out loud and a piece of recycled Halswell Quarry stone. The stone from this quarry was used in the construction of many significant early buildings in Ōtautahi. Playing between the lightness of breath and the heaviness of stone, First, they chose a name highlights a series of displacements between written and spoken language, and between name and identity.


Image: Ana Iti, First, they chose a name, 2016
Recycled Halswell quarry stone with engraving, audio. Courtesy of the artist


Photo Credit: Daniela Aebli

Sutton's Garden, 2016, Daegan Wells
More about this artwork

Through his archival and sculptural practice, Daegan Wells has been observing researching and collecting artefacts from the Christchurch Residential Red Zone for several years, considering the exploration of this largely unoccupied area to be like a drawing. It was during this process he came across W. A. Sutton’s former home studio, caught in flux between the Earthquake Commission and Heritage New Zealand. While the surrounding neighbourhood has been transformed into an empty grassed landscape, the Sutton House remains, isolated and overgrown—prone to vandalism and in disrepair. Private Lodgings largely focuses on the surrounding garden, a site of memory for many who came and went from Sutton’s studio from 1963 to 1992.


 Image: Daegan Wells, Extract from 'Private Lodgings' (W. A. Sutton's Garden), Silver gelatine print, 2016


Photo Credit: Daniela Aebli

Squatch, 2015, Jacquelyn Greenbank
More about this artwork

Jacquelyn Greenbank’s practice employs a domestic approach to art making. Utilising found objects, recycled materials and meticulously intricate hand crafted objects that capture a moment, sensation or pseudo historical event. Inquisitively weaving narratives that often blend social histories and the occult, popular culture and the paranormal in a unique and often humorous way.

In 2015 Greenbank was awarded The  Olivia Spencer Bower Foundation Art Award, her end of residency exhibition, Squatch, was made up of a number of elements some of which she accumulated while living in Tauranga. Snare traps, strange found assemblages of branches, the texture and smell of stone wash second hand smoke stained leather jackets, and vegetables. Squatch channeled the paranormal through a kind of Lynchian pseudo mysticism. With the use of tribal adornments, snares and shame poles, Squatch examined themes of identity, taboos and the supernatural while referencing traditions of primitivism. These artworks have been developed from this body of work. 


 


First Main Image: Jacquelyn Greenbank, Squatch, 2015 Photo: Nick Glen


Photo Credit: Daniela Aebli

Furrows, 2016, James Oram
More about this artwork

James Oram is known for his satirical comments on everyday situations and human interactions.

This new series of drawings, sculptures and paintings are typically deadpan in their humour. Recurring themes and thoughts pervade his storytelling capturing his view of the world.

Oram’s ideas find form across moving image, sculpture, drawing and installation. Yet, for all the diversity of his practice, his conceptual intent and interest is a rich vein running through all his works, whether they be sparse and autobiographical line drawings or bold concrete sculpture of words already heavy with meaning. James Oram provides a compelling mix of surface simplicity and darker undercurrents exploring the small, introspective battles of individual existence.


 


Photo Credit: Daniela Aebli

Lilia, 2015, Nina Oberg Humphries
More about this artwork

Nina Oberg Humphries has just graduated from Ilam School of Fine Art, Canterbury University.

Christchurch born and bred, Nina’s work has always reflected her dual cultural heritage of Pakeha and Cook island. Her work explores the juxtaposing nature between cultural tradition and popular culture to create a visual language which represents the artist and hopefully others as a second generation New Zealand born Pacific Islander. Influenced by dance, social politics and music, she works with a variety of mediums with a recent focus on film.


 


Photo Credit: Daniela Aebli

Steve Carr, Watermelon, 2015Sony XDCamDuration 33mins 20secs

Steve Carr, Watermelon, 2015
Sony XDCam
Duration 33mins 20secs

Watermelon, 2015, Steve Carr
More about this artwork

Steve Carr’s practice often demonstrates a fascination with moments of material transformation, playing with tension and our perception of time. Seemingly mundane or moments, such as the bursting of balloons or bubbles, are made magical; the split seconds of these actions drawn out in ultra-slow-motion high definition and displayed larger than life.

In Watermelon, 2015, two people methodically stretch rubber bands around a watermelon. Carr has formalised the web-sensationalisation of this activity, displaying the full length of this action in a gallery setting. He denies us the instant satisfaction of scrolling through the video online to start the film just before bursting point, and the humour and empathy that comes from watching a wider shot with anxious participants. The only sound is the rubber bands rhythmically snapping tight around the watermelon. There is something about this action that fascinates us; Buzzfeed staff live streamed a performance of this action recently, and at the peak of its 45-minute runtime, 807,000 viewers were watching at the same time. The film has since been watched over ten million times.

Bubble Cactus is a piece of found footage recorded on a Phantom HD camera that is stretched from 30 seconds to ten minutes to make visible the invisible. In the split seconds drawn out to minutes, the spines of the cactus slowly perforate the membrane of the bubble. The light ripples across the surface - the bubble quivers, then explodes. We are used to bearing witness to cinematic time manipulation through our daily image consumption; nature documentaries and sporting fixtures have been showing us intimate details of how the world works for decades- the speeding up of plants growth through time lapse, or the slow motion replays of sporting fouls. However, Carr’s work removes the familiarity of the scene and imbues it with a sense of tension which builds to an epic soundtrack. Recorded by the Voyager space probes launched by NASA in 1977, which gathered field recordings of the interaction between the solar wind and the magnetosphere of various planets and moons in the Solar System.  Once again, without our usual control over the pace we consume, we are forced to sit it out.


 


Photo Credit: Daniela Aebli

Copy Card, Tjalling de Vries
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Tjalling’s work traverses a range of media including painting, photography and collage, as well as sound and site-specific projects. Over the past few years he has been painting on canvas, linen and billboard fragments using a mishmash of found cartoon imagery, gestural painterly marks and accidental traces. Structured around the principles of collage, this playful layering of imagery developed from a series of questions concerning the formal processes of image-making. In this sense, Tjalling’s works respond to the often contingent and experimental practices of the studio, becoming humorous ruminations on the very act of painting. 


 


Photo Credit: Daniela Aebli

Coupland’s Waterfall, 2016, Rob Hood
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Rob Hood’s work is predicated by a sense of humour and has rapidly developed a national profile as one of the most interesting artists of his generation practicing in New Zealand.

Hood’s primary concern with installation consisted predominantly of a re-visioning or detournement of modernist works. Recently, for a variety of reason this way of working lost interest for the artist and he discovered he was making objects. These were non-art objects, such as furniture, braziers, bbqs, and the likes.

This process ran parallel with the making of art-objects, two of which are in this exhibition. Donald’s Pew a reference to the famous American minimalist artist Donald Judd’s furniture work, which started out as a regular non art object.

Also whilst making these objects a realisation that he was making and treating the two types of objects in the same way - as art objects; that is to say thinking and approaching them in the same way. So it is the question of what can constitute an art object? That is of interest.

The Couplands Hornby waterfall video is part tribute to one person’s dream and love of the mountains, waterfalls, nature. It is also poetic examination of two questions - what is nature and what is society? It also then becomes this idea of how do we compose society and nature.  


 


Photo Credit: Daniela Aebli

Wild South—Young Mountains, 2016, Scott Flanagan
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Scott Flanagan's works are conceptual in origin, but they are often created with a methodical and labour-intensive approach.

Scott uses VHS (video home system) tape to weave a black reflective field onto the gallery walls.  VHS tape is significant as the last widespread film-based visual media before the rise of digital technology.  The process of weaving is also important and references the early history of computing.  Specifically, Scott draws attention to Ada Lovelace (1815 – 1852), the female mathematician who developed the first algorithm for computing machines; an idea that was inspired by observing the process of weaving looms.

By weaving VHS tape, Scott creates a black mirror with a pixelated reflection (pixels being the basic unit of image-making in digital media).  This rudimentary digital image may be understood as a virtual reality or heterotopia, which simultaneously celebrates and questions technological advancement.  Moreover, the disturbed nature of the reflected image is a reminder that perception is, what the artist describes, “a contestable site,” open to different interpretations and re-evaluations.

"I have been and always will be a Christchurch Artist. It is the city of my birth and upbringing.


Though I currently reside in Port Chalmers, Christchurch remains ineluctable; Otautahi is tattooed on my skin. An Irish ancestry pervades both maternal/paternal sides of my familial histories, a diasporic and colonial condition.


I have been described as autodidactic, in manner self-educated; a self-taught artist with a professional capacity to breathe."


Photo Credit: Daniela Aebli

Bubble Cactus, Steve Carr
More about this artwork

Steve Carr’s practice often demonstrates a fascination with moments of material transformation, playing with tension and our perception of time. Seemingly mundane or moments, such as the bursting of balloons or bubbles, are made magical; the split seconds of these actions drawn out in ultra-slow-motion high definition and displayed larger than life.


In Watermelon, 2015, two people methodically stretch rubber bands around a watermelon. Carr has formalised the web-sensationalisation of this activity, displaying the full length of this action in a gallery setting. He denies us the instant satisfaction of scrolling through the video online to start the film just before bursting point, and the humour and empathy that comes from watching a wider shot with anxious participants. The only sound is the rubber bands rhythmically snapping tight around the watermelon. There is something about this action that fascinates us; Buzzfeed staff live streamed a performance of this action recently, and at the peak of its 45-minute runtime, 807,000 viewers were watching at the same time. The film has since been watched over ten million times.


Bubble Cactus is a piece of found footage recorded on a Phantom HD camera that is stretched from 30 seconds to ten minutes to make visible the invisible. In the split seconds drawn out to minutes, the spines of the cactus slowly perforate the membrane of the bubble. The light ripples across the surface - the bubble quivers, then explodes. We are used to bearing witness to cinematic time manipulation through our daily image consumption; nature documentaries and sporting fixtures have been showing us intimate details of how the world works for decades- the speeding up of plants growth through time lapse, or the slow motion replays of sporting fouls. However, Carr’s work removes the familiarity of the scene and imbues it with a sense of tension which builds to an epic soundtrack. Recorded by the Voyager space probes launched by NASA in 1977, which gathered field recordings of the interaction between the solar wind and the magnetosphere of various planets and moons in the Solar System.  Once again, without our usual control over the pace we consume, we are forced to sit it out.
 



Photo Credit: Daniela Aebli