It's been a while since the last blog post. We've been pretty busy presenting a really exciting programme in the last few months! Aotearoa Digital Arts Symposium, Forsyth Barr - Pushing Clay Uphill, Kō Te Akau and Kei Hea a Tiki? were real highlights!
ADA SYMPOSIUM Indeterminate Infrastructures – Objects, Signals & Architectures
This was a multiple venue event held in Whakatū/ Nelson & elsewhere online. The collaboration between Aotearoa Digital Arts (ADA) network, Refinery ArtSpace and Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) saw an international and multidisciplinary gathering engage across the expanded field of digital media practice and how it interfaces with social and civic activity.
Contemporary media have been continuously shaped by the indeterminate infrastructures they rely upon, with creative practice resonating with or intervening in these often ambiguous architectures. The theme aimed to examine what lies beyond these infrastructures and exploring how creative media and art practices unfold into wider ecologies of media and materialities within digital networks
As well as a stimulating programme of presentations, panels and exhibited works by an array of emerging through to established artists from Aotearoa and beyond. The public were also invited to enjoy a programme that included exhibitions, a large outdoor projection event, GeoSpatial AR and other creative interventions across the Nelson urban landscape and environments.
.Refinery ArtSpace's offerings and how we interpreted the theme. ..
Max McAlpine delighted passersby with his Air Piano work.
Forsyth Barr - Pushing Clay Uphill Contemporary Ceramics Award
Thanks to Forsyth Barr Investment Services Nelson Branch Contemporary Ceramics. Arts Council Nelson was able to offer a generous and life changing award of $8000. We saw entrants from throughout Aotearoa and thirty three dynamic and exciting pieces were selected as finalists. Elise Johnston took out the main prize and has plans to extend her workspace. Owen Bartlett, John Parker and Dave Marshall received Prizes of Merit. Thank you to Mavis and Osborn they went home with a gorgeous bespoke potters apron and Nelson City Council generously donated a shared prize of $1000. For a catalogue, a video walk through of the exhibition and awards announcements head to http://www.acn.org.nz/pushing-clay-uphill.html. Jason Oldfield has captured some fabulous video footage.
PHOTO CREDIT: JASON OLDFIELD
Klaasz Breukel (Photo Credit) and Chandra Tandukar from Uniquely have put together this 360 degree walkthrough of the exhibition.
And last but certainly not least Nelson Arts Festival smashed it out of the park with their site specific commission of Ko Te Ākau - Poetics of Land, Water and Sky and exhibition of Ceramic works, Kei Hea a Tiki? from local artist Kim Ireland.
KEI HEA A TIKI? WHERE IS TIKI? KIM IRELAND
In te ao Māori, tāne and wāhine once lived in balance with each other, and all other beings who originated from Ranginui and Papatūānuku. Gender and sexual diversity were normalised but colonialisation brought a strict gender hierarchy and static sexual identities. With the power of pūrākau and whakapapa, this exhibition attempts to draw forth mātauranga Māori of gender and sexuality.
Kim Ireland’s (Te Arawa) practice is founded upon identity and the power of historical narratives. Directed by rangahau and mātauranga, Ireland has evolved her multidisciplinary works, often playing with temporality or reclaiming what has been lost. Kei Hea a Tiki? is her first exhibition of clay works.
Photo Credit: Melissa Banks
KO TE ĀKAU - Poetics of Land, Water and Sky - Te Toki Haruru
The energy of Te Ākau (The space in between) resonates still in Whakatū. Created by Charles Koroneho for Te Toki Haruru and in collaboration with Filament Eleven 11. The performers were Charles Koroneho, Rosie Te Rauawhea Belvie, Victoria Hunt, Eddie Elliott, Samara Davis, Natasha Kanapé and Chris Graham. The work challenged, inspired provoked and astounded an audience that stayed (sometimes for hours), and returned (sometimes several times).
The introspection and focus that Koroneho embodies and inspires in his collaborators to explore the Ākau of the inner and outer, personal and relational, present and ancestral is remarkable. A tension is manifest and held and then dissipated and transformed. Originally scheduled for 2021, I want to acknowledge the fortitude, exploration and experimentation that has inevitable deepened and evolved the work.
The project referenced the collaborative works of artists Ralph Hotere and Bill Culbert and serves as the inspiration for exploring the poetics of Te Ākau, the space where the ocean meets the land, where the horizon connects land, water and sky.
The kaupapa of Ko Te Ākau is best served by ‘Mātiro Whakamua’ with a gaze firmly fixed on the horizon. The project is aesthetically futuristic and abstract, a vehicle for the past, present and future, performed by the living ancestral body of the artists.
In this shared space, performances journey us through remembrance, acknowledgement, and aspiration. The hope of a poetic land, water and sky is the horizon carried by the kaupapa, where the optimism and guidance of a human being in ceremonial performance places our imagination amongst the cosmos.
Unlike anything else, this is an exhibition, a performance, a gathering, a virtual experience, and a sharing. Charles, Tony, Natasha and Chris shared some insights during an artist talk which was recorded and will be released soon. We are very much looking forward to sharing that with you. I will watch with keen interest the evolution of this work.
A deep gratitude to Lydia and the team at Nelson Arts Festival and to Charles and his team for holding their gains to deliver a brave and stimulating programme. Can't wait to see how you are going to follow this!
It's been a while since we've posted here. The Refinery whanau and the team at Arts Council Nelson have been cooking up some amazing events and exhibitions for Whakatū with several of our friendly collaborators. We've got a really exciting time coming up. Watch this space... Firstly I'd like to talk about an exhibition that I am particularly passionate about and am proud that Arts Council Nelson and Nelson City Council are supporting.
Kai - I - Ngā - Ora by Nerys Ngaruhe, Moana Pakeho, Major Herewini and Samara Davis examines the concept of home in the context of the housing crisis and explores the personal journey these four artists have had with it.
Major Herewini, is a painter living in Whakatū/Nelson. A graphic and graffiti artist his usual medium is spray paint. Major has stepped out of his comfort zone and taken up the brush to produce powerful works for this exhibition.
Nerys Ngaruhe, Nerys' mahi toi/artwork is heavily influenced by the social injustices created by Colonization from both a māori/cymraeg perspective. Her intentions with Art is to restore indigenous histories and knowledge, and to weave the worlds of fine and applied art together. In this exhibition Nerys is creating new works
Moana Pakeho, Inspired by my brothers and sisters who support and encourage me through life’s challenges and remind me of the importance of togetherness. Moana Pakeho credits support from family, friends and fellow artists for helping her "stick at it." While creating she constantly thinks of who is close to her, family she respects.
"My family are my biggest supporters," says Pakeho. " After coming from Auckland in 2014, Pakeho studied Te Rao Maori, followed by visual arts study in 2015. Moana’s work Te Whare is a comment on the white picket fence and all that it represents. Here it is seen decayed and losing it’s glamour. The inspirational whakatauki and strong symbolism of Matariki invokes the hope of new beginnings. Matariki is a strong theme in many of her works in this exhibition as well as the beautiful kowhaiwhai patterns that are woven through them.
Samara Davis, with a strong voice Samara, like all of these brave artists isn't afraid to tackle the 'hard' subjects. Her first Solo exhibition at Refinery ArtSpace in 2021 Ano Me He Whare Pūngāwerewere was a lament that our prisons are full while our intricately weaved whare (Marae) gather spiders webs. The community Tukutuku panel created during that exhibition is beautifully framed and presented and is up for silent auction during this exhibition.
Nelson City Council have generously supported a residency during the exhibition. There will be at least one artist in residence between 12 and 2, Tuesday - Friday, so drop by and visit and make your own mark on the exhibition, in their own curated 'make space' in the back gallery. We strongly encourage you to come and reflect on this vibrant, confronting, beautiful collaboration. Many works are for sale and will be posted online. Support this kaupapa. Kai - I -Ngā Ora runs until the 27th August.
How dare You! 2022
Congratulations to Ainē and the team at the Nelson Tasman Climate Forum and all of the young artists who contributed to this vibrant and important exhibition.
The exhibition is open and looking stunning. The quality and innovation of the work this year from practitioners throughout Aotearoa is at another level. Lynn Taylor and Gillian Saunders our guest judges brought their wealth of experience in fibre and textile to to assist long time judge Ronnie Martin (Creative Director) in selecting some worthy award winners. It was a treat to host you both at Refinery ArtSpace and for you to share your perspective with us. Arts Council are very proud to have presented this award for the last 13 years.We were very fortunate to still have had an opening albeit a pared back preview for sponsors, artists and their families. Come and support the exceptional mahi of this group of textile and fibre practitioners.
RAW 22 - Work Outside the Edge.
In his 1947 manifesto, French artist and curator Jean Dubuffet described the term art brut (Raw Art) as follows: "We understand by this term works produced by persons unscathed by artistic culture, where mimicry plays little or no part (contrary to the activities of intellectuals). These artists derive everything...from their own depths, and not from the conventions of classical or fashionable art."
'Raw 22 - Work outside the edge' has been a fabulous exhibition featuring work created by people from around the country who have no formal or traditional art training with expressions of individuality and inventiveness that are ‘Raw’ and uncooked by cultural and artistic influences.
We would like to thank all of the all of the artists from around Aotearoa who submitted work. A special thanks also go out to the arts access studios Kapiti Art Studio, The White Room, Community Art Works, Magenta Art Space, and WestREAP for the outstanding work that they do for our creative communities.
Participating artists (no particular order):
Diane Brand, Sara Brown, Rex Bennet, Erin Coleman, Tamzin Hine, Sophie, Jim Alley, Paul Healy, Chrissy Taylor, Ken Ruffell,Christian Martin, Akanksha Kargwal, Shashini Weerakoon, Evon Ashoka Silva, Caitlyn Bloomfield, Julia Holden, Christine Cameron Holland, Paula Lister, Jayden Munsey, Lucia Zuniga Caceres, Susanne Williamson, Wendy Rutledge, Peter Quayle, Edward Hoffman, Kan Koon, Nathan Wilson, Stacey Menzies, EIK NOS, Gaelynne Pound, Kate Cornwall, Oscar Porter, George Smeaton, Francie Heathfield, Phil Sigglekow, Debbie Holland, Amrit Kaur, Samantha Allen, Jessie Macaw, Andrea Monds, Judi Trompetter, Mathew Nordberg, Marina McPherson, Aramoana du Feu, Leanna Brown, Anna McCarthy, Chris McFarlane, Graham Adams, Gary Buchanan, Darren Dawson, Virginia Fowler, Kayla Hood, Neville Shapcott, Billy Gargett, Rachael Ward, Andrius Kilgour, Mark Lewis, Lianne Murphy, Karolina Serrano Paton, Philips Eberlein, Jean Guile,Donna Hunt, Janine Neville, Jo Jago, Michael Taylor, Isaac Tait, Dennis Kepa, Francesca Marmi, Gabrielle Ashdown, Bevan Dick, Christine, Dorothea Shireman, Charlotte Turner, Erena Wylie, John Jensen, Claire Hargreaves, Lauchau, Grace Alexander, Fonda Griffith, Chrissy Taylor, Melissa Barret, Kerry Callaghan, Robbie McManaway, Lorraine Keely, Rick Allender and Sebastian Crow
Taarn Scott is an emerging artist from Ōtepoti. She graduated from Elam school of fine arts with a BFA(hons) in 2019. Working over different disciplines she illustrates, sculpts, paints and prints drawings through alternative mediums. Scott shares her practise of archival pencil rubbing and it's fundamental nature as an alternate record. This is the last week of Outlining/Shifting Channels at Refinery ArtSpace on show until 22nd Jan.
Ngā mihi o te tau hou ki a koe, we are looking forward to 2022 at Refinery ArtSpace. Kicking it off with our old friends Centre for Fine Woodworking, the maestros of modern timber design. Emerge is a slightly different show in that it incorporates aspects of two new projects; one is the mentoring of a new generation of teachers and the other is the launch of the Thorkild Hansen Scholarship Programme with details of how you may be able to help support this project and his wonderful legacy at the centre. We are lucky enough to have some of Thorkild's work as well as the finest doggy day bed that ever was by Louise Fuller and Robert Godoy from the Emerging Tutor Programme. Emerge is in exhibition until 22nd January.
The ethereal sentinels of Taarn Scott's Shifting/ Outlining Channels denote 'drawing with a greater physical presence'. They will be holding space until January 22nd. Stay tuned for some further opportunities to engage with Taarn and the practise of textural rubbings.
Stuff to look forward to...
We are eagerly awaking the triumphant return of Wāhine to Whakatū and the stories of wāhine toa that have been collected by Loren Pasquir since it has been on tour of Te Wai Pounamu. Lotus Eaters Lullaby brings together selected works from enigmatic installation artist Lee Woodman created during the last two years. Homer's Odyssey describes the blissful forgetfulness that overcame the 'Lotus Eaters', the large gallery will be an oasis of contemplation to lose yourself in as Woodman's hypnotic works artfully come together. Malsha Ariyawansa will be bringing her colourful work depicting Sri Lankan temple paintings to the Refinery in her first solo exhibition. Ariyawansa paints on unconventional found materials giving her work an interesting dimension.
Looking further into the future...
RAW 22. Work Outside the Edge 22nd February - 19th March. An Arts Council Nelson initiative showcasing work created by people from around the country who have no formal or traditional art training that express individuality and inventiveness that are ‘RAW’ – uncooked by cultural and artistic influences. Go to the RAW 22 page on our website for entry details. http://www.acn.org.nz/raw-22.html
Changing Threads Contemporary Fibre Textile Award 25th Mar - 23rd April
The search is again on for original work from artists stretching the boundaries of fibre and textiles. Arts Council Nelson invite entries until the closing date of February 23rd 2022. Check our page http://www.acn.org.nz/changing-threads.html for entry details and further announcements about our judges and major prizes.
We may have a few delightful surprises pop up in the gallery for summer and autumn. Stay tuned...
kia kite wawe koe
See you soon.
Comings and goings...
We had to say goodbye to Dii Moffatt and her sumptuous exhibition, New Forms but not before we were treated to some insight from back to back artist talks by and her and Linda Dimitrievska this week. Linda Dimitrievksa's The Cloud of Unknowing is in place until 13th December.
Patrick Malone brings his first solo show for several year's to the Refinery, The Brightness is Beautiful is a comment on his reaction to the light in his new home in the Nelson Lakes district. We were gratefully able to celebrate the opening of his return to exhibition on Monday night.
Taarn Scott brings her series of Nelson Coastline panels in Outlining/Shifting Channels. This is a series that explores drawing with 'a greater physical presence. Through a process beginning with woodcuts carved into reclaimed doors, these pieces exist on the intersection between traditional print making and sketching. Mapping the Nelson coastline, these works are pencil rubbings taken from original wood carvings, which can also be seen in the space.'
The Brightness is Beautiful and Outlining/Shifting Channels are in place until 22nd January.
REPOSE Vicki Smith
An interactive live cyberperformance by digital multi media artist Vicki Smith and collaborators as part of the Mobilise Demobilise International Digital Arts Festival.
Repose physically and virtually explores the shifting geographies of the Whakatū/Nelson coastal edge by introducing the lethal Victorian practices of crinolines and the application of the Cartesian grid. Three billowing figures trace current and historic paths, creating a tidal strandline through urban infrastructure and flooding carparks.
With thanks to processional performers Mel McColgan, Lyn Russell and Sally Shaw.
Refinery Artspace; GetFrocked, John-Paul Pochin, Faye and Karl Wulff.
KATHALEEN MARIE BARTHA
The defining elements of my work are line, form and movement.
In my observations of 'line' I find infinite possibilities, symbols and patterns.
And In their simplicity, lines are like metaphors guiding me to places where I often find my sense of freedom.
As Kandinksy’s theories state ‘the process always begins with a ‘POINT and LINE, to PLANE.’
I use free hand drawing as a ‘thinking tool’ to generate new graphic relationships and ideas. These drawn relationships are not thought out and planned beforehand ( unlike my architectural practice), but instead I utilise fast, repetitive, improvisation techniques
.... a kind of stream of consciousness.
One line will generate the next line. One group of lines will generate the next group of lines and so on and so on.
What comes before will generate what come next and that next action could be anything chosen in that moment.... something abstract, figurative or maybe surreal.
This process is used to generate sequences of composition to stimulate future drawing work and architectural work.
I am entirely drawn to these minimal shapes and forms that are stripped of colour, but which
are, I hope, still quietly insistent and determined to exist. There’s a void, or gap, between
how the work looks and the drivers that led to it being created. People talk about how
meditative and calm the work feels but I have a great deal of determination and focused
energy when I’m working. I like that there is this tension, even if it isn’t obvious to the
One artist that has a major influence on me is Donald Judd. He described his work as a
“simple expression of complex thought”. This sums up how I feel about my art practice.