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!