Thursday, October 30, 2008

Media Galore!

Seeing as people are so busy coming to an end to the year (no time to see shows I'm afraid...I even forgot to catch the Catherine David talk that was on today, blast...), I'd like to compensate lack of posting with other stuff...such as this beautiful video of painter Claudia doing a Snow Dance:

Isn't she lovely?

As well as this video by James Kalm at the Mary Heilmann: To Be Someone Exhibition at the New Museum featuring.....


Hell Yes!

And woah, wait a minute, the fun doesn't just end there....

Invites to the Graduating Exhibition (as well as year 1 & 2 open day). Hot off the press/email. Come along to it. Will be the best decision of your life.

And who said compensating wasn't as good as the real thing??

- Agnes

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Studio Movin'

Yes final week = studio move. Here are some pics of us getting jiggy with the paint rollers. Amber said something about how repairing each wall gives us a history of what the hell was under there before us (due to all the sanding we have to do) so its like peeling the layers and seeing the bloody big hole that some student before us (bless their hearts) made for God knows whatever reason and then tried to fill. Or perhaps that giant enamel red wall painting you thought was a really good idea at the time but then realised it wasn't so much when it came time to painting it out...
Either way, the studios are starting to look somewhat spiffy. Excellent.
We also spent our day perusing geekologie, coveting laser cats as well as Post-it fun.
5 days!!
- Agnes

Friday, October 24, 2008

Feature Friday: Another Quick Post

A gift from Julian who just came back from New York and Chicago! A poster for the exhibition Minus Space at P.S.1 (where both Julian and Simon Ingram were participants) whose opening was aptly described as 'a rock concert'. 3000 people or so apparently...Thats quite a crowd!

look at em...

go here for pics and info

And here for an interesting interview by Phong Bui (curatorial advisor) about it:

Hmmm what else....what else?

Still working like mad for end of year and studio is just so interesting right now. We talked today about Vicky's painting (i regret not being able to get a pic of it before she took it down) which was a strange painted squiggle shaped board that she hung on a nail. Very home decor. Very 'what the f....?'. Also Very Cool.

I also finally checked out the Swedish Exhibition downstairs which is more like a trade fair than an exhibition anyway...

Two of the artists gave a talk today in the gallery so i decided to head along. Ended up being rather drawn out and all 'talking shit about a pretty sunset'...hmmm reminds me that i haven't really been to many artists talks lately. Where are they?

10 days till submission!

Which also reminds me that if you are in the Auckland region on Nov 5th from 12-8, come up to AUT WM Block and check out our open studio! We are a friendly bunch and like hellos :)

- Agnes

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Catch-ups

Hmm what happened to Feature Friday??? Perhaps I got too busy and didnt get a chance to post over the last few days but here I am now! End of semester means busy beavers in the studio and brings on crazy change. But there's one thing that's been quite a permanent fixture in my studio life this whole year....

This spotty stain on the floor!

Yes. Everytime someone comes into my studio, they always make a remark about this interesting splatter of paint (trust me the photo is shite and does it no justice. at all. nada.) It's been the thing I look to when i'm drained and need a break. But what exactly is it that i like about it? Perhaps, beyond it's rather pleasing aesthetic, it makes me think about what exactly made it that way. What was someone painting in order to create such a by-product?? I would like to see that painting, perhaps any old BVA students could enlighten me to the artist?

So for that reason, this part of the studio floor has been chosen as my Feature 'Friday' (or monday). Lovely.

Now onto other matters. Today was the opening of a particular Swedish Style Exhibition. We had all been curious as to how this would pan out as over the last couple of weeks we watched them pack in. There was a car in the gallery! And a mysterious swedish chair in the foyer we couldn't sit on...and ladies and gents, I wish I could say how it was, but i dont think any of us were really welcome at the opening (mysterious signs in the elevators telling us to exit on level 2 had tones of 'come back later') and the fact that i wasn't wearing heels like everyone else meant i wasn't really dressed for the 'occasion' ha ha? So we watched from above instead while this guy:

talked...and talked........something about economy and how swedish design is going to save us while we are in a recession...

Apparently there was Swedish Royalty!! And this fancy fluorescent Vodka Bar. But I didn't get to see any of it. So really, none of it happened. At least not for me. What a shame.

What a spectacle.

- Agnes

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Shiny Red Bridge

Natasha and Gemma oogling Fiona's large format prints...

Just came home from *gasp* a photography exhibition. Oh no how could I...

But Oh yes! Fiona Amundsen, my old theory teacher, just completed a residency in Seoul earlier this year and here are the fruits of her trip on the walls of Gus Fisher.

The exhibition entitled 'Miracle on the Han River' shows the Cheonggyecheon stream which has been redeveloped in an attempt to re-beautify the city, showing the brightness of specific aspects (such as the red bridge and green foliage) set amongst a city grey. Yes we were very impressed.

There was even a talk given by Cassandra Barnett, which we agreed was excellent due to the lack of wank. My only niggle of the show comes from the height at which the photos were hung. Very appropriate for those who are six foot (such as Mr McIntyre), perhaps not so much for those who are in the 5 foot bracket...(moi) Much tippy-toeing involved. Perhaps i should grow a few inches, wouldn't that be rather nice?

For some reason, my photography skills are that of the blurry kind today. How appropriate...

Check out as well as for more info.

18 more days till end of year assessment...the final countdown begins...

- Agnes

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Accidental Artist...

Whilst walking to the library the other day, I came across a bunch of construction on some apartments opposite my old school. As always there was the scaffolding and fences but this time, they had painted their fences a bright shade of orange and blue...

Pondering this, i wondered what an odd choice of colour for this particular site, and perhaps it was some sort of art work instead, maybe Auckland's sneaky way of trying to bring art to public places (like Scape). I looked for some sort of reasoning behind this. Who was it made by? There was a sign that said Plaster Tech Systems Ltd. This was the company that was fixing the building. But they obviously spent some sort of money and thought into painting this fence...It doesn't seem like something that was just haphazard! Which made me wonder, whoever was made to paint this fence has then become an Accidental Artist. I wonder if they know?

Or maybe, as i always do and is most likely, i'm reading way too much into it! But I snapped a pic for you to enjoy. Thanks Plaster Tech Systems! You really made my day...

Art is the funniest thing innit?

- Agnes

Friday, October 10, 2008


Having just read this post by Peter Peryer, I couldn't help but write something in response...

The idea of Artists Statements being a compulsory part of our Visual Arts course has baffled me. On one hand, it does make us think about where we believe our practices are situated, and since our practices are so new, it's helpful to start thinking about where our artistic interests lie. Having been made to write one for mid-year assessment, at the time, it seemed like a good idea. I was able to define my practice in something tangible (words) and make sense of it through that process.

But as time wore on, I found that the statement started to get the best of me. It trapped me in a box (and perhaps it was partly to do with myself as an individual and how I reacted to the statement in conjunction with other things going on in studio at that time) and left me creatively drained. Essentially, I had written a fence around my practice, and yes, it was a 'draft' fence, but a fence none the less. Such boundaries intimidated me and made me feel as though i should be making art responding to that statement, instead of the other way round!! How absurd, to be making art about some words you had written about art that you had made before...not the best creative process (at least not for me).

Feeling as though i should only be making work about what i said i intended to make work about a month beforehand ultimately left me android-like. The fun and play in the process of art-making was completely gone. And I, as an artist, ended up resting on my laurels and coasting instead, stuck as a bug on a highway truck. This combined with the pressures of delivering something in studio left me with artistic stage fright.

Eventually you realise that studio is all about exploration, and when I was most fruitful with art was when I really wasn't caring about what I was doing, but instead, just exploring through method and personal interest. It took me a couple of months to figure out that just because i wrote 500 words about my practice a while back, doesn't mean that the work i'm making now has to fit perfectly within those words.

But on the other hand, in the recent Year 2 pilot shows, we decided to give statements alongside our work and, surprisingly, they were very well received. Having spoken before about the battles i have with my family and friends about the concept of art, it was helpful for them to have something that they can read to gain some sort of preliminary knowledge on the background of not just me, but the practice of my friends in the show that they had never met or known before.

So perhaps the statement still has an important role in certain situations? And it is finding a way of adapting the idea of the statement so that it can service both the artist and the viewer when it is relevant. How about instead of a statement, we just have 'prompters', just a few words that lie within your practice? Light...Cow...Finance...Ephemeral...Instead of building a fence around your work, we use road cones instead. It then becomes something more transitory. That way, we won't be assuming too much of our own practices (and turning ourselves into one trick ponies), and at the same time letting the spectator come to their own conclusions. Art, after all, can only thrive when thinkings aren't fixed, but shifting...

Whaddya think?

Until then, I'll still have to be writing my statement for end of year...damn


p.s. for those of you who couldn't care less, here's a drawing from one of my favourite artists, David Shrigley, after all, life isn't always about such debates as these...

Feature Friday: Laxmi Jhunjhnuwala

Bright Rays of Wisdom Lamp


Sacred Orb 1

My lovely studio pal, Laxmi Jhuhnjhnuwala has cleverly made her own website (with a little help from her nephew)!! Having had the pleasure of sharing studio space with her and seeing her work develop over the year, i think this perhaps couldn't have come at a better time. I want a website now...

A quick post before i head out just to let you know, with study week over , there are really only 2 or so weeks before end of year! A scary thought for those of us who aren't anywhere near ready for final presentations...other than that, i'm glad studio will be going back to normal, it's been eerily quiet over the last few days. There have also been a few of us entering the National Drawing Award (most of us for the first time) so we can't wait for that show to begin. Nothing else really to report, has been much a dull week really!

- Agnes

p.s. i'm toying with the idea of doing a video blog...once i find out how to! They seem to be in-vogue and all the rage at the mo so might as well jump on the bandwagon....keep posted

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pule Fakamotu

Sam posing with her painting

Sam's other paintings

This lady treated us to a lovely song(s) and a dance, teaching us how to dance Niuean style...

The computer has finally come back from the people who fix computers and is in ok shape, much to my delight. It also means i can start blogging again!! And when i heard that a member of our sort-of collective (the paintandbake) was opening an exhibition tonight, I thought what better place to spend a wet and windy Tuesday evening than at Artstation...

So Thomas and I braved the terrible weather (and the awful traffic) to attend the opening. And for those of you who don't know (like I), the show was set up to celebrate Niue's Constitution Day which is on October 19th and expores the idea of 'self-government'.

Highlights include...

- The story of the lady who earned $500 an hour teaching weaving to rich prep schoolers
- The same lady teaching us how to dance Niuean (no hips!!!)
- The singing (as always, Niuean's have lovely voices)

And of course seeing our very own Sam chuffed as hell with an amazing exhibition!
the exhibition runs till the 25th so head along yessssss

On another note, it is 'study week' and also BVA interview week (where we get to scout out the new talent that maybe coming in next year) which means it is quiet as hell in the studios, so not much news on that front. It also doesn't help studio morale when Auckland somehow forgot that it was once a rather nice and habitable place (note: last week with the gorgeous sunshine) and has instead been treating us to crap. hmmm...

So to liven things up, I give you something for all those Gordon Ramsey fans out there (you know who i'm talking about....Claudia....). Stumbled across this whilst watching Sunrise today, my tv can't tune into Breakfast so Sunrise is what i wake up to instead. Enjoy

- Agnes

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Feature Friday: Thinspace

Directional signs

Thinspace and maze! Two attractions for the price of one...


More motivational and directional signs

Phillip's drawing

King Nebuchadnezzar, 2007, Coloured Pencil on paper

Exit Signage

Jessie's drawings:

To Change Course of Battle, Rotate, 2008, Acrylic on Canvas
Bones, Chipper, 2008, Pastel and Sticker on Paper

Phillip and Jessie relaxing at the Opening (Bundaberg commercial anyone?)

This is a new section of our blog, called 'Feature Friday' (as coined by my friend Thomas from sculpture) where we will, as the title says, feature something interesting from our studios on the 'day of the Fri'.

I had been pondering this idea of setting up a space inside the studio in which students could put up work, and install as if it were a gallery, kind of like a rapid-fire gallery... and then we could open it to the public and see what would become of it. Well well my friends, Phillip and Jessie have already beaten me to it! Which is great because within the space of half and hour, they utilised the maze like corridor between their two studio spaces and created what is aptly called 'Thinspace'. I was lucky enough to attend the 'opening' of this where Julian even shouted the two to a couple of bottles of beer....Ginger beer of course!! And they had even xeroxed off a catalogue for the perusal of gallery attendees.

I guess what's interesting about this particular gallery is obviously the claustrophobic-ness of it, where you're forced to view work from within a few centimetres of your face. I often find that when i enter a gallery space, there is a discomforting vastness where you are confronted with the work, the space between you and the work, and yourself. And the bigger the gallery, the larger that space. So it is somewhat refreshing to come into this area, where there is none of that, and instead, you are immediately forced to become very accquainted with the work on the walls.

So what does this do to the work? Obviously, it makes you look!!! And i mean really look, no glancing involved here...I'm always interested in what kind of relationship can be made between spectator and art and Thinspace definately forces participation.

After talking to Elliot about the gallery, we were wondering what would happen if we were to put his work in the space. His work looks like this btw...

Obviously its rather large and less intimate than Jessie and Phillips drawings. How would one manipulate the space so that Elliot's work can still be what it is? As well as being careful not to smear oil paint on the patrons of the gallery....perhaps Elliot should put forth a proposal for a show at Thinspace and we can see...

I am thinking of proposals for my own show there as we speak!
Till then, the gallery is open from 11-3, Monday to Friday so if you are in Auckland, come along to the WM Block of AUT and press level 5 on the elevator. Perhaps we may see some of you around...

- Agnes

p.s. My computer has been sent to the computer hospital (which i'm told is right next to the computer morgue) and may or may not be making it back. Till then, blogging maybe rather sporadic as it will be based on when and where i can get my hands on the precious lifesource that is the internet!! so very sorry :(

p.p.s. I also see the irony in having a Feature Friday when the date says it is does one change the time standards on this thing?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sriwhana Spong at Anna Miles

Nijinsky, Our Eyes Spinning Like Propellers, and The Faun with the Nymphs Veil, Paris, May 1912

Halberd Head, with Naga and Blades, Indonesia (Java), Eastern Javanese Period, Singrasari Kingdom, ca. second half of the 13th century, Coppery Alloy. Samuel Eilenberg Collection. Gift of Samuel Eilenberg 1996. 1996.468,b

(What a lengthy title!)


Afternoon of a Faun, Nymphs Veil, 1914 & Afternoon of a Faun, Nymphs Shawl, 1914


Just came from the Sriwhana Spong opening at Anna Miles. What a jam-packed show, both people and artwork. We were lucky enough to have time before the masses came in to have a sit and think with the art. Was perhaps a little overwhelmed by the work to begin with (not knowing much about the artist), having been mesmerised by the lacquered pieces with shiny, shiny mirror and the neon work and not knowing whether i was interested in them purely due to my magpie tendencies or because of a level further than that. Apparently Ghosts shows the signatures of people from a band, obtained by Spong's friend after a gig, however she isn't quite sure who the signatures belong to, therefore rendering them ghosts or shadows...

Amber gave me her take on the pieces being about theatre and illusion (she's much more knowledgeable about the ballet references than I) and also the art deco references which was quite apparent from the use of the geometric ( i think i overheard someone calling the show quite 'diamondy'!)We also weren't too sure how Ghost related to the other pieces, feeling that it was quite removed from the rest of the show. Perhaps I may feel differently after more contemplation. We then yarned on about how we think neon is the 'new pants' and the fruits from our meeting with Saskia yesterday where she introduced us to the duo of Fischl/Weiss.

look at for more info on the show!

- Agnes