Sunday, June 28, 2009

PaintandBakery: Cuppacake

I've recently gotten back in the baking groove due to an acquisition in the form of 'giant awesome electric kitchen mixer'. Thus when Thomas asked if I would bake for his opening, I happily obliged. These are chocolate cheesecake cupcakes. A coronary in a paper baking cup. But sooooo bloody worth it. I promise there will be more fruits of the electric mixer at my own Pilot opening. August 5th. Be there.

- Agnes

Passing By

Lyn Guinibert

Caitlyn Porteous

Emma Fraser

Natasha Pearl

Thomas Stewart

Emma Macfarlane

Ze Groupe.

I arrived at the opening of Bypassed Territory a little bit more refreshed after the stress of mid-years being over and the greater amount of sleep that I had managed to catch. This made for a good art seeing mood. So far so good?

Group five decided to do a similar thing as the last show in which they too closed off the other end of the gallery. That poor end is probably feeling slightly under utilised. Fair enough though, it's an awkward space. With that being said, there were six people instead of the sparse four we had before, and surprisingly, it was just as clean as the previous exhibition.

It was noted from the very beginning that each member in this particular group had a very neat aesthetic with the exception being Emma F's work, but even here, her gestural mapping was slightly understated. It could be easy then to 'bypass' a lot of the work, seeing as at least half of it blended in with the architecture. Colour wise, there really was none, only the worn out hues of Lyn's towels (which wasn't important in the reading) versus Natasha's photography (where colour was important). The cleanliness made for a visually cohesive show.

Like I had mentioned in a previous post, Thomas had set himself some building tasks, and the fruits of such were clearly successful in the space. His pared back constructions garnered a lot of interaction, with people having to go inside and outside the gallery in order to view the work in its entirety. Even then, his ability to place things in your way, so you were just that bit too far out to get a closer look, was a clever manipulation of bodily relationships between viewer, architecture and sculpture. It could almost be a ridicule of the space in a way. Kind of like he knows that Gallery 3’s railings are both an optical and physical annoyance. It also worked nicely in conversation with Emma Macfarlane’s boxes. She talks of similar ideas (inner/outer space) yet with a different type of meticulousness, more fragile.

Caitlyn’s works are always made from a culmination of an obsessive spending of one’s time. I admire her work ethic, having watched her painstakingly laying down white thread last year for three days straight, only to have it ruined by opening night (she didn’t even cry!), goes to show how her work is very much about the process of art-making, with the product being a testament to such. Although I felt this piece was a little too static in that particular corner of the gallery, I do see it as another extension of the ‘bypassing’ theme they have going here. It was hard to get a good look of it with the light silver marker pen and the bloody railings in the way (yet again!).

Lyn’s towel sculpture were probably too contained. I understood that it used the idea of balance to exist the way it does, yet its presence was not as flimsy as it seemed. There was a lack of danger with it falling down due to it’s positioning in the gallery, leaving it hard to interact with, kept safely enclosed instead in its corner. Coming back the next day, Thomas did remark that it seemed a little ‘flatter’. Maybe its undoing is in the sense of time rather than that of a physical body. However, resin is still a very permanent material. I wonder whether the towels could have been starched in shape, then left to slowly fall. This could have been a further play on her interests in memory and time.

I liked the role Natasha's photographs had in guiding the viewer through the gallery and around other works. It made for a good 'glue' and mental breathing space.

Overall, this was a well thought out show. Five down, Two to go!

- Agnes


Fristar Viliamu

Sarah Whiteside
Birds Sylvanian series

Kirsty Oliver
Indoor Outdoor flow

John Vea

Ship In High Transition was the fourth instalment of the Pilot series. From the get go, this was an interesting bunch, having one person switching groups due to travel commitments and then a few weeks later, another dropping out completely. This led to just four people left and that rather large Gallery 3 space...

What to do? The clever people closed off a good section of the gallery (which wan't admitting defeat so much as a simple way to make do) and even filled it with a band on opening night (nice touch). There wasn't a lot of clutter, just four strong sets of works.

Favourites would be John's plank sculpture and Fristars attempt at copying it (above). Fristar always seems to pull something strangely different out of the bag. Being a part of his Talk Week crit group, we were exposed to a large, painted art cupboard filled with video works (one of which was a naked man running through bush) and sketches. I had assumed he would go down a similar path for this show (especially with the video), but instead decided to one up my expectations and do a double take on each other person in the show. I'm impressed with his funny sensibility such as shown in his photos of dead animal heads, mimicking Sarah's photography style. This is a poke for those who know that Sarah is a boldly steadfast vegan. A talk with Kirsty revealed that most people couldn't discern between her photography and Fristar's photography (again copied). It's these qualities that made this work interesting, that even when you're let in on the joke, the repercussions continue...

I also enjoyed Sarah's photographs, which were reminiscent of Iconography in its hanging. The alcove in which they were installed seemed very much like a curious domestic altar. I like this extra bit of reading that we can get from her photographs which add onto other concerns such as relationships between viewer and the viewed (the gaaaaze) and the idea of power play, who's in charge here?

The catalogue accompanying this show was also excellent (bar the terrible formatting and spelling/grammar). It was an informal look into each person's views on each other's works. Simple, easy and to the point and again, funny enough to still take it seriously.

People are getting better at using the Gallery space, as well as thinking bout the show as a whole. I think that was the success of this exhibition and the rolling with the fact that they only had four members in the team. It was cohesive. It worked.

- Agnes

Monday, June 22, 2009


Last pilot before the semester break. Will. Be. Fab.
- Agnes

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


we are not!

Instead we have been busy doing many non-arty things as well as many very arty but very boring and stressful things (such as prepping for mid-year assessment). Hence the lackage of postage. However, as proof that the last couple of weeks weren't just sucked in some kind of mid-year vacuum, here is documentation of various non-painterly thaaaangs that we have busied ourselves with:

1. Mammoth trip to Paeroa

2. Attending design openings at St Paul Street

Note: Interesting to see how the designers attempted using the Gallery 3 space to their advantage. I'm not so sure it is much of an advantage in the case of the photo above but at least some other clever guy decided to hang their work away from the given architectural surfaces of the gallery (see other photo above).

Another note: As I was ranting about building your own surface in the gallery as a way of getting around the minimum of wall space, Thomas from sculpture had a similar idea and informed me of some mega constructions happening for next week's pilot. Mega Constructions = Mega Excitement.

3. Searching for mega fails (or a mega win in this case?)

Truth is, this post is really just a way to procrastinate doing more mid-year prep (reading/writing/trying to make new work and failing miserably). As you can see, wasting time seems to be our forte.

Back to reading/writing/tryingtomakenewworkandfailingmiserablygoddammit)

In the mean time:

Pilot 4: Ship High in Transition
Wednesday 16 June
Gallery 3
See. You there.

- Agnes

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Brigette Norcross

Laxmi Jhunjhnuwala

Victoria Sheldon
The land series

Clinton Cardozo
Untitled 1 and 2

Charlie McLean
A dark world turns light

Simon Stuart

Woman in Grid series 2; Homage to the horizontal axes

It was recognised a long time ago that this particular group (being made up of three photographers and three painters) would have trouble getting enough wall space to share around. I was curious to see how dramatastic this show would be especially when I heard about a painting being wrapped around windows...

Which really only turned out to be hearsay as Charlie’s painting was yes, hung in front of windows, but most certainly was not wrapped around them. Good way of using Gallery 3 space. However, issues of lighting and hanging rendered it hard to read with my interest going towards the set of drawings opposite instead.

But I view Charlie’s works as a pivotal point in the show. It is the first piece you experience as you walk into the gallery and to me, sets the tone for the rest of it. Charlie talks of emotionalism, which automatically stirs up thoughts of social responsibility. At least four of the six wishes the viewer to experience some sort of emotion when interacting with their work. But what of this emotion? What kind of emotion were they striving for?

I do not believe it was a yearning towards humanitarianism that they really wanted us to feel. Instead, I see this show as six individual works, perhaps wishing us to ‘take a breather’, directing us towards an inner space.

Laxmi’s piece was successful with generating some sort of visually overwhelming nature. But the longer you spent with it, the less you felt that you could interact with it. This is mainly due to its positioning. In the past, Laxmi would place these works in areas where there was a higher danger of being disturbed. I feel as though the alcove was safer and created a piece that was more zoo-like, too easy to look from behind the architectural cage. I do find this an interesting relationship to painting, especially the hard-edged geometric painting that Laxmi is so interested in. With a piece so reliant on perspective, what happens when you restrict the viewer’s ability to...view?

Simon’s paintings may highlight the need to take time away from a larger, virtual whole, the blurring between public and private. Although I feel he was probably the last person to decide what space he wanted to place his work (I told you to fight for your right!!), I see it has almost worked in his favour as he played with the notion of axis in his install.

Clinton’s photographs were probably the most engaging in the show. He has really taken an idea that could potentially be really naf (people wearing masks) and has pushed it to an area that is more hazy than clear. I like the openness of his work showing sensitivity towards the viewer. He was probably the luckiest in terms of getting a space that was generous to his work and this showed in his install.

The issues with the space did reveal themselves, mostly due to the sidelining of Victoria’s photographs and Brigette’s placement of paper over the windows. The punctuation of the windows is starting to grate at the reading of pieces in pilot shows and I’ve yet to see anyone actually attempt to build walls in order to create a more uniform surface to work with.

Something to think about perhaps?

- Agnes

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Post TW

Laxmi's annihilated install...

Some gems from the Talk Week exhibition uploaded while procrastinating my Post Talk Week write up...

Pilot 3 photos to come.

- Agnes