Friday, July 31, 2009

Timid Applause

Months of toiling and days of toiling yet to go! Yes this is it, probably the most paint heavy pilot group with the most faces who have graced this blog!

The process has been plenty curveball dramarama rest assured with the lovely London Lainy joining us halfway through and now the change of space two days before install. Yes, Pilot group six's newly built wall is our new group member! Through no decision of our own, it is staying in that space. So since group six nicknamed it St Paul Street Gallery Four, we're calling it St Paul Street Gallery Four Point Two. But there will still be many coats of paint before it is anywhere near satisfactory. Those of you who have experienced the new space will know how it is now practically two galleries. A box within a box...spatially awkward. Will be interesting to see how it all comes together. Truth be told even I don't know at this point.

For the next few days we'll be giving inside scoop on the install. I'll do my best to bring pictures, maybe even videos if i'm feeling technologically inclined! Stay tuned.

Welcome to our pilot. Launching Wednesday night. You are most definately invited.

One Hand Clap

Nick Berry
Lainy Fleming
Claudia Jowitt
Amber Claire Pearson
Ahilapalapa Rands
Agnes So

St Paul Street Gallery Three
39 Symonds Street

6-8 August
Opening 5 August @ 5pm

Apparently we're promising strong language and partial nudity. You have been warned.

- Agnes

Life. In General.

The view from my studio window late at night showing two glowing neon signs that signify what my life is orbiting around right now...

Art (AUT) and money, or lack thereof, (ASB).

It has been a funny (funny as in weird) week. I'm hoping it is the fall before the rise.

- Agnes

D.T.P part two

All was revealed wednesday night! First of all, less construction than I was expecting (for some reason I had envisioned the whole gallery covered in new wall) and the rumours of 'artist talks' and 'performances' were laid to rest. Instead, what we had was a few walls in the upper half of the gallery with six sound works (one for each artist) where that particular artist detailed their art practices via spoken language.

I've been trying to get my head around the show. Part of me is still asking why they didn't just show their work? That in itself isn't a simple task, I think most people who've gone through pilot know that. But then they ask me to listen with my eyes and look with my ears and i'm all worried that I'm being too conceptually narrow-minded...Mind you, that's probably the point. To be pushed to think differently, isnt' that what art is about??

What intrigues me most though is the decisions around the show. Like the theatre references (backs of walls painted black), Alan's description of the work sounding like an orchestra tuning up, the empty gallery space at the end for contemplation, even the passageway into the gallery is like breathing space, or mental preparation for what's to come.


- The hard work done to physically change the gallery space (they lovingly nicknamed it 'st paul street gallery four').
- The build up to it (via posters and red herrings) was half the fun!


- The height of the speakers being too high for shorter people (well, for me)!!

Barring the heightist nature (which is nothing but me wishing to be taller), I'm so very proud of the six artists behind the show. So much hard work, and it really shows! To completely come through to the other side from vision to actual conception...I can only hope that our group can do that too.

- Agnes

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


To the man who taught us about pink walls, the intricacies of art storage and blogging. Thank you.

We miss you already.

- PnB

Sunday, July 26, 2009


All we've been talking about lately is pilot this pilot rants especially about the lack of decent wall and the terrible gallery three space that we have to work with. But someone has finally done something about it!!!

Yes, pilot group six may have been lucky enough to get a week and a half to install and they've used it wisely. There's top secret construction going on in there. We've heard the words 'professional builder' and 'big design firm' being thrown around. We're not allowed in, but we sent our secret spy over to peek in through the windows and low and behold, something of mammoth garangutan proportion is happening...anyway, this is what they have to say about their own show. Make of it what you will but I say come along because gallery three is going to be like gallery three never has been before...


One Dare. Six Truths. One Promise.
A Collaboration

Natalia Birgel
Alan Joy
Sam Leitch
Lee McGarva
Seilala Sini
Vaimaila Urale

July 29 – August 1, 2009
Opening July 29, 2009 @ 5pm
St Paul Street Gallery Three
39 Symonds St (corner of Mount St)

Everything begins with the individual.
As an audience we dare you to switch from objective bystander to collaborator.
We dare you to clear your mind and use your mind’s eye to complete the work.

Look with your ears. Listen with your eyes. The shadow of our inner voices echoes the truth of who we are.
This is the promise.
Dare. Truth. Promise. presents a collaborative work showcasing the art practices of six artists.
The collective voice provides a dialogue about the realities of making art today.

- Agnes

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July Update

Where are we...

Oh yes July! Beginning of semester two...the last semester until we're plucked from the safety of the AUT womb and thrown into the world, still bruising from the hit of the recession. Yusss cannot wait, can you feel my excitement? Ha! oh christ, walking along the studios, you can see the same look in every third year's face. We aint gonna lie. We're scared. Especially since AUT likes to be so different and is making us all graduate in December, so we don't even have all high degreed summer to mosey around because we technically haven't got our piece of paper degreeeeeeees yet. Nope, it's off to the real world for us...

But until that time, the present means that we'll be reaping the rewards of our procrastinating selves. You can probably pick us out like ants in the sun, scrambling to finish writing our essays while those of us with pilots still to do are battling mean-spirited printers (why oh God why will you not print double sided A2????), lack of sponsorship (what do you meeeeean you won't give us free money?)and dwindling money supplies! Oh real/hybrid art world of art school, you are too cruel.

Three months till the end. Shall we start the countdown? Who will make it out alive? Who won't graduate (omg!). Three months later, all will be revealed...

- Agnes


Another busy bee who's also been tackling as much stress as Alan is Amber who last night opened a show at we'ar yoga clothing store on Cross Street.

I've been watching and conversing with Amber over the last few months since this all started, while old ideas were scrapped and new ones came to play. It got me thinking about how this show was an interesting foil to the one that we're planning together (along with four others) for pilot. She's had to really come at it from a commercial slant, which is a slant that isn't as relevant in pilot since we're given free reign of the space without having to negotiate merchandising and customers.

The best example is the blanket banner with the projections (and probably my favourite). So Amber Claire, yet so very not. The photographs are too slick for what she'd normally do. But at the same time, they've been carefully considered to fit into the vibe of the store. I wonder whether she would ever consider doing such a thing again in her normal studio habit? Despite this, she's still managed to sneak dirty blankets into a cleanly aestheticised space without anyone giving too much of a double take. I wonder how well her costumes would hang here!

Talking with Kiki, she mentioned that Amber is the first person in our year (that she can think of) who's had a solo show so far. This is a feat in itself. Either way, I'm more than proud of Amber who's really grown to balance thinking and making (we always joke that she does too much making, not enough thinking, while I do too much thinking and too little making).

Speaking of making, must make work for pilot...any ideas? Can you feel my desperation? Can ya?

- Agnes

Monday, July 20, 2009


Between Pilot planning and Theory doom, Alan managed to put this show together with Leonard. Don't know how he did it but it's a fan-bloody-tastic job.
Because I'm in between Pilot planning and Theory doomage as well this post will have to be short. Instead, read Hurrell's review here of it.
- Agnes

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Where it all began...

A picture in the rain of a work in the upcoming exhibition at St Paul Street, co-curated by our very own painter, Alan Joy.

Mostly we're just bloody happy to see another paint show downstairs again. Last one I remember was Sigmar Polke in the beginning of 2008...and even better, this one is of painting recluse, Alberto Garcia-Alvarez!

Alan was telling me how fitting it was that the above piece hung in the window, because that particular work(owned by Judy Millar) is what caught the eye of Leonard Emmerling and in turn, went on to spawn this show. Coming full circle and all...

From what I've seen so far, it's a really good lookin' show.

Opens this Thursday at St Paul Street, 5.30? 6pm? God brain turneth to mush in semester break. See yous there.

- Agnes

Monday, July 6, 2009


David Sun

Claudia Jowitt

Ahilapalapa Rands
Getting Closer

Sam Atasani

The plentiful food table on opening night and a few certain tutors hovering...

A few AUT students are a part of the Tautai exhibition at St Paul Street. Despite the slightly cringe name, Don't Pacify Me, it turned out to be better than some of the Tautai shows I had been to in the past. Painters Claudia and Sam had some work in as well as Ahi from sculpture who did a little install.


- Jeremy Leatinu'u's Cutting the Grass, a 15 minute video of just that, cutting grass. A little tongue-in-cheek and talks about pacific issues without being overt.

- Claudia's painting, even though i've seen it from its conception to finish practically every day this year, I haven't gotten sick of it yet! I like how Claudia's practice (clearly not pacific) can be curated in an exhibition like this.

I was talking with Clinton about ideas surround identity and culture (he is Indian and I was born in Hong Kong) and he raised an interesting point. What about the people with some sort of grounding in another cultural heritage, but who isn't interested in exploring these issues in their own practice? What becomes of those of us first generation New Zealanders making seemingly 'western' art in a western country? Perhaps it's a non-issue. I'd like to think no one looks at the colour of my hair or skin anymore and I know that my art has never been viewed in any sort of cultural skew either. New Zealand is also a giant mix bag of cultures as it is.

However, Clinton doesn't think so. He thinks there is something interesting about this idea. That our take on generating art is quite different and he's wanting to cultivate it a little...

The culture thing has come up in small doses over my art school years. I've had my practice called many things before...masculine, feminine, calculated, constructed, but only once has it ever been called 'asian', and when I recently asked that person if they still thought they way, they said they had since changed their mind.

During a crit with a visiting lecturer, they asked if I'd ever considered painting large realist works as there's a big movement of very successful Chinese artists doing so. I asked him if he thought I could hop on the bandwagon, that if I changed my practice now, I could potentially make a lot of money. He said he didn't know, that I didn't seem interested in such possibilities. I told him he was right but that I'd keep it in the back of my mind as Plan B.

Julian once told me that if I was at art school 15 years or so ago, I'd be asked to take a stance, whether it be on myself as a woman or as an immigrant, or better yet, a Chinese woman immigrant.

I don't really know my stance on either.

- Agnes

Friday, July 3, 2009


John Hurrell's review of Bypassed Territory.

- Agnes