Artist interview
Take the ‘A’ Train

Take the ‘A’ Train

Peter Vangioni: It’s late June, and you haven’t been outside for 16 weeks? Is that right? How are you and Barbara coping with the shelter in place order and are you able to work under these conditions?

Max Gimblett: Well, I’ve been out to put the garbage out twice a week—I cross the pavement and come back to the door. Some people are out there walking with their masks. Barbara is super cautious, you know because of our age, we can’t even come close to anybody. But we are doing very well in this lockdown, and have no plans to leave the loft.

Commentary
Temples for Curious Minds

Temples for Curious Minds

I want to tell you a story. A ‘curiodyssey’ (which by the way, I thought I’d made up but is the name of an actual museum in California). So, a curiodyssey of happy places, told through the science of wellbeing.

Commentary
The Edge of the Sea

The Edge of the Sea

A vision of New Zealand’s past from 1995:

Europeans first imagined New Zealand as “a garden and a pasture in which the best elements of British society might grow into an ideal nation”... When the smoke of the colonists’ fires cleared at the end of the 19th century, New Zealand had become a different country. Māori had lost their most precious life-support system. Only in the hilliest places did the forest still come down to the sea. Huge slices of the ancient ecosystem were missing, evicted and extinguished. Our histories, however, have had neither the sense of place nor ecological consciousness to explain what has happened.

Commentary
Safe Houses, Comfort Zones

Safe Houses, Comfort Zones

In an age of crisis and pandemic, our basic human need to remain safe has seen living spaces transformed into protection zones and shells to pull back into. So it is perhaps unsurprising to see pictures of domestic interiors charging up differently, re-emerging as sites of refuge, confinement and familiar disarray. Here curator Ken Hall looks at two works from the exhibition Persistent Encounters.

Commentary
Artists Should Be Giving Business Advice

Artists Should Be Giving Business Advice

There has been a healthy debate going in relation to Germany’s Covid-19 emergency fund, which allocated the equivalent of NZ$900 million to artists and freelancers, with extra support from the Berlin municipality, leading some to call it an ‘arts-led’ (as opposed to ‘business-led’) approach to recovery. Some in Germany are claiming this will have better long-term economic outcomes, whilst addressing social and wellbeing recoveries at the same time. Others – without necessarily denying the first claim – fear gentrification and the instrumentalisation of arts, when it’s overtly being used as a tool for the economy.

Notes
Lick by Tusiata Avia

Lick by Tusiata Avia

 Tusiata Avia reads her own poem Lick, written in response to the work of the same name by Angela Tiatia, in the exhibition Te Wheke: Pathways Across Aotearoa at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū.

Notes
Wind the tape back by Danielle O'Halloran

Wind the tape back by Danielle O'Halloran

Danielle O'Halloran reads her own poem, Wind The Tape Back, written in response to the exhibition Te Wheke: Pathways Across Oceania at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

Notes
I belong to Oceania, like Albert by Danielle O'Halloran

I belong to Oceania, like Albert by Danielle O'Halloran

Danielle O'Halloran reads her own poem, I belong to Oceania, like Albert, written in response to the exhibition Te Wheke: Pathways Across Oceania at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

Commentary
Lessons with Louise Henderson

Lessons with Louise Henderson

I first met Louise Henderson in May 1990. I’d recently returned from living in the UK, and moved into what had been her house and studio at 62 Gillies Avenue, Newmarket. The owner, Ross Stevenson, was still in regular contact with Louise at her new home nearby in Sarawia Street, and asked me if I’d like to meet her. I remember being quite nervous at the time and standing at the front door waiting. She didn’t open the door at first, but pulled back the old curtain on a nearby window to see who it was. She recognised Ross so all was well. She was very polite, and more than happy to let me look through the dozens and dozens of paintings that leant four or five deep against the wall in the two front rooms of the old villa.

Commentary
Identities of Journey and Return

Identities of Journey and Return

It was the novelty of seeing white people rendered by a Japanese artist that tickled me when I first saw Utagawa Sadahide’s woodblock prints of foreigners in Yokohama in the 1860s. There’s something slightly clumsy about the Westerners’ exaggerated noses and the forced rounding of their eyes. You can sense, in these images, the artist’s struggle to detach himself from the conventions of Japanese art and beauty; his lines waver here, unlike his assertive depictions of long, flat Japanese faces in earlier prints.

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