Commentary
The Gift

The Gift

"I was born in Akaroa and grew up on Banks Peninsula. My parents have a farm there. I went to high school in Rangiora, then worked in Christchurch for three years before going to Dunedin. I grew up in a fairly isolated environment. In my three years in Christchurch nothing really happened to me. There were no outward changes in my life. I had no friends there. I was quite alone – and I started to paint."

Artist interview
New Photographs in the Collection

New Photographs in the Collection

Our new collection exhibition Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection features a number of newly acquired works from Aotearoa New Zealand artists that expand our contemporary photographic collection. Melanie Oliver asked a few of these artists to share their thoughts on photography and the works that have found a new home at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū.

Artist interview
Pecking Order

Pecking Order

Felicity Milburn: Judy, it’s great to be working with you again, this time on a work for the entry wall leading into our new collection rehang, Perilous. It’s made up of a frieze of photographic panels combining images of handwritten lists and pieces of bread that have been partially eaten away by birds, and you’ve called it Pecking Order. Can you tell us a little about how it came about?

Judy Darragh: Thanks, it’s great to have this new work included in Perilous, it was already in existence and fitted well with ideas in the show.

Life over lockdown became reduced – we were at home, everything was shut down and it became a surreal and shared experience for us all. While out walking I observed the flourishing of bird life, and I had time to hear and feed them in the back garden every day. Feeding the birds was very satisfying.

My Favourite
Bill Culbert and Ralph Hotere: Pathway to the Sea – Aramoana

Bill Culbert and Ralph Hotere: Pathway to the Sea – Aramoana

My time working at Te Puna o Waiwhetū was strewn with highlights, but key among these is the experience of hanging Ralph Hotere and Bill Culbert’s Pathway to the Sea – Aramoana (1991), which was also my first experience of seeing this work up close and personal. Although not the greatest work or most popular work of art in the collection, this lithograph will always be special to me. I love the sparse aesthetic, the sense of a light touch. The bold decision to not occupy the whole page as the collaborators examine restraint, notations of the relevance of place and connections.

Commentary
Te Whakawhitinga

Te Whakawhitinga

Te Whakawhitinga is a haerenga, a journey. It is not a long film, approximately eleven minutes total, but the geography it covers stretches from Te Tai Tōkerau in the North to Ōtautahi in Te Waipounamu; from early adulthood to old age; and from the time of Te Pākanga Tuarua o te Ao, World War II, to the present. Te Whakawhitinga follows this narrative like a stone skimming across water: touching down at points, at others flying across space-time with the momentum of recall.

Commentary
Ka Mua Ka Muri

Ka Mua Ka Muri

Our histories are always with us, but who is telling the story? The Gallery’s new collection hang, Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection offers up a range of different perspectives on how the past and future might intersect, and invites us to rethink how we commonly see our heritage. Here, the exhibition’s curators have each selected a work from the exhibition for a closer look.

Commentary
Memory Pictures

Memory Pictures

… it suits me to take pictures on celluloid that were formerly pictures of the mind, memory pictures, pictures of the imagination …

Commentary
A Gathering Gravity

A Gathering Gravity

My encounters with Grant Lingard’s works have been few and fleeting. My information derives largely from the archive. The show has yet to open and I know only the title. But I am deep in speculation about what it will bring.

Artist interview
Hard and Slippery – HAHAHA  (Wait, is that the title?)

Hard and Slippery – HAHAHA (Wait, is that the title?)

Kommi: This is a courteous introductory message to the two of ya’ll and regarding the collab comms between Turumeke and I, and the editing of it by Kirsty, along with additional notes/commentary as like a third voice freaky irirangi concept (but in written/electronic messaging/note adding stuff form),* all towards the art concept workings and discussions in conversations leading to the finished arts ’n’ stuff resulting in a publication of our ponderings and explorations within te ao buzzy buzzy art stuff that we gonna do. I hope my whakamārama there was nice ’n’ clear.

Tui/Turumeke this is Kirsty. Kirsty, this is Tui/Turumeke.

Turumeke: Kia ora! Great articulation Kom!

Kirsty: Wait? Have we started? Was that a test? Hahaha

Kommi: I do not know.

Commentary
Alicia Frankovich’s Atlas of Anti-Taxonomies

Alicia Frankovich’s Atlas of Anti-Taxonomies

Orange peel, ant’s eye, hibiscus flower, rhubarb, bacteria, a space blob, a virus, an x-ray of a human skull – human, non-human, inhuman, entangled and disordered. In the Atlas of Anti-Taxonomies, artist Alicia Frankovich groups these things by difference rather than sameness, showing them to have dynamic relationships and visual rhythms. Consisting of over 100 images that the artist has gathered, constructed and found, Frankovich’s carefully selected and arranged collections of phenomena, beings and objects glow from lightboxes hung throughout the gallery space. Their collated, overlapping and montaged images are wild and vibrant. Their placement on the large screens feels momentary, as though this is just one iteration of many possible permutations, disrupting any typical or static taxonomical order. In making this work, Frankovich has drawn on the extensive body of research around posthuman ecologies, decolonising nature and queer theory, underscoring this beautiful exhibition with complex ideas of domination and control.