Welcome to the autumn edition of Bulletin. The Gallery is currently getting ready to install an exhibition project that we’ve been working on for a number of years now. Ralph Hotere: Ātete (to resist) is the first major survey of Hotere’s artistic career for over twenty years, and includes works from collections across Aotearoa.
What We Never Leave Behind
We sang the national anthem every morning before school. Our tiny white business shirts ironed and tucked in by our mothers, our striped red and black ties straightened and pinned to our chests. Across the large concrete plane that constituted both playground and football field, we lined up in two large groups and stood next to our peers before a five-metre flagpole that bore the flag of our nation: the Arab Republic of Egypt.
Ralph Hotere: Ātete (to resist)
Ralph Hotere’s art charted his journeys throughout Aotearoa and the world, reflecting on his experiences, identity and politics. As the first major survey exhibition of Hotere’s artistic career for over twenty years, Ātete celebrates his achievements and brings his vision to a new generation. It’s been a huge project to bring together so we thought it was timely to ask the four curators to tell us a little about their relationship with Hotere – how do they connect as individuals with the artist’s works, and the themes and the locations that they explore?
Pauline Rhodes: Blue Mind
Painted blue and patterned with rust, the thin plywood panels and screens lean nonchalantly around the walls of the gallery and form a skyline of sorts. Across the floor sculptures intersect the space, with groupings of tall rods, waist-high enclosures, clusters of plywood shapes and a small kayak frame on salvaged seaweed and driftwood. Islands for the audience to navigate. The forms are roughly human in scale and relative to the body, generating an intensity and making this an immersive installation to wade through.
Welcome to the world of Larence Shustak—a rule-breaker and image-maker who came of age in the creative cauldron that was New York City in the 1950s. He used a camera as a paintbrush, documenting as well as creatively interpreting his subjects: street people and nudes. Old folks and children. Jazz legends.
I moved to Sydney from Christchurch in 2016. Arriving to a job teaching in the Visual Communication program at UTS and an existing network, it was a relatively soft-landing. This role, along with a studio practice composed of exhibition making and the production of publications was my main focus until earlier this year when I decided to take time from teaching to participate in a series of residencies here and overseas. These plans were, of course, reconfigured by the pandemic, but the flipside of making this space has been finding a focused stretch of time in the studio, something which is not easy to find in Sydney.