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art all artists alliance magazine issue 107 / winter 2012

artists alliance

Artists Alliance is a non-profit organisation established in 1991 to represent and advance the professional interests of the visual artists of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Staff Executive Director and


Managing Editor: Maggie Gresson Administrator: Michelle Beattie

Board John Eaden, Matt Blomeley, Juliet Monaghan, Naomi McCleary, Justin Morgan


14 Finally our colours are free In search of street art from the Tunisian revolution

Artists Alliance acknowledges the support of: Artstation, Studio Art Supplies and Auckland Council

Address 1 Ponsonby Road, Newton, Auckland Ph (09) 376 7285, Fax (09) 307 7645 This issue and more at:

18 Berlin City ghosts & flowers Joanna Rajkowska’s Born in Berlin – A Letter to Rosa

The opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the Editor or the Artists Alliance Board. Artists Alliance recommends that our members join ISSN 1177-2964 Design: Verso Visual Communications Printing: Soar Print, Auckland Artists Alliance receives significant funding from Creative New Zealand

20 Feature gallery Masterworks Gallery

and ASB Community Trust.

Cover: Installation shot from Crystal City at The Dowse, 2011. Tiffany Singh, Knock on the Sky and Listen to The Sound.

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artists alliance magazine issue 107 / winter 2012


In every issue

Professional development




Five Questions An interview with Julia Durkin, Director of the Auckland Festival of Photography

Making it A life after art school

First up

9 Opportunities Awards, residencies and exhibitions

13 Of late – in short

24 Bill Cooke The best and worst of museums


New resource on our website Working in the arts

22 Dr Paynt Is paper’s porosity perfect for painting?



Regional arts worker Karin Strachan – Whanganui

Boilerplate clauses Part two: David McLaughlin looks at the underlying mechanics that make an agreement function

26 Postcard from Seville Emma Pratt


Advertising rates 2012

Publishing schedule 2012

Artists Alliance welcomes written and visual contributions on topics of interest to the visual arts community and information about exhibitions and other art events.

Art All All four issues Casual Full page $220 $264 Half page $132 $160 Quarter page $100 $120 Banner/column $68 $78 Insert $278 $330

#108 Spring Tertiary issue

Contributions should ideally be received by email [] and with the author’s name and contact details. The Editor reserves the right to select and edit material for publication.

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Booking deadline: July 13 Copy deadline: July 27 Distribution week: August 13

#109 Summer Booking deadline: October 26 Copy deadline: November 9 Distribution week: November 26

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From the editor comes to Berlin’s annual gallery weekend, he does find something to talk about with Joanna Rajkowska’s show Born in Berlin – A Letter to Rosa. Meanwhile, back at home Gary Peters joins us in Making it – A life after art school (page 21). I like the lists and the coffee consumption. I also like Gary’s innovative fundraising ideas. We have also introduced a new resource on the website – Regional Arts Worker (page 16). Art happens throughout the country – in the small and big centres. Art practice / day job / unique in your area – the diversity is encouraging. Karin Strachan from Whanganui is this issue’s Regional Arts Worker on page 17. Also encouraging is the range of activity taking place in the artist run initiatives throughout the country. Michelle Beattie (whose day job is Administrator at Artists Alliance) keeps us up to date with what is happening on page 13. If you are going to be in Auckland

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We have a mix of national and international stories in this issue of Art All. Anticipation is growing as the opening date of the 18th Biennale of Sydney draws near (see page 7). New Zealand will be well represented by Peter Robinson, Sriwhana Spong and Tiffany Singh, whose work is featured on the cover. You would have to have been not paying attention to be unaware of the Arab Spring which exploded on the world in January 2011. And, as is often the case in times of upheaval art takes to the street. Roger Bymolt and Lea MuellerFunk take us to the streets of Tunisia on page 14. Incidentally, more than a few years ago Roger spent some time as an intern at the Artists Alliance office. During his internship he conducted some valuable research which led to the much valued Opportunities section on and in this magazine on page 9. Will Gresson takes us to Berlin on page 18. A hard man to please when it

then take in some of the Auckland Festival of Photography. Festival director Julia Durkin answers our Five Questions on page 11. Maggie Gresson

First up Artist on personal journey to Antarctica Elaine Barry Conway A long dreamed of trip to Antarctica was fulfilled in February when I made a thirteen-day expedition to the ‘Big Ice’. I travelled with an Australian expedition company on a small (78m) Russian exresearch vessel from Ushuaia in Terra del Fuego across the infamous Drake Passage south to the Antarctic Peninsular. Through varied weather the little ship zigzagged around the tip of the Antarctic Peninsular venturing east into the Weddell Sea where the 50 passengers landed many times to visit Adelie penguin colonies and a 100 year old explorer’s hut. The Swedish geologist / geographer Nordenskjold, was unknown to most of us, yet his epic story is an adventure of similar proportion to Shackleton’s. Every day was filled with new visions and new fascinating information. My art practice had been investigating

Image: Courtesy of the artist.

weather and atmospheric phenomena for a few years, encapsulating big ideas of space and emptiness into 3-D sculptural pieces. However, the Antarctic trip was aimed at experiences and gathering photographic images to use for new work. The first fruit of this will be shown at an exhibition at Northart gallery in May, when

Dust Collective opens their latest show, Dust 1.4. Twelve members of Dust Collective will show new work from May 20 to June 10 at Northart, Ernie Mays St, (off College Rd) Northcote.

Top Five in the Wallace Arts Trust collection

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Anna Boyd, artist and Events and Marketing Coordinator for the Wallace Arts Trust (based at the Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre) chooses her personal favourite works in the Wallace Arts Trust collection. Anna completed her PGDip at Elam School of Fine Arts in 2008. After over two years working in art and costume departments in film and television she returned to the fine art industry looking for new challenges and opportunities. In 2011 she completed an ASB Community Trust Funded and Artists Alliance Facilitated Internship working for The McCahon House Trust before beginning work in her current role. On May 8, 2012 Anna completed the green transformation of Tiffany Singh and Tessa Laird’s temporary sculpture Wihaan. Wihaan is one of 12 small public art projects called Micro Sites. Micro Sites is a public art initiative of Auckland City Council developed in partnership with The University of Auckland and AUT University. Wihaan is currently installed in Alten Reserve in Auckland ABD. Brydee Rood, Mull Ballon Wolke Kanal Projekt, 2011, DVD video The Fulbright Award winning work at

the 20th Wallace Art Awards 2011. I found myself captivated at least once a day by Rood’s video work of an intervention / live installation performance, depicting three people in a kayak, immersed in inflated blue plastic bags, intently attempting to paddle down a murky German canal with flimsy plastic oars. This project was made on the LandwehrKanalduring, whilst Rood was undertaking the GlogauAIR Artist Residency in Berlin, Germany. Francis Upritchard, Untitled, 2004, ceramic shade on wooden lampshade base, 430 x 155mm On my first day working for the Wallace Arts Trust I found this intriguing work displayed in a tall vertical cabinet. Upritchard’s ceramic lampshade has mysterious and understated facial features molded into the surface. The persona captured within the clay has stayed with me for almost two years now. Liyen Chong, Untitled, 2011, digital print and acrylic on Hahnemuhle Fine Art Photo Rag, 750 x 440mm I spent time with Liyen Chong while Interning for the McCahon House Trust when she was the current resident. Having had conversations with Liyen and hearing her talk about her practice, new developments and

concepts, and then viewing the body of work that was created during her residency was a fantastic process to be involved in. Rohan Wealleans, Tingler, 2006, paint, fiberglass and steel, 2565 x 2000 x 2000mm The materiality, tactile quality and ambiguously shaped form of Wealleans’ large sculptural work Tingler is alluring. I am like a child alone in an art gallery, I too want to swing it, touch it, and prod the work. This work was the Wallace Art Awards Paramount Award winning work in 2006. Kushana Bush, Bedroom Scene 2, 2005, mixed media on board, 590 x 590mm Kushana Bush: All Things to All Men is an exhibition on display at the Pah Homestead until July 1, 2012. I have only viewed Bedroom Scene 2 for the first time recently, out of an interest in Kushana’s previous bodies of work. From within the Wallace Arts Trust Collection, I have spent the most time with Kushana’s intimate and complex works. Search the database of the Wallace Arts Trust Collection now numbering over 5,500 artworks

Anna Boyd completing the green transformation of Tiffany Singh & Tessa Laird’s Micro Sites artwork Wihaan, May 2012. (Now installed in Alten reserve).

Matariki festival 2012 June 21 – July 21

Boosted With the support of the Lion Foundation, the Arts Foundation is building a website that it predicts will raise millions in new funds for the arts every year. The site,, is the first new major initiative to fund the arts in decades. Boosted will use a form of fundraising called crowdfunding. This phenomenon for funding creative projects has been developing in the United States over the past four years. Crowdfunding websites enable projects to receive many, often small, private donations towards a funding goal. They predict Boosted will raise $2 million per annum in new funding for New Zealand arts projects when up and running. To register your interest in either submitting a project for funding or pledging funds towards a project, visit:

2012 Walters Prize Nominees Announced The nominees for New Zealand’s most prestigious award for contemporary art have been decided. The $50,000 Walters Prize is awarded for an outstanding work of contemporary New Zealand art produced and exhibited during the past two years. Named in honour of the late New Zealand artist Gordon Walters, the Prize was established in 2002 by Founding Benefactors and Principal Donors Erika and Robin Congreve and Dame Jenny

June 27 – September 16, 2012 Artistic Directors: Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster Titled all our relations, the 18th Biennale of Sydney will present works by more than 100 artists hailing from Australia, New Zealand, Asia Pacific, the Americas, Europe, South Africa and the Middle East. Nearly half the artists in the 18th Biennale of Sydney will present works created specifically for this exhibition, including many substantial collaborative installations. Commenting on the curatorial premise for the exhibition, Co-Artistic Director Catherine de Zegher said: ‘While collaboration is a working method and informs the premise of all our relations, with particular projects inviting the public to engage and thus expand the creation of the work, the larger stories of the 18th Biennale of Sydney directly address current local and global issues, such as migration, contamination, corruption and coercion. The artists present these important concerns around the world in a way related to all our senses, rather than in the negative and critical way we have become accustomed to. They share a sense of compassion, empathy and drive for change. Their art works inspire deep engagement and consideration, and over time will hopefully give people possible ways forward. This concerns a direct response to the state of the world. It is a global movement of art and thought that has been under the radar and now emerges as radical and dynamic, bringing forward significant change. It is a proposal for the future based on relation that is altering what art may be and how we think.

Gibbs, working together with Auckland Art Gallery. The Prize, held every two years, aims to make contemporary art a more widely recognised and debated feature of cultural life.

Finalists for the walters prize 2012 Simon Denny: Introductory logic video tutorial shown at Artspace, Sydney March 5 – April 10, 2010 Alicia Frankovich: Floor Resistance shown at Hebbel Am Ufer, HAU 3, Berlin, June 25, 2011

With each work appearing to connect to other works, the exhibition points to a world that is interdependent and interconnected, involving all countries and cultures. For audiences, the art walk from venue-to-venue will be a slow reveal, where an understanding is shaped in the participatory act, and where the full story will only come later. There is a zooming in from the macrosphere of the global to the microsphere of everyday experience, which allows us to recognise the importance of the harmony between these spheres, how one can in turn influence the other. In the end, it is the audiences who will themselves make the relations and connections. Quite literally: all our relations.’ New Zealand artists showing at the 18th Biennale of Sydney: Sriwhana Spong Born 1979 in Auckland, New Zealand. Lives and works in Auckland. Peter Robinson Born 1966 in Ashburton, New Zealand. Lives and works in Auckland. Tiffany Singh Born 1978 in Auckland, New Zealand. Lives and works in Auckland and Ladakh, India. The Biennale of Sydney continues to play a central role in developing visual arts culture in Australia and connecting artists from around the world. Every two years, the Biennale of Sydney is presented free to the public over a twelve week period. For full programme information visit:

Kate Newby: Crawl out your window, shown at Gesellschaft für aktuelle Kunst GAK, Bremen August 28 –November 7, 2010 Sriwhana Spong: Fanta Silver and Song shown at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne (February 4 – March 5, 2011) The finalists’ artworks will be exhibited at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki ¯ for three months from August 4, at the end of which the winner will be announced.

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On June 21, the Matariki star cluster will rise into our skies and signal the beginning of a month of celebration and events that bring a modern take to a time honoured tradition. Matariki stays in the skies above Aotearoa for one month each year, it is traditionally a time for people to gather and share kai, rituals, entertainment, hospitality and learnings. Auckland comes alive for Matariki with a series of concerts, family events and traditional celebrations that will entertain and delight. The Matariki programme is soon to be released, check the website for details:

18th Biennale of Sydney: all our relations

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Opportunities Awards, residencies and exhibitions

People’s Choice Award $500. Jury Award (non-monetary).

Call for applications: 21st Wallace Art Awards 2012

Application information and entry form available at; or the offices of the Wallace Arts Trust, The Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre, 72 Hillsborough Rd, Auckland; phone (09) 639 2010.

The Wallace Arts Trust is calling for entries to the 21st Wallace Art Awards 2012, with awards amounting to over $165,000. The Awards are the longest running, largest, and most prestigious annual art awards in New Zealand. They differ from other important New Zealand art prizes in that they aim to provide challenging opportunities and broadening experiences to the top four winners by way of residencies at top-level international institutions. The Awards are given for contemporary New Zealand painting, sculpture, video, drawing and unique photography, to encourage and develop the visual arts in New Zealand and in particular, to reward artists creating outstanding work. This year the entries will be judged by Warwick Brown, Derek Cherrie and Sam Mitchell. Winners and selected finalists will be chosen for the Finalists Travelling Exhibition, exhibited at the Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre in Auckland from September 4 – November 11, 2012, and Pataka Museum of Arts & Cultures in Porirua December 3, 2012 – February 24, 2013. The Wallace Arts Trust Paramount Award A six month residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York. Fulbright Wallace Trust Award A three month residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Visit: for information on applying for the Fullbright Award. The Kaipara Foundation Wallace Arts Trust Award A three month residency at the Altes Spital in Solothurn, Switzerland. The Wallace Arts Trust Development Award A three month residency at the Vermont Studio Center in the United States. 1st and 2nd Runners Up Awards of $2,000 each.

Entries close: Tuesday July 31, 2012

Portage Ceramic Awards Lopdell House Gallery and The Trusts Community Foundation are delighted to facilitate the Portage Ceramic Awards 2012. This annual award provides a vital platform to showcase the diversity of talented artists nationwide. The exhibition will present an array of styles, a broad collection in which every visitor can find a favourite piece. The Portage Trust continues its growing support with the following awards:

Artstation, Auckland The Artstation Gallery is a public space presenting exhibitions and art projects from Auckland’s diverse communities. The aim is to provide a professional space for artists to exhibit quality work which is representative of the wider community. Exhibitions are selected by the Artstation curatorial group which meet three times a year. Artstation welcomes proposals from the following groups: artists and curators working in a community context, Maori arts, cultural groups, diversity groups, youth projects, new and emerging artists – including tertiary students and recent graduates. And from groups that will present exhibitions which: comment on community and social issues, and involve community and / or audience participation. More information available at:

Premier Award $15,000 Merit Awards total prize money $6,000 People’s Choice Award $1,000

Proposal Deadline: Friday July 6, 2012

Entries close: Wednesday August 1, 2012

International Opportunities

For more details about the award and how to enter visit:

Call for entries: The Ranamok Glass Prize

Calling for exhibition proposals Space Gallery, Whanganui Space is an artist-run initiative founded in February 2012 in Whanganui, New Zealand. Space provides opportunities for artists from a range of artistic disciplines to produce and exhibit work within a contemporary venue. For more information about Space Studio & Gallery, and submitting a proposal, visit: Satellite Gallery, Auckland Satellite Gallery allocates a portion of its programme to proposals and is always open to interesting ideas that broaden the relationship to art and the way that it is viewed. Applications are open and will be considered at any time. For more details visit:

The Ranamok Glass Prize is an annual $15,000 (AUS dollars) acquisitive award for glass artists who are resident in Australia and New Zealand. The work presented for consideration for the Ranamok Glass Prize is expected to be a major effort in the artist’s personal body of work. This work should be innovative, displaying excellence and imagination in quality of idea and execution in contemporary practice. Proposal Deadline: Friday June 15, 2012 Ranamok Glass Prize winner to be announced at Canberra Glassworks: Wednesday August 15, 2012. For more information about entering visit:

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National Opportunities

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apps Adrian Jackman 6th – 31 st august, 2012 preview monday 6 th august, 5pm

Building One, Gate One Carrington Rd, Mt Albert, Auckland Email: Phone: 09 815 4321 ext. 7207

Five questions Julia Durkin – Director of the Auckland Festival of Photography

Tell us a little about Julia Durkin I am a Capricorn, Chinese water rabbit, 60s baby. I grew up listening to my father play jazz (until I heard David Bowie’s Ziggy), he’s a musician who plays double bass but also used to paint in his youth. He gave me my first camera! I started being interested in the wonder that is photography in my twenties (when my eyesight was better) but have never formally studied it till my thirties when I did a black and white photography course at Unitec with Ann Shelton; from memory I got an A. I don’t have an arts degree or anything, my professional arena was in PR, marketing and advertising, then I got into TV production here in NZ. My first job in NZ was on Gloss and before, being the production secretary on that, I had a half day as an extra... I was playing a photographer. Never looked back!

The first festival was held in 2004.

What prompted you to be the person who made it happen? My background in film and television production and I am a keen photographer. And I had the idea....

Tell us about the range of support the festival receives from the sector, from audience, to artists, dealer galleries and community groups? A region-wide contemporary art and cultural event which takes place within Auckland’s major galleries, project spaces, non-gallery venues and public sites during June each year. The programme includes a mix of emerging and established artists and comprises existing works and the creation of new work. The annual festival is produced by the Auckland Festival of Photography Trust. The Trust is a not for profit charitable trust working to further the presence and awareness of photography in Auckland through joint programming, audience development and profile raising activities. Our audience has grown exponentially each year. In 2011 the festival recorded, 61 917 visits over 92 exhibitions, including twenty-seven percent attending more than one exhibition. Financial partners include sponsors and funding bodies. Non-financial contributions from suppliers, venues and photographers are also essential to the diverse content and on-going accessibility of the festival. Specifically this year our festival is supported by: major funding from ASB Community Trust; public funding from Auckland Council; and

sponsorship by Nikon, Lowepro and MAXX.  Grants from Creative NZ, Lion Foundation, SkyCity Community Trust Auckland, Creative Communities regional, COGS Waitakere, Papakura / Franklin, Auckland City and Manukau, Asia NZ Foundation and The Trusts. Media Partner: D Photo, and special thanks to Gravity Coffee.

What is new in the 2012 programme? Well the whole programme is new each year, visit it online (there’s loads of great work to see!): But this year we have a focus on the insidious side of globalisation in our Talking Culture Symposium, entitled Crossing Borders, and Auckland is hosting the annual Asia Pacific Photoforum directors meeting ( during our opening weekend, so this provides an opportunity for local photographers to meet and network with our Australian partner festivals which is a unique aspect.

2012 Auckland Festival of Photography June 1 – 24 The Auckland Festival of Photography is proud to present over 400 photographers in 99 Signature and Fringe exhibitions and community events across Auckland. Programme Highlights include: The Annual Commission James K Lowe on display at Aotea Gallery, June 9 – 24. Festival Tuesday Circuit 6 – 9pm on June 5 at various locations across Auckland. Peter Peryer at Gus Fisher Gallery, May 4 – June 23. Lisa Reihana at Papakura Art Gallery, June 23 – July 21. Daniel Crooks at Two Rooms, May 25 – July 7.

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When did the Auckland Festival of Photography begin?

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Want to know how to make money from your ORIGINAL ART? Its Easy!! 1. Supply me the original. 2. I’ll photograph the art and reproduce onto stretched canvas 3. Sell the limited editions and keep the original!


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New artist run spaces and projects are popping up all over the country. Here are some notable ones of late. Space Studio and Gallery is the new artist run initiative on the Whanganui block, opening its doors during the first quarter of 2012. Space aims to provide opportunities for artists of all artistic disciplines to produce and exhibit work within a contemporary venue. Space is currently calling for proposals (see opportunities listing) and is open to receiving both developmental projects and exhibitions. Visit: spacestudiogallery. Artists Alliance looks forward to seeing Space progress, as Sarah Williams, the woman behind the initiative, is part of our mentoring programme supported by philanthropist Anne Pattillo. Keeping on keeping on, Snake Pit continues to roll out a programme of great shows and events. They have cemented themselves as the art place to be on High Street after more than eight months in operation. Celebrating their 13th birthday, The Blue Oyster Art Project Space in Dunedin marked this milestone with an exhibition titled Silk and Lace. The exhibition saw each participating artist looking back through the Blue Oyster’s archives to find a work, exhibition, or an artist that appealed to them. The artists then re-imagined this work through the filter of their practice, resulting in an exhibition that encouraged slippages to occur in the re-presentation of a history. ST PAUL St Gallery shone the spotlight on emerging curatorial practice with the presentation of their Curatorial Season which included seven exhibitions, a symposium and publication. Different curatorial practices and approaches where showcased at ST PAUL St Gallery Three from February through to April, including: curating as a physical structure (architectural collective Oh.No.Sumo); curator / artist (Roman Mitch and Tahi

Image caption: Oh.No.Sumo., Stairway Cinema (2012), ST PAUL St Gallery Three. Image Courtesy of ST PAUL St Gallery.

Moore); curating as a strategy for creating visibility (Nicole Lim and David Sun); design engaged curating (Narrow Gauge); curator as editor through the medium of publication (Narrow Gauge and collaborators); curating as a collective agency (Alterations); curating as a metaphor for difference (Amelia Harris); and interdisciplinary curating (Sonya Lacey and Vera Mey). The curatorial symposium saw attendees from all over New Zealand come together for a jam packed night and day of presentations and panel discussions by international and national guest speakers. One thing became very clear, there certainly isn’t a lack of interest in curating as the discussion continues on past the Curatorial Season. Coming up in June is the start of the Biennale of Sydney and therefore the start of SafARI, the ‘unofficial’ fringe event. SafARI concentrates on exhibiting the work of emerging, unrepresented artists across multiple artist run initiative (ARI) venues in Sydney from June 22 – July 15. While waiting with baited breath for the release of the 2012 SafARI

programme, you can visit their Facebook page for a great behind the scenes buildup of each artist’s project, SafARI.Initiatives. The latest Appliance zine issue #116 is out now! For a FREE copy of Appliance, email: Until next time. Michelle Beattie Artists Alliance Administrator We like to be in the know, so send us a line if something new is happening in your area, or you have any feedback.

Finally our colours are free In search of street art from the Tunisian revolution

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Graffiti and street art has exploded across Arab countries touched by the ‘Arab Spring’. With a few exceptions, such as Lebanon’s politicised stencil art during its civil war, or Palestinian graffiti as a vehicle of protest, graffiti is a relatively new phenomenon in these countries. Tunisia was no exception. The revolution that sparked in Tunisia in January 2011 was a shock not just for the political establishment, but also for public art and expression. ‘A lot of people simply wanted to express themselves,’ says Jaye, one of Tunisia’s well known Street Artists. Graffiti is probably the easiest and most direct way to translate the energy of people on the streets into marks of meaningful expression. We were both interested in how local people perceived society to have changed over the past year, and in discovering the visual fragments of this historical event. From day-to-day we kept our eyes open for signs of the revolution, whether on the broad avenues, public squares or mazelike passageways of the old Medina.

Election poster aesthetics Election posters scratched and peeling off white walls on the main streets were aesthetically interesting fragments. Political parties had been each allocated a space, in which more than a hundred groups vied for attention. The posters were framed and pasted in their allocated spots, reminiscent somehow of an exhibition. Their small sizes presented a refreshing difference from the overwhelming political billboards we are more accustomed to in New Zealand. More fascinating still, was the graphic boldness of some of the posters, with some candidates embracing styles more reminiscent of a pop concert or evangelical church.

Graffiti slogans But for us, the graffiti we found scrawled in Arabic and French was more

Graffiti on Avenue Bourguiba: ‘Long live the free and democratic Tunisia’, Tunis.

interesting. To some extent we found what we expected: Anonymous, spontaneous scripts scribbled on walls with slogans and political statements about the revolution. ‘The resistance continues’, was sprayed in areas near the Ministry of the Interior and Avenue Bourguiba where a lot of the demonstrations took place. Other popular slogans scrawled in Arabic were ‘Movement of the Youth of Dignity’, ‘Byebye Trabelsi’ (referring to the family of Ben Ali’s wife, a symbol of decadence and nepotism) and ‘Long live the free and democratic Tunisia’. Curiously, this graffiti was relatively fresh. A Tunisian civil society activist told us that many more had been ordered whitewashed by the then Prime Minister of the second transitional government. Sadly, now these authentic marks of protest and hope during the most intense moments of the revolution are gone.

Art in the underpass A series of conversations on the street led us to a motorway underpass at the end of Bourguiba Avenue. The pillars of

the motorway had been given over to the Union of Tunisian Artists to paint and to celebrate the one year anniversary of the revolution. The sheer number of paintings and their scale were impressive. To be sure, this wasn’t street art in its rawest sense since they were initiated by the Tunisian Ministry of Culture, but nor did they appear as empty murals. Two styles stood out; those that drew on revolutionary symbolism, like flags, places and slogans, and those that were more abstract in nature. Those that were heavy on symbolism reminded us of art in the former Soviet Union and sometimes felt predictable and even kitsch. On the other hand, the more abstract, expressionist works seemed somehow more powerful. Line, shape and colour flourished with the energy of a new Tunisia. One of these works had been titled, and the title, to us, nicely summed up an attitude that others also seemed to be expressing: Enfin mes couleurs sont libres (Finally my colours are free). Free of the prying, control and oppression of Ben Ali’s secret service.

The revolution tourist artist Finally, we found works by those we called ‘revolution tourists’, foreign artists who came to Tunisia to make their own artistic marks in the public spaces of postrevolution Tunis. Most prominent among them was an artist called ‘Zoo’ who kept popping up in the maze of the Medina. Zoo is a French-Algerian from Paris who came to Tunis because he wanted to contribute: ‘The Tunisian revolution was like the other revolutions that shook the Arab world – a unique event, a carrier of big hopes [...] I had to come on the ground, to witness, to act, in my way. I had to contribute my small share to this event’. This sparked an unresolved debate amongst ourselves as to the authenticity of his expression, of the revolution, and the place of foreign artists jumping into the revolutionary fervour.

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Context: A changed art scene According to Rachida Triki, a Tunisian curator and professor of aesthetics at the University of Tunis, the situation of the Tunisian art scene has dramatically evolved since January 2011. New unions for artists have been formed, new artistic spaces discovered (especially on the street), and the number of exhibitions increased. For the moment, most of these have been treating the subject of the revolution and the question of citizenship, such as Chronique d une revolution (Chronic of a revolution), Degagement (Leave), La Tunisie un an après (Tunisia one year after), Je vote (I vote), and Inspiration de la Révolution (Inspiration of the Revolution). It remains to be seen what this rich trouve of subject matter will evolve into in Tunisia. But so long as people’s ‘colours are free’, art after the Arab Spring will surely blossom.

‘Freedom’, Zoo, 2011.

A gallery of photos can be viewed at: Roger Bymolt and Lea Mueller-Funk Roger Bymolt holds a degree in Visual Arts from the University of Auckland and a Masters in International Development. He now works in International Development at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam Lea Mueller-Funk has a Master’s Degree in Political Science and Arabic studies from the University of Vienna and Sciences Po Paris and is currently working on her PHD with a focus on the Arab Spring.

‘Enfin mes couleurs sont libres’, Artist Unknown, 2011.

New resource on our website Working in the arts (aka Regional Arts Worker)

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Working in the arts is a new index on our website which profiles individuals working within the visual arts sector from both large and small centres nationwide. The resource shows the breadth of arts activity that occurs, and the regional diversity of both artists and audiences. The profiles were first published in previous issues of the Art All magazine; here we have selected a few responses to the question: What is unique in your area? NIGEL BORELL Painter and arts educator, Tauranga at the time of publication. Art All #92, October / November 2008. I think there are a number of unique aspects to the wider township of Tauranga where I live and some of these are the vast area / region that Tauranga covers. The city of Tauranga is spread over (and around) many costal inlets and seaside settlements which makes, making any definitive comments about it problematic. However, as a town in recent years, Tauranga has embraced some exciting developments in relation to arts and culture. In October 2007 we opened our own regional arts gallery: The Tauranga Art Gallery; Toi o Tauranga. The local community Arts provider; Creative Tauranga has come of age in recent years, and in 2007, we also witnessed the launch of our own Aka Rakai Toi, Diploma in Art at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic which is the first fulltime fine arts study for this region. ALI BRAMWELL Sculptor, and at the time this was first published – working at the Blue Oyster Gallery, Dunedin. Art All #75, December / January 2006. Hmmmm. Hard one. I think it’s the selfsufficiency of a geographically isolated group of artists, a tendency to roll up the sleeves and DIY without waiting for institutional approval. Knowing damn well if you wait for someone else to do it for you it will never happen. Distance is

regarded differently too... not really a big deal to drive to Christchurch to check out a show... I know travel can be heinous in Auckland, but Henderson is not five hours drive from Grey Lynn (or is it?)... a tendency to look outwards. We all travel as a way of surviving and developing professionally. VANESSA COXHEAD At the time of first printing – The Physics Room programme coordinator, Christchurch. Art All #100, Spring 2010. The Physics Room is one of the few public galleries that doesn’t have a collection and we also don’t have to rely on the commercial success of projects. This allows us the freedom to be artist-centred and able to contribute critical dialogue and actively seek links between the arts and other areas of cultural production. In terms of location, Christchurch’s art community is tightknit and supportive due to its size and proximity, so there’s always an interesting conversation or discovery to be had. REUBEN FRIEND Artists and curator, Dean Gallery at Wellington City Gallery, Wellington Art All #99, Winter 2010. I think City Gallery is one of the few galleries in the country that has a space dedicated to exhibiting contemporary Maori and Pacific arts. I think Pacific art is at an exciting stage in its development

because senior artists, such as Sandy Adsett and Fatu Feu’u, and others, have laid a foundation upon which younger artists now feel confident to use as a springboard to tell their stories and express themselves creatively. JIM GEDDES Printmaker and graphic designer, runs Gore District Council’s Department of Arts and Heritage, Gore. Art All #91, August / September 2008. Illegal whiskey for a start, and that industry grew out of over 50 years of localised prohibition (and some canny local Highland Scots). Hokonui (as its known) is the stuff of legend, and we’ve had great fun developing a museum around it. John Money and Ralph Hotere are two important donors, and their gifts have provided the Eastern Southland Gallery with a new lease of life, and a valuable point of difference. Managing collections of this magnitude has been a challenge in a place the size of Gore, but we’ve had enormous support from all over the country. ANDREW LAST Silversmith, jeweller and lecturer at Otago Polytech School of Art, Dunedin. Art All #96, Spring 2009. Pound for pound, Dunedin is filthy rich with both artists and musicians. MARTIN RODGERS Arts Advocate, Nelson, at time of publication. Art All #85, August / September 2007. We have an amazingly diverse range of artists in our region and it has been great to work with them. Something unique in my opinion, is the entrepreneurial spirit of the artists in the Nelson region. I think this is partly due to the fact artists have a long history of making a living from selling functional art pieces in the region.

Unfortunately however, I think it is also true that artists are having very little success securing public funding for new, experimental and innovative works. This is a great shame because that type of work is rarely visible in the region which is a loss for the artists and the community. CYNTHIA SMITH At the time this was first published was the Manager of McCahon House Trust, West Auckland. Art All #88, February / March 2008.

SIAN TORRINGTON Sculptor, Wellington Art All #94, Autumn 2009. It’s hard to choose one thing in Wellington

because there is so much! The variety I guess and a thriving self- generated art scene which I find really exciting. Even though it can be challenging to find spaces to show, artists always find a way to showcase their work in new and innovative ways. The Fringe is currently on and it’s a great example of artists thinking outside the box. To read full profiles of the above individuals, and many more, visit: See below for the latest Working in the Arts contribution (aka Regional Arts Worker).

Regional arts worker Karin Strachan – Whanganui What is your art practice? Most of my current work is sculptural, using resin and / or found objects. Often there are words and references to language and I will use any medium to make sense of an idea. The idea always underpins my work. Christian Boltanski says artists only ever have one idea. If this is so, I guess mine is about unravelling layers of secrets, hiding and beliefs. I often try to draw the viewer into a personal space more as a voyeur than a spectator. In this place they might identify with something vaguely familiar to them, or alternatively feel they are intruding into someone else’s story.

What is your day job? I work part time at the Sarjeant Art Gallery. It’s a beautiful place and a privilege to work in. I also assist in the Sculpture Department at UCOL from time-to-time.

he runs a great gallery with his brother Mark (Rayner Brothers Gallery). The gallery has yearly big shows that showcase local artists, which keeps people in touch. They are very good to our arts community.

What is unique in your area?

What are you working on now?

Whanganui is an old town with an unusually strong cultural base. It’s laid back, is architecturally beautiful, the river is awesome and the coffee is good. There is very little I don’t like about living here.

I have a show July 24 at the Blue Oyster Gallery in Dunedin. It’s called under the rose. The show is loosely based on T.S Eliot’s poem ‘Burnt Norton’. The photo below is part of a series of text works, which look at the idea of angst in a dual practice (in this case art and Buddhism).

Do you have a local favourite artist? That’s quite hard because there are heaps of wonderful practising artists here. If I had to just pick one, I would pick Paul Rayner because his work makes me laugh, and is fantastic, but also because

What can’t you do without? Second hand shops and the Renovators Centre.

This work is part of a series of works investigating the paradox of certainty. The text in this case captures the notion of presence. The variable status of the light draws one into the experience of this moment, as opposed to the moment before or the one about to follow.

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The environment. McCahon’s cottage and the residency are surrounded by majestic

kauri, the very ones that McCahon was so inspired to paint back in the 1950s. When the kahikatea grove, the puriri, the karaka, and the old fig which McCahon’s wife Anne planted are all in fruit in February the bird song is deafening. The artists in residence find living in a tree hut in the canopy of the bush, a stone’s throw from pretty French Bay beach, a wonderful experience

Berlin City ghosts & flowers Joanna Rajkowska’s Born in Berlin – A Letter to Rosa

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April 27-29 marked Berlin’s annual Gallery Weekend, an event which has managed to become slightly politicised in the art rich German capital in recent times. Each year people cry foul over which galleries are selected to be part of the official program, with virtually every gallery in the city planning to have an opening on the 27th, to try and take advantage of the increased number of punters out and about. It happened to coincide this year with the first of what will hopefully be many incredibly hot and sunny weekends, so that probably helped get people through the doors. I have to confess that I am always a little lukewarm about the occasion, in part because the prospect of trying to take in so much in a short space of time just seems totally futile, and also because it’s widely known that a lot of recommended galleries are not necessarily the best but often the best connected. One show which did catch my eye however, was Joanna Rajkowska’s Born in Berlin – A Letter to Rosa, showing at . ZAK BRANICKA on Lindenstraße. This exhibition, one of three she is involved in as part of both Gallery Weekend and the 7th Berlin Biennale, is a series of drawings and mixed media collages which essentially form a letter to the artist’s daughter Rosa. The letter serves to explain Rajkowska’s motivations for giving birth to Rosa in Berlin, summed up in one piece as follows: ‘You were supposed to be a gift to Berlin, to the city which usually only brought destruction, at least for my family. A gift which was supposed to disenchant everything.’ The artist’s grandparents escaped from a transport to Auschwitz during World War II and hid in swamps near Krzeszowice (an act which Rajkowska reinacted while Rosa was still in utero and which is documented in several of the collages) which explains in part Rajkowska’s often negative, melancholic view of the city. As you walk around the exhibition there is an incredible tension to many of her actions; carrying her unborn child around different sites in the city and explaining the ‘what’ and ‘why’ often sounds like the artist herself coming to terms with her own hopes and fears as an expectant mother. What initially drew me to this exhibition was an analogy Rajkowska used in her own comment on Born in Berlin, where she writes, ‘…Berlin is unable to deal with itself. Like a middle-aged man, good looking, well dressed, but at the same time worn out after years of suffering from a chronic disease whose climax came years ago. Exhausted not only by what it has been through, but also by the attempts to verbalise it, the lack of language, the following complications and the amount of painkillers it needs to take daily. The disease had left wrinkles and bumps. Some parts of its body are totally dead.’ For all the mythology and the stories, and frankly all the crap written about Berlin, there is something nicely blunt and unromantic in this statement, and also something which rings very true,

Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe. Designed by Peter Eisenman and Buro Happold and inaugurated on May 10, 2005, it consists of 2,711 concrete slabs across 19,000 square metres.

particularly when you look closely at some of the issues raised in Rajkowska’s work. As well as the Holocaust, Rajkowska also addresses other aspects of World War II (at one point scribbling Soviet graffiti from the basement of the Reichstag across her naked body) and The Cold War, standing naked atop the old former East Berlin apartment building she shares with Rosa’s father and looking out across the once divided city. Rajkowska’s work is at once both personal and political, turning an incredibly significant private event into a social one as a filter through which to examine the city itself and its incredible and often harrowing past. This approach is fairly typical of Rajkowska’s work. Her previous projects, such as Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue (2002), and Oxygenator (2007), involved putting new structures into difficult urban environments in Warsaw. In the biography released as part of the press kit for Rajkowska’s exhibitions in Berlin, these two projects are described as ‘an attempt to exclude language from interpersonal communication and to direct attention to the body and its place / position in urban space,’ which also reflects the artist’s description of the German capital as an old man who cannot verbalise his history. In many ways, Born in Berlin serves as the ultimate culmination of these aims to give voice and expression to something without words. Rosa, is Joanna Rajkowska’s way of verbalising Berlin’s past, while at the same time contradicting it with a new meaning and new aspirations. Will Gresson

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Anhalter Bahnhof. During World War II it was one of three stations used to deport Jews to the concentration camps from Berlin. After the war it was almost entirely demolished, and then it became a point of tension as it lay in the path of the Berlin Wall until German reunification.Â

A section of The Berlin Wall at Bornholmer StraĂ&#x;e. The checkpoint at this station was the first to be opened by border guards on November 9, 1989, at the demand of protesters, which led to the fall of The Berlin Wall as a whole. Images: Will Gresson.

feature gallery

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Masterworks Gallery When was Masterworks Gallery established?

Who are the people behind Masterworks Gallery?

Masterworks Gallery has a long history. It was established in 1986 and was one of the first contemporary applied art galleries in New Zealand. Initially the gallery was located in Habitat Courtyard in Parnell, and has been at its current location in Ponsonby Road since the mid-90s.

The current Directors are Eloise Kitson and Christine Hedlund. Staff members include Jewellery graduates, Sinead Jury and Gillian Deery, and Art History graduate Charlotte Anderson.

Can you tell us about the different purpose spaces in the gallery? Because we focus on three specific areas of the contemporary applied arts; glass, ceramics and jewellery, we have a number of gallery spaces and up to four exhibitions on each month. In the large front gallery space (which looks out onto Ponsonby Rd), we have larger group and solo exhibitions. There is the side gallery, and the main internal gallery space, where we show new work from our artists. Within these internal spaces of the gallery can also be found ‘the jewellery box’, a cabinet for displaying solo jewellery exhibitions, and the THINKspace wall, which is often dedicated to more experimental or conceptually driven work.

What exciting new exhibitions / projects are coming up in 2012? This year we have some fantastic exhibitions lined up. Next up is our annual Neckware exhibition where we invite jewellers to submit challenging new work. We also invite a judge to decide on the pieces to be included in the exhibition. This year our judge is Finn McCahon-Jones, Associate Curator of Applied Arts at Auckland Museum. Also this year we have a landmark exhibition by Chester Nealie, who will be celebrating his 70th birthday and almost 50 years of making ceramics with a large exhibition of new work. John Roy’s ceramics and drawings, made during his residency at the Tylee Cottage in Wanganui, will be another highlight. As will new ceramic work by 2011 Wallace Awards winner

Bronwynne Cornish who is currently undertaking a residency in Vermont, USA. Also on the exhibitions list for 2012 is new work by Rick Rudd, Raewyn Walsh, Mike Crawford, John Roy, Katherine Smyth and Christine Thacker, and many more. Visit us online to find out more at www. We are also in our second year of collaborating with Auckland jeweller Kristin D’Agostino in her Broach of the Month Project, which you can read more about on

Anything else you think we ought to know? This is a really interesting time to be involved in the applied arts scene with all the changes that are taking place. More and more, the traditional hierarchies between the different arts media are dissolving and many of our artists are making a big impact because of their ability to combine technical expertise with a strong conceptual practice. Above: Luke Jacomb’s recent exhibition at Masterworks Gallery, April 2012. ©2012

A life after art school


So who the hell am I? I’m a recent graduate from Massey’s MFA who wants to make a career out of my practice. Finishing in March this year, I came out of school with a first class distinction, went straight into a group show at Enjoy and then promptly, all be it a little late, signed on the dole. Romantic huh. Later this year I’ve a six-month residency at Sydney Non-Objective Contemporary Art Projects (SNO) followed by a solo show with them in 2013. Unfortunately, the residency lost its funding, so between now and August I need to raise $20,000 so I can work solely on my art for six months. Oh, and I’ve got a solo show here in Wellington at Toi Poneke just before I head out to Sydney. So, like everyone, I’m a little busy. And of course there’s the rent to pay…. This is what it’s like for me today. Juggling many different elements and trying not to drop anything. My intention here is to write directly from my experience – not from what I’ve heard works, or from what I’ve read but from what I’m doing. So…

How am I feeling right now? Pretty good. I think the coffee has kicked in so I’m a little hyper.

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Making it – making the work, making shows, making money, making connections, making opportunities – making it on my terms. And for you? Is making it a dealer gallery? Is it showing your work overseas? Is it having the Guggenheim build a room for you? A residency perhaps? It may simply mean making one drawing today, finding a studio, or getting an ‘A’ for your next paper. Making it, like success, has many different forms. Gary Peters: Engine Room remix corner piece 2012.

What do I need right now?

What am I working on right now?

Several things come to mind:

• Funding applications for Sydney.

• Citizenship would be handy so I can sort my visas for Sydney.

• The One to one hundred – remembering to enjoy it and be playful. My work is best when I’m making it for myself and not for what I think my audience may want. Yes, it needs to be good – but then, I wonder, could it be bad, incredibly bad and still be successful?

• Raising $20,000 for my residency at SNO. • Another coffee.  • A better way of managing my contacts. A database perhaps. • A part-time job that brings in enough money to cover the essentials. 

What am I experimenting with right now? • The One to one hundred – a fundraising project I’ve recently started. Every day for 100 days I’ll make a new art work. On day one you can buy it for a dollar. Day two, $2. Day three, $3 and so on. So far the response has been great. • Finding my written voice. It’s new for me, writing for print rather than online.

• Ideas for my solo show in August. • Finding a way to pay the rent (again). Three months out of school this is where I’m at. And the next three months? Making, writing, making, reading, eating, sleeping and painting. Oh, and paying the rent. Gary Peters

Links and references: One for you project: One to one hundred fundraiser: SNO:

Is paper’s porosity perfect for painting?

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I’ve had many questions asked about painting on paper with acrylic and oilcolour since February’s article ‘In with the Old’, so here’s some more on the subject. Of course, acrylics can be painted directly onto paper, preferably 300gsm weight or heavier to avoid too much movement (though it’s interesting to note that some lighter papers that curl when wet go flat again when they’re dry, e.g. 200gsm Toscana). Being absorbent, though, the paper offers a very brief working time for your acrylic paint. In absorption, you also lose the reflective white of the paper, resulting in deeper colour tones. This can be desirable when wanting staining and watercolour-type effects; however, you can easily reduce the absorbent nature of the paper and retain its reflective properties by applying a couple of coats of size (GAC100) before your colour. Luminosity is achieved by light passing through transparent layers of colour, hitting a reflective surface and bouncing back through the layer of colour. Above, dilute acrylic has been applied across 600gsm Leonardo matte paper; the left remains untreated, the middle has been sized, and the right has also had gesso applied. The tone is deepest on the left, because the paint has soaked into the paper, removing the reflective white aspect, to a degree. The sized area (middle) retains the reflective white aspect of the paper and so the colours are brighter, and as the GAC100 is so thin, the texture of the paper has been kept. The colour is brighter still on the gesso (right) as gesso is whiter than paper, and the paper’s texture is giving way to that of the gesso. On both the sized and gessoed areas, you have a much longer time to manipulate your acrylic, as the absorption in much less than painting directly on the paper. Paper can also be made into a suitable and economical surface for oilcolours by sealing with at least two coats of GAC100. Oilcolour can be painted directly onto this, preserving the texture of the paper (left), or you can apply gesso over the size to alter the texture and add brilliance to the surface (right). It is not

Acrylics can be painted directly onto paper.

Oilpainting Paper (above) gives a totally different oilpainting experience.

Paper can also be made into a suitable surface for oilcolours by sealing with at least two coats of GAC100.

enough to merely gesso paper – all gesso is more or less absorbent, not offering a long term barrier to the oils in oilpaint. If only one action be applied, make it the size. Oilpainting paper (above) gives a totally different oilpainting experience: while all other oilpainting surfaces are much less absorbent than paper, this gives you a true paper absorbency, allowing easy blending and quick layering, perfect for quick alla prima sketches, painting outdoors en plein aire, and, the paper being archival, finished works. The secret to Hahnemuhle Oilpainting Paper is the special additives that prevent the oilcolour from destroying the fibres. You can mount paper, or finished works on paper, onto a wood panel, using Golden Soft Gel (Gloss). Simply brush both surfaces with a thin layer of

the Soft Gel, press together with a hard rubber roller, and sit under a pile of books overnight to dry. Make the paper slightly larger than the panel, so you don’t have to be too careful marrying them together, and, when the bond has dried, it’s easy to trim the excess paper from the sides for a smart finish. While PVA can also be used for mounting, especially where reversibility is required, its high water content can wrinkle paper, and it can soften in humid conditions. Heavier viscosity gels result in lumpy mounting and excess gel pushed out from the bond, messing up the edges. You don’t want messy edges. Dr Paynt Studio Art Supplies p.s. (Colour images can be found on Will Paynt’s Facebook page)

legal issues

Boilerplate clauses Part two: David McLaughlin looks at the underlying mechanics that make an agreement function then this will not be deemed to be a breach of the agreement. It is usual to see a list of the type of events that are deemed to qualify as ‘Force Majeure’ events. Typical examples include; natural disasters, acts of war or terrorism, and changes in relevant legislation. It is also normal to see these provisions provide that if the Force Majeure event continues for a certain amount of time and one of the parties is consequently continually prevented from performing their obligations under the agreement, then either party can terminate the agreement and such termination will not be deemed to be a breach of the agreement. The final important boilerplate provision that we’ll be discussing is what are often referred to as ‘entire agreement’ provisions. As simple as it sounds, these provisions provide that the only agreement between the parties on the subject matter of the contract is that which is included in the contract. This is incredibly important, as often in the negotiation and implementation of an agreement there will be much said or proposed by each party which may not be intended to form part of their final binding legal arrangement. What an ‘entire agreement’ clause does is just clarify that unless something is specifically provided for in the final agreement then the parties are not bound by it. So if something has been proposed in an email outside of the agreement by the other party which they later attempt to hold you to, you can have confidence if you have an ‘entire agreement’ provision that you are not going to be bound by whatever was said in this other email. On the other side of the coin however, if there is something which the other party has agreed to which is not clearly provided for in the agreement, you should ensure this does subsequently get clarified in the contract. Although boilerplate provisions generally appear at first glance a lot less relevant than some of the other commercial terms you may find in a contract, as you can see, they in fact play a vital role in ensuring contracts function effectively. David McLaughlin is a specialist arts lawyer with Auckland law firm McLaughlin Law ( He can be contacted by email at or on 09 282 4599. Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a general outline of the law on the subject matter. Further professional advice should be sought before any action is taken in relation to the matters described in the article.

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In the previous edition of Art All, we began our discussion of some of the general provisions (often referred to as ‘boilerplate’ provisions) you encounter in almost all contracts and the important role that these types of clauses play. Specifically, we discussed termination, notice, assignment and amendment provisions and what these clauses actually provide for. In this edition of Art All we’ll be concluding our discussion of important boilerplate provisions by looking at governing law provisions, Force Majeure clauses, and entire agreement provisions. So what exactly are the ‘boilerplate’ provisions? To recap, boilerplate provisions are commonly understood to be those terms of an agreement that are not strictly related to the commercial aspects of the deal but provide for the underlying mechanics that make the agreement function. These types of clauses are usually buried toward the back of a contract. In most cases they are not directly relevant to the details of the commercial deal being done in the agreement, but they can still have a significant effect on your overall rights and obligations under a contract, and consequently, it is essential you understand just what these clauses are providing for. In any contract where one of the parties is a foreign entity, or any aspect of the contract is to be performed overseas, then governing law provisions are essential. Governing law provisions clarify exactly which country’s laws are to apply to the performance of a contract. This is extremely important. For instance, under American law, generally speaking, there is significantly more scope for the awarding of damages in any litigation than in the New Zealand context. Another issue, is key aspects of commercial law obviously differ from countryto-country, and consequently, the obligations implied in a commercial contract under American law can be significantly different to those generally implied under New Zealand law. Another reason for having well drafted governing law provisions in a contract is to provide, as far as possible, which courts any dispute will be heard in. It would theoretically be possible for an American court to hear a dispute deemed to be governed by New Zealand law. In this instance (although you would be assured of having the issues under dispute reviewed from the perspective of New Zealand law) the fact you may have to travel to America and arrange for American lawyers to represent you could potentially be just as financially devastating as any adverse judgment. Consequently, you should ensure that any governing law provisions also attempt to provide for which courts (probably best to be the courts of New Zealand) will hear the dispute. Force Majeure clauses are sometimes called act of god clauses. What they provide for is that if any event occurs which is beyond the control of either party and prevents a party to the contract from performing their obligations under the contract

Bill Cooke The best and worst of museums

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Museums are having a tough time of it recently. The museum in Zurich exhibiting the Emil Bührle Collection was thoroughly embarrassed by its casual security arrangements, leading to some incredibly valuable works by Cezanne, van Gogh, Monet and Degas being simply lifted from the walls four years ago and walked off with. They’ve only recently been recovered. And inevitably, the result of this will be drastically increased security which will slow down and hamper viewers’ enjoyment of the works in future. Less dramatic, but more sleazy, are the problems besetting some of the major American museums. This being America, the problems revolve around money. In 2009 the New Museum in New York gave over its entire space to exhibiting the collection of the Cypriot multi-billionaire Dakis Joannou. The problem with this was that Joannou sat on the New Museum’s board and he stood to gain very considerably by the attention given to his artworks in the exhibition. Bit of a conflict of interest going on. Not only did the exhibition greatly enhance his social standing as a serious art collector, it helped stabilise and strengthen the prices he had paid for some of the works. One art commentator, Hari Kunzru, has spoken of the art market and the sorry role many museums end up playing, as a thinly-disguised ponzi scheme. It works like this. Well-known collectors with very deep pockets, like Joannou, buy up pieces of art. This encourages the coterie of speculators and wannabe collectors to make similar purchases. All those who have purchased the artworks thus have a vested interest in keeping the prices they’ve paid high and, if possible, moving them higher. This is best done by flashy retrospective exhibitions of the works in question in prestigious museums. Which in turn encourages other museums to pay the now-inflated prices for the next round of available works by whichever artist is currently being so favoured.

All those who have purchased the artworks thus have a vested interest in keeping the prices they’ve paid high and, if possible, moving them higher. So, having one of the premier-league collectors on the board of an A-list museum is a really good move, because he can engineer these exhibitions and retrospectives that maintain their prices. As with any ponzi scheme, the risk grows with each new cohort of purchaser, until the whole thing comes crashing down. In most cases, though, the people who suffer the least are the people at the heart of the scheme, who have had the value of their early purchases enhanced greatly by all those who followed on behind him.

No artist has understood this essential truth of the modern art market better than Damien Hirst, who has made a massive amount of money on the strength of this insight. As Kunzru observes, Hirst’s work is not just art about the market any more.  his is art that is the market – a series of gestures that are T made wholly or primarily to capture and embody financial value, and only secondarily have any other function or virtue. Hirst has gone way beyond Warhol’s explorations of repetition and banality.

So what do we do in the face of this corruption? Do we dismiss art from our lives as just another diseased organ of a decaying civilisation? Do we decide never to darken the doorstep of a museum ever again? Obviously not. What we can do is divest ourselves of whatever fairy-tale beliefs we might have harboured about art as somehow a light of purity on a disordered world. But hopefully, we can do this without slumping into a defeated, indeed defeatist, irony where we affect a cynicism that hides our disappointment.

 hat we can do is divest ourselves of W whatever fairy-tale beliefs we might have harboured about art as somehow a light of purity on a disordered world. Part of the way we do this is to realise just how valuable museums still are. I was reading a short piece by the Washington Post columnist Philip Kennicott not long ago which made a very interesting point. He was talking about an exhibition of installation artworks at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington. The exhibition, by a range of prominent Latin American artists, was about opening up the experience of art. We are told that the presence of these imposing installations requires audience involvement to activate or complete them. But, Kennicott observes, there is also an element of compulsion. ‘You feel slightly uncool, unworthy of the experience,’ he notes, ‘if you don’t do as invited and plunge into the work.’ We all know this feeling. It’s like the almost mandatory gushing that is expected of audience members of the Ellen show. So the liberation from the confines of the museum experience quickly becomes a new form of pressure; the requirement to participate. And, presumably, to find the experience ‘amazing’ or ‘awesome’. Kennicott makes another perceptive observation. The last irony of the show, he notes, is that it took a museum to house works of this size for a sufficient length of time to be available to people. And yet it is museums that installations are an attempt to break free from. So, we can renew our respect for art

2010 when there was only one work from each artist. And this time each work was a better quality piece than the European Masters show could put on. The only Courbet in the Degas to Dali exhibition, for example, was The Wave (c. 1869) a wonderful example of his wave paintings of the time. Although, having said that, the Courbet in the European Masters exhibition was also a very strong piece of work.

 ll ages, lots of buzz. People talking A animatedly about the works. Genuine excitement. As befits a collection based in Scotland, Degas to Dali also featured a strong collection of works by Scottish colourists, many of whom would be unknown here. Particularly memorable was The Indian Rug (1942) by Anne Redpath, Lustre Bowl with Green Peas (1911) by William Nicholson, father of the better-known Ben, and The Yellow Glove (1928) by James Cowie. Given how important Scottish influence has been in New Zealand, this ignorance of the Scottish colourists, and Scottish art generally, is a sad loss. But, it’s not my intention to go on about the exhibition itself. I hope everyone took the opportunity to see it while it was here. My point is to be grateful to the fact we have a museum at all, let alone a nice spanking new one, which can attract exhibitions of this quality. To hell with all the other problems. We still need, and are enriched by, museums.

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museums and the role they can play in enriching our lives. We just need to take on that confidence with a grain of earthy realism. It was with renewed respect for the role of the museum that I visited the Auckland Art Gallery to see the Degas to Dali exhibition. In my last column I waxed lyrical about the successful architecture of the new building. But the most important point, for the current argument, is simply that I was visiting a museum; a building funded by generous benefactors, the government and ratepayers. A building open to the public. No longer are these works the exclusive preserve of the gilded and privileged. Sure, in some ways they still are; one needs to be seriously rich to buy one of these. That’s always been the case, though, so there’s nothing new there. But even if the super-rich still own many of these works, they often end up donating them to museums, as Julian Robertson did with his valuable collection, and as people have done over the past century to the National Gallery of Scotland, where the Degas to Dali collection hails from. And it’s clear that people are keen to see works such as this. The day I was there, a lovely sunny Autumn day, the place was well patronised without being ridiculously packed, as can happen in the Northern Hemisphere. All ages too. Going to some music events, opera in particular, one could be forgiven for thinking no one was left on the planet who was under fifty. But that’s not true for high-profile art exhibitions like this one. All ages, lots of buzz. People talking animatedly about the works. Genuine excitement. Quite right too. It was a damned good exhibition. It was better than the European Masters exhibition that was here in

Postcard from Seville Blanca’s View

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La Tata is ninety and has a very full, straight set of knashers. Her lips stretch over them, as if she is trying to keep them in. She speaks in her low gravely voice to eight week old Blanca. Blanca looks back at her, smiling over my shoulder. When La Tata first saw her at one week old, she clasped her hands together, mumbled benedictions and then waved her hand in a vague sign of the cross over the pram. She had told me then of how the mystery of life transfixed her – how could a child come from our bellies? La Tata speaks of the wonderful things that Blanca will see and of the little that she knows, of the smartness of her big sister and most of all, that she is Andaluza, a Sevillana, and not to forget it. She told Clara the same when she was born. I think she finds the idea that part of them is not, and that they could disappear off to that very foreign, distant land and forget their roots, of great concern. Soon the chatter from over my shoulder ceases and I turn to see that La Tata has fallen asleep, her head tilted forward and her hands, that have washed and ironed countless amounts of clothes for three generations and soothed many crying babies are clasped together in the lap of her dark green wool skirt. Blanca looks on in a wide-eyed baby stare. The telly blares in front of us with some midday South American soap opera. Blanca hears sirens. She watches her mobile turn in the top of her pram. Innocent little bugs and butterflies swirl and bob around her as we rattle through the cobbled streets. We pass a spray painted sign calling for Andalusians to rise up and strike. We heard from a friend, whose brother is a policeman, that they’re receiving special riot training. He may be just talking it up, but people are certainly getting angry. Laws are passed every day to cut spending, increase taxes, increase costs, reduce salaries... there are two million people out of the almost five million unemployed who receive no benefit and depend on their families. Three hundred and fifty thousand people have lost their jobs since January. Corruption is everywhere among the rich who remain rich and even richer. We all know how untouchable they are. People are getting very angry. Blanca is looking at the branches above us, thick with new spring leaves and blossoms. The vacant lot is full of children raising dust with their running games, climbing in the ancient fig, swinging on the swings and jumping along the old car tyres laid on the ground. I’ve never seen the place so full of people. People are sitting under the trees having afternoon tea, celebrating birthdays, studying or... a distinct smell wafts over my way... sharing a joint. Various raised garden plots have gardeners there weeding, planting, cutting back or harvesting. A man is pushing a wheelbarrow of dirt to continue caking the old children’s playhouse with a mixture of mud and straw. He’s creating a series of sculptures made of raw recycled materials. A giant snake’s head is forming at the end of the tyres, made of sticks, branches and straw, bent into shape with eyes made of glass jars that used

to contain olives. It kind of reminds me of the playground by the river in Wanganui, only this is all formed from the earth on which it stands. Next Saturday there will be a party here to celebrate eight years since the community gardens started. Blanca is looking over my shoulder at the rain falling outside. It’s much needed. Extremadura is in a drought and the summer hasn’t arrived yet. Tomorrow my parents arrive, so I want to finish this postcard even if I have to type with one hand and hold her with the other. It’s been two years since I was home and this will be the first time Blanca has met her New Zealand grandparents. She has faced the computer and wobbled her head at some pixelated people while her sister Clara has given the screen sloppy kisses, one for Nan, one for Poppa. Finally Blanca looks at me. It always takes a while to register, She looks at the outline of my face, Then finds my eyes, And cracks a smile.


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7 Cockburn Street Grey Lynn, Auckland Phone (09) 376 3913



could advertise here to find out how email: with the words ‘advertising query’ in the subject line.

Muriwai Earthskin is a sanctuary of simplicity and quiet amidst nature, for creative artists. In between artists retreats, the house is available for workshops and rental, to cover costs for the care and organisation of this exquisite offering. We are delighted to advertise two wonderful opportunities for workshops in June, to locals, and Aucklanders.

Dream Journal Workshop

Introduction to Mosaics

16 / 17 June

23 / 24 June

Liz Constable, quirky book artist. Creator of handmade books, journals and photograph albums. Teacher of bookarts and other neat stuff

Debbie Ryan one of our overseas Creative Artist Residency recipients this year, will hold a Mosaic Workshop.

Everything we’ve ever dreamed of! This is your opportunity to create a journal to harbour your weird and wonderful imagination! Telephone: + 64 9 817 5189

Teaching the basics of colour palettes, design, tile placement, and template development of plants and animals. Mob: + 64 021 065 4451 Email:

Art All 107  

Winter 2012 - Issue 107