STATE OF THE ARTS II
LOUD ISSUE #59 MAY–JULY 2014
IMAGE: LIA KENT MACKILLOP 1
The Depot Artspace quarterly magazine Loud showcases exhibitions, events, artists, music and musicians and a host of other creative initiatives. It is a condensed representation of our values; a clear and informative voice as well as a practical guide to what’s happening at Depot Artspace. Loud is the voice of Depot Artspace. Loud is about respect, support, advocacy and promotion of the arts. Loud is about liberation of the arts from current narrow definitions. Loud is a forum for discussion and opinion. Loud is loud because it needs to be - art is an incredibly undervalued aspect of our culture, significant to our history and our society.
ISSN 2382-0187 (Print) ISSN 2382-0195 (Online) LOUD ISSUE 59 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
About the Depot Artspace Editorial: State of the Arts II - Linda Blincko Depot Artspace Exhibitions and Openings A Letter from Barry Brickell Depot Sound News: Write On Workshop - Dave Rhodes The Vernacularist / W’akaputanga - a Proclamation Depot Artspace Members’ Show Review - Helen Winskill The Cardophile’s Closet Flag It!! Approaching my own Art Practice and my Teaching of Art in Simpatico Article #2 Career as a calling – It’s never too late - Linda Gair Cultural Icons News ArtsLab State of the Arts II - Lynn Lawton State of the Arts: The US Experience - Mark Edward Adams Social photos of Depot Exhibition Openings Join Depot Artspace
All content © Depot Artspace and the respective artists, 2014 For magazine contribution, comment or criticism contact Linda (09) 963 2331 or firstname.lastname@example.org LOUD Magazine design and layout by Lia Kent Mackillop
A MULTIDISCIPLINARY CREATIVE COMMUNITY Depot Artspace is an open and inclusive multidisciplinary community that encourages engagement in all art forms. To this end it offers a variety of facilities, services and events that support the creative community and provide opportunities for participation and appreciation. www.depotartspace.co.nz Depot Galleries are three galleries in the Depot that provide diverse exhibiting opportunities for artists - the Main gallery exhibits large bodies of work and group shows; Small Dog is a light-filled, street facing gallery hosting solo or small group shows; Project Space is a small, intimate exhibition space at the back of the Main gallery. Depot Sound is the Depot Artspace recording studio. Depot Sound is dedicated to providing a friendly and productive outlet for artists along with support and advice for musicians. Rehearsal rooms are also available to hire. www.depotsound.co.nz Ph. (09) 963 2328 Museum of the Vernacular and the Vernacular Lounge are dedicated to representing New Zealandâ€™s cultural heritage and its perpetual development in relation to a distinctive national identity. The Vernacular Lounge is located within the Depot Artspace and operates as a space to develop projects and ideas in relation to the Museum of the Vernacular which is located at the foot of Takarunga/Mount Victoria. The building is also a workshop space, artist studios and performance venue with very reasonable hireage rates. nzculturalgenealogymapping.wordpress.com ArtsLab offers professional development workshops, seminars, and mentoring to creative people seeking career guidance and employment in the creative sector. Ph. (09) 963 2328 Cultural Icons is a series of interviews with iconic New Zealanders who have shaped the arts and culture landscape of New Zealand. www.culturalicons.co.nz Jam Radio is an online community radio station. www.jamradio.co.nz Morph Magazine is an online arts and culture magazine featuring articles, overseas columnists, reviews and artist profiles. www.morphmagazine.co.nz Urban Arts Village Devonport celebrates everything that makes Devonport the rich and distinct community it is; its history, heritage, landscape, landmarks, arts and people. www.urbanartsvillage.co.nz
DEPOT ARTSPACE 28 CLARENCE ST, DEVONPORT, AUCKLAND PH: 09 963 2331 WWW.DEPOTARTSPACE.CO.NZ OPENING HOURS: MON: 12-5PM TUE-SAT: 10AM-5PM SUN: 11AM-3PM PUBLIC HOLIDAYS: 11AM-3PM 3
Snowplough and the Angel by Sandra M. Waine 2010
STATE OF THE ARTS II We first discussed the state of the arts in LOUD 20, ten years ago. We explored the notion that an increasing preoccupation with fiscal matters led to the commodification of almost everything; that our society was one where, as Oscar Wilde famously observed, “everything has a price and nothing has value.” Included now in this commodified world, with its concomitant characteristics, including conspicuous consumption and investment potential, are the arts. We noted that the shameful sale of Colin McCahon’s “Storm Warning” in 1998 by Victoria University to a private collection presaged in both the act and the substance of the work some of these major social trends which finally filtered into the NZ art scene. The text of “Storm Warning” prophetically read: ‘YOU MUST FACE THE FACT The final age of this world is to be a time of troubles. Men will love nothing but money and self. They will be arrogant, boastful and abusive, with no respect for parents, no gratitude, no piety, no natural affections, they will be implacable in their hatreds. PAUL TO TIMOTHY.’ In a lecture titled “Money, Power and Contemporary Art” (2004), Los Angeles Gallery Director Robert Shapazian** warns that “within the world of contemporary art, works of art are traded like a commercial article…. Art has become an ornament to power, celebrity, big money and control.” We see very little let-up in this fiscal focus on the arts, but we have observed significant changes which relate to the ways and means art is marketed and sold, some of which unfortunately exclude the artist from any personal financial benefit. • The secondary arts market is going mad, with sales by auction houses reaping millions of dollars and sidelining artists, and the galleries which have supported them in the past. No rewards accrue to artists whose works are on sold at auction. • A work purchased at auction may also be a fraction of the cost a dealer gallery will sell it for. In some instances a work by a well-known artist may be less expensive than that of an emerging artist, which has significant implications for an emerging arts scene. • There is also a proliferation of other means for selling work, such as a variety of online sites from trademe, which is non-selective and enables the artist to list their own works, to Ocula, a fine-arts, online gallery. Online art sales are more prolific than when we first addressed this subject in 2004. This is also true for art fairs run for both charitable and commercial purposes. • Also there’s a far greater blurring of what defines ‘art’. YouTube, digital media, blogs etc and greater links between art and design encourage the concept that anyone can be an artist. Also art’s becoming increasingly a life style/leisure activity like cafes, wineries etc. Venues for seeing art are opening up – artists are opening their studios and houses for showings and home galleries are on the rise too. Here at the Depot we constantly question how, under such circumstances of change, we can best meet the needs of artists. Galleries are no longer a great source of sales, as we witness through the closure of art galleries both locally and internationally, and as artists take their creative sustainability into their own hands. 4
The establishment of personal websites with online sales facilities, the connection with the organisers of school and other charity art fairs are means by which artists are building their own audience and potential buyers. As a result the Depot realises it may be able to support artists more effectively in the following ways: • Offering professional development services to artists; assisting them to design websites, to draw audiences to their websites, to prepare artists’ statements that attract and interest audiences, and to offer advice on materials, technique and marketing. • Providing workspaces where artists are able to work on projects and to collaborate. • Offering opportunities for participation in shows that do two things: • Build a community of support for artists; they are not alone and nor is their profession without recognition and value. • Develop and promote the creative critical mass that showcases the local community as rich in the arts which contribute to its identity, vibrancy and economic sustainability. • In a recent article, titled The Future of Art Galleries, Mark Adams notes that many galleries are attempting to build a sense of community. “One trend I have noticed recently is how galleries will sponsor workshops or an in depth demo from their artists. They have become more than just an art gallery, but built a community where people can buy art, learn how to make art, or just talk to people about art.” www.markedwardadams.com/blog/64141/the-future-of-art-galleries We are aware also that the arts contribute more to society than an additional economic stream. The arts are kept alive in our society not by the incentive of an income but by the passion and calling of artists. If the production of art were governed by the profit motive it is unlikely that the arts would feature significantly in the lives of so many practitioners. And how much more impoverished would we be both as a culture and a society if this was the case. Thus, to value art on a dollar basis or to be is to under-value it at any price, for the arts emanate from and are an expression of the human spirit which is itself definable in what it creates. In “The Story of Utopias” (1922) visionary social philosopher, Lewis Mumford, made the following observation: “A community whose life is not irrigated by art and philosophy, is a community that exists only half alive. The fundamental values of a true community are to found in poetry, art, music and the free use of the imagination…the production of non-profit-making goods, the enjoyment of nonconsumable wealth. Here are the sustaining values of a living culture.” These words, like those on McCahon’s “Storm Warning”, are harbingers of dire possibility when we neglect who we truly are and succumb, as automatons, to the gross and transient pleasures of commodity fetishism in which art also becomes implicated. ****************************************************************** *Commodification is a process “in which something enters freely or is coerced into a relationship of exchange, a transaction enabled by an instrument of payment…..Parties in this exchange identify themselves as owners.” Rainer Ganahl “Free Markets: Language, Commodification and Art” **Robert Shapazian has master’s and doctorate degrees in literature and fine arts from Harvard University. He has worked extensively with artists, museums, curators and private art collectors. - Linda Blincko 5
EXHIBITIONS & EVENTS David Barker: Shadow Series 10 – 22 May
Opening Saturday 10 May 2 – 5pm
Open daily 10am – 5pm
David Barker’s stunning Shadow Series comprises sixteen new alkyd paintings that will take the gallery for twelve days. David enjoys meeting people who come to see his paintings and will be in the gallery for the duration of the exhibition. These new works are from sketches, also exhibited, he made about newly discovered villas, sheds, islands and windows he found between Mangonui in Northland and Devonport in Auckland. There will also be five paintings from Venice, a city where David has spent many weeks drawing and painting. What unites the two series is that all the images show cast shadows as an essential common compositional phenomenon. Along with the Shadow Series, he will also exhibit his portfolio of ten etchings by Takapuna print maker, Merle Bishop. The prints are based on David’s working sketches, studies ranging in subject matter from HMS Victory to a Cornish cutter, rehearsing ballet dancers in Auckland, grazing Arab horses in Canada and a Venetian doorway. David has included a biographic collection of early works showing the artist’s development from his school days on the North Shore, his time spent studying for a BFA Honours at Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland and his secondary teacher training through to undertaking a Masters at the University of Hawaii. After a two year experience teaching at a tertiary level in Melbourne and Hobart, David began to work as a full time artist. Since those early days he has shown regularly, sometimes in solo shows and at other times with international artists. He has exhibited in New Zealand and internationally, in galleries, barns, cloisters, a castle and even a fish cannery! Apart from his career as a painter, David has taught art workshops from Pauanui to Noumea, Alaska to Italy and Spain to Washington State. They were always rewarding encounters and led to unexpected and new artistic ventures by all. David has offered an art workshop to some of the current art students attending Takapuna Grammar School where he himself spent formative years in the art room under the tutelage of the remarkable art teacher, Owen Lee. This was to be the start of an international career in his chosen profession as a painter that continues today at his studio on the Devonport waterfront.
We encourage you to come and be a part of the community. All are welcome at Depot Artspace exhibition openings and events.
Flora Photographica Aotearoa May 24 – June 12
Opening in the Main Gallery Saturday 24 May 1 – 3pm Hosted by Maggie Barry ONZM, MP for North Shore
From Wanganui’s McNamara Gallery Photography and as part of the Auckland Festival of Photography, the Depot Artspace is pleased to present an exhibition that explores our indigenous and exotic botanical world through some of New Zealand’s most renowned photographers. Laurence Aberhart, Greta Anderson, Wayne Barrar, Janet Bayly, Andrew Beck, Gary Blackman, Rhondda Bosworth, Joyce Campbell, Ben Cauchi, Max Coolahan [1918–1985], Lisa Crowley, Derek Henderson, Frank Hofmann [1916–1989], John Johns [1924–1999], Ian Macdonald, Anne Noble, Richard Orjis, Fiona Pardington, Peter Peryer, Haruhiko Sameshima, C. Brian Smith ‘Flowers, in art, are usually less innocent and more complicated than might be imagined…’  They ‘…are privileged objects of the imagination not because they are the most beautiful but because they are the most imaginable.’ 
Derek Henderson, Untitled (2006) From its beginning, photography has engaged with science and developed a special relationship with flower motifs. Images of the great variety of different plant and flower species serve as a ‘substitute’ for the traditional herbarium. Photographers frame our indigenous and exotic botanical world, depicting isolated specimens or plant groupings, both arranged and in the natural environment. Repeating themes are formalism, repetition, lyricism, symbolism and metaphor; including subjects anthropomorphized through photography, and traditional notions associated with the flower as a marker for the transience, ambivalence and beauty of human existence. Expanding this aspect ‘…the uncompromised beauty of the flowers, which never perishes, their concept and identity as objects of beauty remain intact, eternal, despite their imminent fate.’  In this changing world, our physical co-dependence on plants, and their environment, is becoming increasingly evident; emphasising the connectedness of all things.  Elaine Scarry, ‘Imagining Flowers: Perceptual mimesis (particularly delphinium)’ Representations, No.57, Winter 1997, p 94  Andrew Graham-Dixon, The Independent, 1992  Jiang Zhi, ‘Love Letters’ photography-now.com 31.5,12
GALLERY TALK: 2pm Saturday 31st of May with Ann Elias, Associate Professor, Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney. She will also be in conversation with photographer Peter Peryer, formerly a long term Devonport resident. Supported by Maggie Barry MP and Grant Kerr 7
Peter Peryer, Veil (2012)
EXHIBITIONS & EVENTS Brendan Kitto: Night Vision May 24 – June 12
Opening in the Vernacular Lounge Saturday 24 May 1 – 3pm Night Vision is a new series revealing hidden truths about the nature of graffiti, presenting an insider’s view into the underground world of street art. There is a common misconception that graffiti writers are criminals; nothing more than vandals when in reality they may be the nice guy next door, a teacher, youth worker or may even hold a PhD. Why do they do it? The thrill? The fame? This exhibition invites you to take a peek from the inside and decide for yourself.
Brendan Kitto has been involved in the graffiti scene for the past 13 years and before that was heavily involved with skateboarding. During this period of time, Kitto realised that documentation is just as important as participation.
Jonny Davis: Up the Coast May 24 – June 12
Opening in Project Space Saturday 24 May 1 – 3pm In this ongoing body of work, Up the Coast explores the East Cape, a stretch of coast that is papakāinga to many, but is the day to day home to few. Jonny Davis’ works capture some of the community spaces and facilities along the coast - places that seemingly lie in waiting to host whanau returning home. The images are characterised by an expansive ocean backdrop, rugged foreshore, narrow meandering roads and these quiet, waiting places.
We encourage you to come and be a part of the community. All are welcome at Depot Artspace exhibition openings and events. Opening in the Small Dog Gallery Saturday 24 May 1 – 3pm
Maureen Tan: Boatless Horizon May 24 – June 12
“In the depths of decay a future shrouded in fog. Rare glimpses of what lies ahead and then they’re gone - was it revelation or just the minds hunger for hope? Location Cuba, destination unknown.” Boatless Horizon represents the people of Cuba, as they are not permitted to board boats and surveillance along the coast is omnipresent. Maureen Tan’s images are based largely around a crumbling and neglected backdrop, capturing poise amidst the undercurrent of socialism. Maureen Tan is an award winning photographer and graphic designer, and has over 10 years of globe-trotting experience capturing landscapes and people. As well as her commercial projects, she has exhibited her photography in various galleries. Many of her photos have been licensed for commercial and editorial use with proceeds donated to charitable organisations. She also has work in the Wallace Art Trust Collection.
Hope Emerges: A Celebration of Life after Breast Cancer 30 May – 3 June
Opening at the Museum of the Vernacular (16 Kerr Street) Friday 30 May 6 – 7.30pm Our bodies are a beautiful thing. They give us the gift of life, but sometimes they work against us. For women facing breast cancer, the daunting decision to have a mastectomy can lead to feelings of loss, grief and insecurity. Hope Emerges is an exhibition from photographer Lara Boddington, showcasing the beautiful female form after breast cancer. In these intimate images, shot against the backdrop of New Zealand’s glorious landscape, women tell their stories through the medium of the camera lens.
EXHIBITIONS & EVENTS Tūrangawaewae – Sense of Place 14 June – 3 July
Opening in all galleries Saturday 14 June 2 – 3.30pm This inclusive exhibition explores the history, geography and demography of the Devonport community - the components that contribute to its distinct identity. It celebrates the people who have worked to build this community and draws to attention that meaningful communities don’t just happen, but are made and evolve through continuous participation.
Lia Kent Mackillop, Untitled (2014)
Featuring a publication and iconic portrait and landscape series from Lia Kent Mackillop, scenic images from local photographer Kevin Hill, and a community-focused installation based on audience participation.
Lia Kent Mackillop and Depot Artspace Creative Director Linda Blincko have put together a publication featuring photographs focused on significant members of and places in the Devonport community along with interviews. A selected series will be exhibited with the publication. Kevin Hill is a very proud Devonport local. In his career as a photographer he has been involved in fashion, commercial, portraiture, actors’ portfolios, musical publicity and television advertising. Kevin has also had the privilege of taking photos of politicians, royalty, film and television personalities and rock stars. Kevin recognises the importance of preserving visual memories of his community and when he saw that the face of Devonport was changing he went out and, over the last few years, captured a multitude of images of Devonport representing its past and present. Kevin is proud to present his exhibition In Your Neighbourhood as part of the Tūrangawaewae – Sense of Place exhibition.
Depot Artspace Curator Robyn Gibson will put together an installation of images from community participants and Ruth Greenaway will run a story booth - a space where people or groups can come and record up to 5 minutes of their memories and stories about Devonport. Ruth is an oral historian, with 15 years experience in interviewing people and documentary making.
With thanks to Harcourts Devonport.
We encourage you to come and be a part of the community. All are welcome at Depot Artspace exhibition openings and events.
Dugald Page: A Retrospective of an Arts Educator 12 – 31 July
Opening in the Main Gallery Saturday 12 July 2 – 3.30pm
Dugald Page started painting at 18 and continues to create new work today. The Depot Artspace is excited to present an exhibition of his work spanning 60 years; it includes painted reliefs, sculpture, electronic paintings focused on light and movement, kinetic work, samples of ceramics, glass, printmaking and photographs of his famous stained glass windows. Dugald has been an art critic for the New Zealand Herald, taught at Westlake Boys High School, the Auckland College of Education and Whitecliffe School of Art, just to name a few, and has exhibited extensively throughout the country. He sees his practice as an extension of teaching and describes himself as a “jack of all trades, master of none.” “Thank you to all the students for asking the how, what, why and can we do that? So began a journey into a wide range of activities and media; sometimes exploring areas with no prior knowledge or experience, going with blind faith to discover some exciting outcome. All subjects meet in the art room. Art is a visual language and a different way of thinking and looking at the world. Art history is an international language like music, dance and theatre. All schools should cover the range of mental, physical and psychological activities of drawing (thinking) and expressing through the disciplines of media, with the intrinsic nature of processes.” – Dugald Page
Barry Brickell: My Last Ever Pottery Sale? 12 – 31 July
Opening in the Small Dog Gallery Saturday 12 July 2 – 3.30pm
The Depot Artspace is proud to host iconic New Zealand potter Barry Brickell’s only, and possibly last, Auckland exhibition of domestic ware, including pots, plates and mugs and jugs (his noted Fatso’s are already in demand), along with a number of sculptural pieces (erectures). This show coincides with Barry’s stay at the Michael King Writers’ Centre in Devonport, his childhood home, where he will be taking time away from Driving Creek in the Coromandel to work on his writing projects. You can find out more about Barry, his life, philosophy and prodigious works as a potter, painter, kiln-maker, engineer, railway enthusiast, conservationist and writer on sometimes in solo shows and at other times with international artists. www.culturalicons.co.nz “After 40 years of churning out pottery for sale, I now prefer to make it by commission which is much more personal as with my erectures (built-up sculptures).” Barry Brickell 11
DEPOT SOUND NEWS WRITE ON WORKSHOP People came from as far away as Mangawhai and Whitianga to attend the Write On songwriting workshop. The high quality of the speakers and the huge amount of information was welcomed by the 36 participants. On the first weekend Rikki Morris, Jordan Luck, Julia Deans and Caitlin Smith spoke about their personal experiences with songs they had written as well as some in depth ideas about songwriting techniques. They were joined by Chris Yong, a social media expert who spoke about self promotion, Tania Deans from NZ On Air who talked about various funding options, and Rita Luck from Apra explaining how royalty collection works. On the second weekend all the participants were given a half hour demo session at Depot Sound and we recorded 21 songs over 2 days! “On behalf of all the participants, this was a fantastic event!! On a personal level in my transition from stand up poet to musician, this seminar was indisputably valuable. I was greatly impressed with all the speakers – Rikki Morris – Chris Young – Julia Deans – Jordan Luck – Caitlin Smith – Apra and NZ On Air. But most above all thank you Dave Rhodes, the value of this workshop was remarkable, definitely life changing.” - Robert Edwards, participant “Dave did an amazing job pulling this together. I reckon it’s something that could grow and be something amazing to all aspiring musicians. Good on Depot Sound Recording Studio for following through on a great idea.” - Chris Yong, speaker You can find more photos and news on Facebook at facebook.com/depotsound and at our website depotsound.co.nz.
Workshop participants and Caitlin Smith (standing) 14
Manurewa High School
Rikki Morris (middle) and Chris Yong (far right) with participants
Jordan Luck 15
DEPOT ARTSPACE MEMBERS’ EXHIBITION REVIEW Big congratulations to all involved with the Members’ Summer Exhibition! The number of entries showed strong demand for a community show and it was a great opportunity to connect with the local arts community. Robyn performed a small miracle hanging over 140 art works in less than 24 hours and our achievements would not have been possible without the volunteers who helped us. First for the facts, or I should say the stats! 64 artists submitted 144 works to the exhibition. The works comprised all media; paintings, photography, ceramics, sculpture and installation. The exhibition ran for 20 days. More than 100 attended the opening, and throughout the show 871 people visited. High visitor numbers were in no small way due to the fantastic promotion undertaken by Lia, our Media and Promotions Coordinator. Promotion began in November 2013 (with both call-out to artists and announcement of the exhibition) and continued throughout the show. The sources of promotion included LOUD magazine (November and December), Depot E-Newsletter and website, Eventfinda, the Big Idea, Devonport Flagstaff, Facebook, and Twitter. The sold rate was disappointingly low, only 8% of the exhibition sold (11 artworks) and nothing sold over $1,000. Pricing artworks can be hard especially as it’s so personal, although there is a degree of economics at play. Take an artwork into an auction house and they will do a simple search online to look up past sale records. Price (seller’s reserve) will be dictated by demand. It’s a sad state of affairs and many artists see their works devalued at auction. We are always happy to advise with regards to pricing and have a solid understanding of prices both outside of, and within the Depot Artspace. The questionnaire results were a big eye opener for me, and cast a new perspective with insight into the opinions and motives of visitors and artists. 92% of people that visited thought it was good or excellent. All comments were really positive and it seemed everyone enjoyed the opportunity to peruse local artists’ works. Most visitors did not buy because they couldn’t afford to (50%) or they didn’t have space (23%). The majority of artists entered the show to be part of the community (50%) and to gain exposure (38%). Perhaps selling artworks isn’t as paramount as I had originally thought. There was however, nothing more satisfying than telling artists we had made a sale! This was my first members’ show and I was impressed by the variety of mediums and styles entered into the exhibition. Thank you to all those who enticed others to come and visit, after all, isn’t that a big part of what a community art show is all about? - Helen Winskill, Gallery Manager 18
THE CARDOPHILE’S CLOSET Saturday August 2nd – Thursday 28th August Calling all Card Creators and Cardophiles! Recently we have received many requests for cards - hand-made, quirky, one-off, meaningful cards that become gifts and keepsakes. During August we are turning project space into a card closet and are inviting our talented card-makers to fill the gallery with their original works of art-cards. We hope to have a range of cards to catch every visitor’s eye and inspire them to stock up for special occasions. This will be a cash and carry show and should your cards all sell we may request further supplies from you. We hope you will support this exhibition, whether it’s entering the show, or buying the cards, or both! You will also be supporting the at-risk NZ postal service by providing our valued posties with some special mail to deliver!! To submit cards to the closet there will be a $5 charge per person, and a maximum of ten cards per person. All cards must display original artworks with a high standard of finish including a suitable envelope. If you would like to submit cards here are the details: • • • • • • • • •
Cards to be delivered to the depot on Thursday the 31st of July Maximum of 10 cards per person Cost to enter $5 per person (must be members of the Depot) Sales will incur 30% commission plus 15% gst No reconciliations Minimum cost per card $6, maximum cost per card $10 Artists prices must be consistent - i.e. the same retail price for each entry Payments will be made by bank deposit at the end of the exhibition All cards to be labeled with artists name and retail price.
We look forward to hearing from you if you are interested in submitting cards to this exhibition. For an application form and more information please contact email@example.com
Card illustrations by Ruby Watson 20
FLAG IT!! An invitation to design, make and exhibit Aotearoa/NZâ€™s next national Flag! In the next parliamentary term, 2014-2017, New Zealanders will vote on whether New Zealand flies a new flag. It has been widely contended that the design of the current flag symbolises a colonial and post-colonial era whose time has passed. A cross-party group of MPs will be formed to recommend the best referenda process and an independent steering group will ensure that the public is able to contribute design ideas. The Depot Artspace wants to prepare for this process by inviting you to take part in Flag It!! an opportunity to create a flag that represents our country and some of the characteristics that contribute to the Aotearoa/New Zealand identity. Flag It!! has also been inspired by the flags exhibited during the Wâ€™akaputanga - a Proclamation exhibition, which stirred a lot of feeling about our cultural past and present and indicated a desire to understand more about it.
Flag It!! will be exhibited in the Main Gallery during the month national elections take place, from August 30th to September the 17th. You are invited to submit a completed flag in any of the following dimensions: Large: 75cm W x 150cm L Medium: 40cm W x 80cm L Small: 20cm W x 40cm L Although the sizes are designated the medium is up to you. We will also have a number of canvases, kindly donated by The Canvas Company, Albany, available to artists on a first come, first served basis. We are anticipating that selected flags from this exhibition will travel to the Hokianga and be exhibited in a variety of venues in Rawene and Kohukohu. For details of entry please check out our website or contact Helen at firstname.lastname@example.org
APPROACHING MY OWN ART PRACTICE AND MY TEACHING OF ART IN SIMPATICO I didn’t become a teacher till I was 45, having been an air hostess for ten years for both British Airways, when I ran out of money during my OE, and later Air New Zealand. I then ran a small creative business with a friend during the 90’s till 1997. I then applied for a place in the Graduate Dip Teaching programme at Massey University Albany for the 1998 intake, where those already with degrees (and it had been 24 years since I’d left university), could study within a pressurecooked 15 months and train to be a teacher. I’d been inspired by a wonderful neighbour, a caring intelligent woman, my mother’s age, who had introduced me to the Federation of University Women’s Association of which she had long been a member. This collegial academic power-house of women, filled with a high percentage of retired teachers and professors, inspired me to return to the learning challenge when I’d become convinced my brain had turned to ‘mummy-mush’ over the years since becoming a parent. Teaching wasn’t something I’d ever had a particular calling for, or passion to do. In fact quite the opposite! I was fearful of the mammoth responsibilities there are as an educator and the commitment needed from me to this career. I’d never given anything I had decided to tackle in life, albeit committees, organisational commitments, projects, or tasks, less than 200%, so why would this be any different! Then there was the ‘how would this affect my life, my own family and my marriage?’ My family suffered in a number of significant ways in those early years, but my own life took on a whole new meaning. Although this took nearly a decade to manifest itself in a way that even I could fully understand, I got my own ‘self’ back again after years of self-disempowerment. I have today a life to be envied, well I feel anyway! A life where I enjoy completely what I do every moment of every day. There’s room for me to customise my teaching into an extension of – what I’d love to learn, to be challenged by and ‘grow’ towards as a young artist. I’m well supported by my peers and trusted by those in management above me, to deliver a valued, energised, thoughtful and challenging programme to all lower secondary students. So I see it as a 3 year creative journey for both the students and myself as they grow their skills and gain the breadth and depth to what they need as they move towards Year 10 and IGCSE Visual Art. Of course not a high percentage take art further as they are forced to choose options that take them on a journey towards tertiary study and careers beyond school, but I teach on the principle that they all can have an appreciation for creating and the created and the power of those magnificent thoughts behind the ‘How’ and ‘Why’ of it all as they navigate through their lives. Knowing that any of the ARTS can be a ‘soul mate’ for life, even if just for our leisure. Art, in all its myriad forms, will always console and tend to our well-being, if we let it. - Linda Gair
ARTICLE #2 CAREER AS A CALLING– IT’S NEVER TOO LATE
An Impressionist inspired painting - Year 8 student 23
CULTURALICONS.CO.NZ CULTURAL ICONS REACHES 70 EPISODES In 2010, as a result of its contact with some remarkable people, the Depot Artspace began producing a series of filmed interviews celebrating New Zealanders who have contributed significantly to our creative landscape. Cultural Icons is an inspirational series that shares the histories, stories and experiences of some of our most significant visual artists, architects, publishers, entrepreneurs, writers, musicians, arts commentators and philanthropists. The interviews, which have taken place in the Depot Sound studio, have been conducted by friends and colleagues who the interviewee has chosen and are subsequently intimate, informative, entertaining and enlightening. They serve to show that New Zealand has a distinctive and evolving culture. Interviews include Stanley Palmer, Ian Wedde, Denys Trussell, Claudia Pond Eyley, Nigel Brown, Hamish Keith, Roger Horrocks, Barry Brickell, Riemke Ensing, Eve de Castro Robinson, Helen Pollock and Gordon McLauchlan. “(These interviews) constitute an invaluable national resource for the benefit of the public at large… an acknowledgement of the work of people who have brought about change and development in New Zealand.”- Rodney Wilson former director of the Auckland War Memorial Museum and Auckland Art Gallery. To celebrate reaching 70 episodes we have put together a publication. The publication profiles the 70 interviews that have taken place since the inception of the series in 2010, with the issue allowing you to access the full interview by clicking on each Cultural Icon photograph. These interviews are available online and provided free of charge. They are a valuable and accessible archive for researchers, students and anyone interested in the New Zealand vernacular and the people who either gave form or an insight to it. Visit the Depot Artspace Vernacular Lounge to pick up a copy of our Cultural Icons publication or read it online: www.issuu.com/depotartspace/docs/cultural_icons_70_episodes
ARTSLAB: STATE OF THE ARTS II For 12 years ArtsLab has worked in the creative sector to provide career guidance, career transition services, mentoring support and professional development workshops, with the outcomes of employment, selfsustainability and a more resilient creative economy. Over this time some 2000 creative people have received support through this programme. We would like to share (with her permission) one story of a participant, illustrating that through hard work, determination, mixing part time employment with a creative passion, creative people continue to find opportunity in New Zealand. Mia Straka has been making contemporary jewellery since 2001, employing metalsmithing techniques as a base from which to explore her own way of working. Returning home to New Zealand in 2005 following international work experience in London and Switzerland, she joined PACE (Pathways to Arts and Cultural Employment). The programme provided mentoring support to develop business skills and time for her to establish her arts practice by making work for exhibitions, commissions and stock for galleries throughout New Zealand. Income was supplemented through part time work at Fingers contemporary jewellery gallery and from 2008 also teaching night classes at Workshop6. Mia has also been a mentor to a number of our ArtsLab artists and had a studio at Satellite Gallery where she provided valuable support during the early days of the galleryâ€™s development. This past month the biggest solo work Mia has ever made featured in a special instalment of The Talisman Project at Aucklandâ€™s historic Pah Homestead. The work Te Tatua a Riukiuta was created specifically for the site and is a topographical canopy imagining what the volcanic landscape of Three Kings may have looked like pre-quarrying of the scoria cones. The Talisman Project is a collaboration between Mia and Napier based furniture designer Roger Kelly. Over the past two years the two have developed a series of works spanning installation, sculpture, photography, craft and object art. The Talisman Project will be shown for the first time in its entirety at Objectspace, Auckland from 3 May - 14 June. Congratulations Mia on your achievements over the past 13 years and the purchase of three of your works by the James Wallace Trust. www.miastraka.com - Lynn Lawton 26
STATE OF THE ARTS: THE US EXPERIENCE
Mark Edward Adams is an American artist whose blog site covers a number of topics relevant to this LOUD theme. He discusses the challenges of being an artist in a changing arts environment, and questions the future of galleries, especially in their current form, as the most effective means of exposure and sales for artists. This is a challenging perspective, especially for those who have known the gallery as the significant source of sales and experience of art. Below is an entry from Mark Adams’ blog that artists may find edifying: “My older comrades in arms often talk about a time when they would sell out shows. Galleries in Santa Fe have told me of a time when practically anything on the wall would sell in a short amount of time. Galleries would go out of their way to find promising talent and spend money to promote these new artists. I have never known the good times. Although I had been sculpting for years I did not jump into the world of commercial galleries until around 2010. Nothing was easy. I worked harder at the business portion than any other artist I knew. I flew all over the country and visited dozens upon dozens of galleries. I reached out to magazine editors, museum curators, other artists, and a host of professionals for advice. I sought out every glimmer of opportunity I could find. I learned early on about rejection. The first ten galleries I approached all rejected me. It was the last gallery I visited that gave me my first big break. I realized rejection is part of the deal. And while you never completely detach yourself from it, you learn to not take it personal and move on. I no longer backed away from the scary situations and it began to pay off. Over the course of 2 years I found myself in 9 galleries. I was featured in 5 magazines, one TV show, and 2 museum exhibitions. However despite the initial success, the sales are still slow. The markets seem to fluctuate in different cities, but overall it is still a down market. The most common question I hear is “When are the collectors coming back?”. I have heard this question asked again and again in galleries and amongst other artists. I often asked myself the same question. However after a certain point I wondered if they are ever coming back. To be more specific I wonder if the collectors will still embrace the current business model of art sales. I wonder if they will return to art galleries in droves like the past. I believe the answer is “No”. I think the reason lies behind the collector themselves. They have changed. There was a time when the gallery was the source of new artists. They sponsored promotions for new artists and big shows for established artists. These events were backed up by the big art magazines. However with the advent of the information age it has all changed. These days the collector has the power to search out artists via Facebook, blogs, artists websites, etc. They can even easily contact the artist. The center of the art world is moving away from the galleries to the digital space. The days of throngs of people just walking into random galleries are diminishing. While this may seem like a tragedy for the gallery world, it is actually an opportunity. It is a chance for the galleries to embrace the digital age and work with the artists as partners to promote the gallery and artists. If they work together I believe a new business model will emerge. I do not know what it will look like in 10 years, but I am excited. We are currently experiencing a time of transition and while the art market as we have known it may never recover, a new one will lead the way.” markedwardadams.com/blog 27
DEPOT EVENTS & OPENINGS Graham Downs: Retrospective – Fifty Years of Day-Dreaming
Graeme Thompson: Alchemy | Play | Art
All are welcome at Depot Artspace exhibition openings and exhibitions. Please check www.depotartspace.co.nz for the latest news and events. Membersâ€™ Show / Susan Hurrell-Fieldes, Susanne Khouri & Celia Walker / Ruth Ames
John Hodgson / Agi Lehar-Graham
JOIN By joining the Depot Artspace we can keep you updated and involved in the following Depot Artspace initiatives: • MORPH MAGAZINE - online arts and culture magazine • JAM RADIO - online arts and culture radio • CULTURAL ICONS - interviews available online featuring significant contributors to NZ’s cultural landscape • CREATIVE PEOPLE’S CENTRE - resources and legal fact-sheets for creative people • DEPOT SOUND - recording, post-production, mastering and rehearsal space • DEPOT GALLERIES - exhibition, event and festival facilities in the Depot Artspace, Devonport • ARTSLAB - professional development programme, workshops and mentoring for creative people • THE MUSEUM OF THE VERNACULAR/KERR ST ARTSPACE- Encompassing the Peace Space and Cultural Mapping projects which explore NZ’s distinctive and evolving cultural identity. A large space for workshops, theatre, etc. An intimate space for self-managed exhibitions and meetings.