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Home Explore Awhi - exhibition catalogue 2021

Awhi - exhibition catalogue 2021

Published by gallery, 2021-11-15 22:24:59

Description: The exhibition catalogue for the Bachelor of Applied Arts graduating students at the Geoff Wilson Gallery, NorthTec, Whangarei, NZ. 18-25 Nov 2021

Keywords: exhibiton,art,applied arts,NorthTec,painting,photography,print,digital arts


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Awhi To care for; to nurture; to embrace; to cherish.

2021 Graduating Exhibition Bachelor of Applied Arts Melody Mitt Kahurangi Rihari-Poa Liam Astbury Shirah Andrews

Introduction Awhi (Te reo Maori) is to care for, nurture, embrace and cherish. - The way we see our place in the world. To get to a destination of finding ones place in the world involves a journey. For an art student, the first line or mark on a page in year one begins the creative journey within an academic context. More lines are added that bend and curve, capturing the rawness of thoughts and explorations into potential outcomes until eventually a picture is visualized. Across the three years of the degree program, pages of research, idea development, responding to project briefs, discarding / embracing concepts and formulating a predilection for material language to best express evolving themes are embedded within the spaces and pages of those visual diaries. This is the true space we celebrate. The space in between. The space across time to dream, grow, question and record the fluidity of process’s that are grasped and nurtured into a richness of knowledge. Not all those marks and lines eventuate into creative realities, but along the way the students in this exhibition have presented new perspectives, and a continuum of works across various visual platforms. For the exhibitors in Awhi, current global concerns have forced them to face detours / re-evaluate the destination, and to narrate their stories from a different direction. Through the space of the poetics of art, the impossibilities becoming new possibilities. Art is part of the language through which we see and understand the world around us. The journey to this point for these artists has been the destination. M.Gibbs

Melody Mitt Melody Mitt is a multi-disciplinary artist of Estonian descent currently living and studying in Whangārei, New Zealand. She is influenced by the natural world, memories of her childhood in the Hokianga, and her rich cultural heritage. Melody works across media including painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, and sculpture. Instagram: @melodymaker_ Facebook: @melodymittartist Email: [email protected] Melody Mitt, The Sublime Self I (Close-up view), 2021, Acrylic and house paint on wood, 1130mm x 970mm x 112mm

The Sublime Self is the title of this series Melody Mitt, The Sublime of works. The idea of the ‘sublime’ Garden (Installation detail), abstracts the awe-inspiring impact 2021, Acrylic paint on wood of beautiful, meaningful moments block, 610mm x 480mm experienced when looking at nature. In these works, I intend to create an ethereal, and contemplative space for the audience, removing them from everyday life for a moment, highlighting beauty within the ordinary and mundane. Since I was young, I’ve been interested in painting, in particular romantic painters like JMW Turner, and John Constable. Their bewitching expressions of nature and everyday life were like mysterious portals, transporting me into that sense of the sublime. My art practice includes detailed line drawings alongside abstraction. Flora, and native fauna such as the pīwakawaka, and tui feature recurrently. I seek to portray nature in a way that speaks to the imagination, and our emotional selves, rather than as an ornithological record. Melody Mitt, The Sublime Self III (Detail), 2021, Acrylic and house paint on wood, 2350mm x 1410mm

Fractured World is an installation of woodcuts, bamboo, and handmade flowers that together create a “flower garden.’’ Although a lot of my work is about finding symmetry and detail in nature, this series highlights the detail-focused aspect of my art practice, in contrast to the free-flowing side expressed through abstract painting. I need and use both these facets of my inner world in my creative process. Exploring these combatant parts of me has taught me that they inform each other. By presenting these different ways of working I intend to create space for the audience to welcome and hear themselves, in a more accepting and integrated way. My mind’s need for control and my soul’s desire to flow, battle for dominance. I seek to look within and uncover the process of self- transformation, alongside balance. We must accept ourselves as we are and open our minds to the idea that the contrasting parts of ourselves are necessary; for inspiring balance and highlighting our strengths. Left: Melody Mitt, The Sublime Self III (Detail), 2021, Acrylic and house paint on wood, 2350mm x 1410mm Right: Melody Mitt, The Sublime Self I (Close-up view), 2021, Acrylic and house paint on wood, 1130mm x 970mm x 112mm Opposite: Melody Mitt, The Sublime Self II (Detail), 2021 Acrylic and house paint on wood, 1000mm x 1130mm x 120mm

Kahurangi Rihari-Poa Kahurangi Rihari-Poa is a far-north based tattooist and screen printer. Kahurangi’s work focuses on the social and environmental influences that impact the younger generation, whilst exploring themes of innovation, elevation and integrity. Instagram: Ish_langi Email: [email protected] Kahurangi Rihari-Poa, Pou Series #6, 2021, Ink on Fabriano, 800mm x 1200mm

Being Māori growing up in poverty does not allow for much exposure to possibilities for change; changing your situation does not always seem possible. In my life journey it was art that provided the breakthrough necessary to change myself mentally, culturally and spiritually. As an artist I want to create awareness of how innovation in thinking can allow your mindset to shift forward, so better things flow into your life. This story can relate to many, but here I speak particularly to young Māori. I explore Māori art using contemporary materials to portray this idea of innovation within the Māori mindset and culture. Kahurangi Rihari-Poa, Pou Series #3 (Detail), 2021, Ink on Fabriano, 800mm x 1200mm Kahurangi Rihari-Poa, Bottle Series #1, 2021, Etched Glass, 60mm x 220mm

I consider the meaning behind each mark I make, to ensure that I preserve the integrity of each symbol. The use of familiar Māori symbols and icons offer a place of comfort so that people can listen to the kōrero behind the imagery. My work talks about the influences that affect our lives and the effects we have on young Māori. We are all impacted by social and environmental influences. These adapt our wellbeing - whether it is positive or negative - the effects are inevitable. Working with the theme of innovation, elevation and integrity, it is my intention to generate an uplifting mindset in the audience. I aim to provoke a feeling of empowerment within oneself and to create a drive for higher standards. Now that I look at myself through a cultural perspective, I understand the importance of reclaiming oneself creatively, spiritually and culturally. Kahurangi Rihari-Poa, Pou Series #1 (Detail), 2021, Ink on Fabriano, 800mm x 1200mm

Liam Astbury Liam Martyn Astbury is a multidisciplinary digital artist working across photography, videography, graphic design, and animation. Born in the United Kingdom after immigrating to New Zealand in 2008, his enthusiasm for the arts grew; inspired by the people, animals and lifestyle of this country Phone: 021 048 7909 Email: [email protected] Instagram: Facebook: Photography By Liam Liam Martyn Astbury, Cats & Their People (Installation), 2021, Video

Above: Domestication has led to human beings Liam Martyn Astbury, being the source of social support for Screenshot from Jack animals. It has also led to animals Interview, 2021, Video providing social support for their owners. Left: Liam Martyn Astbury, 41 % of New Zealand homes have a cat, Cats & Their People with just over 1.218 million cats living Affectionate Portraits of in our homes across New Zealand. This Furship (inside page), 2021, relationship has become even more Book, 160x120mm important during the recent COVID-19 lockdowns. As a cat lover I wanted to explore the relationships we have with our domestic cats through my art practice. My love of cats started from a young age. I have autism, and through my autism I have found a special connection with animals, specifically cats and dogs. When I am feeling down or stressed, I spend time with them; I often look at videos of cats on YouTube when I need cheering up. To demonstrate the bond we have with our cats I have created a series of documentary films and a complementary photobook. The documentary footage and audio interviews in Cats & Their People Interviews are displayed through an interactive interface. These have been visually manipulated by adding the effect of black and white. This created a hand drawn effect, whilst also protecting the privacy of those in the interviews.

My work is displayed in a living room setting to remind the viewer Left: Liam Martyn Astbury, of their home and where people share their lives with their cats. Still from Kevin interview, Both the Cats & Their People Interviews and the photobook, Cats 2021, Video & Their People Affectionate Portraits of Furship show the variety of relationships and interactions that we have with our cats, and the role they play in our everyday lives. Undertaking this work has emphasised further the bond that exists with the cats in our lives, and importance of these relationships. It also demonstrates that the pets we choose are as unique as we are. Left: Liam Martyn Astbury, Cats & Their People Affectionate Portraits of Furship (Sybil & Becky Eve Rumsey), 2021, Book, 160x120mm

Shirah Andrews Shirah Andrews is a multidisciplinary artist based in Northland, New Zealand. Her art practice is inspired by her upbringing, family, and her connection to nature. Shirah’s overall aim is to challenge how we view nature and ourselves as a part of it. She works to minimize her environmental footprint - co-producing with nature, integrating natural (and found) materials, repurposed objects, and experimenting with different media. Email: [email protected] Instagram: @shirahandrews_art Facebook: Shirah Andrews Art

Over a short period of time humankind have abused our power of free will, steadily stripping and demolishing a vast majority of Earth’s resources, taking advantage of nature. The worldview that positions humankind as more important than nature is causing the planetary ecosystem to collapse. I believe this is likely to be the cause of human extinction. In my art practice I aim to challenge how we view nature to see ourselves as a part of it. Disengaged and Dismissive critique the worldview that places humanity as external from and superior to nature. My intention here is to introduce a shift to how we perceive the environment. Shirah Andrews, Disengaged (Detail), 2021, Acrylic paint on repurposed board, modeling clay, gold leaf and ivy vines, 640mm x 845mm Shirah Andrews, Synergy, 2021, Three lumen prints in collaboration with rain, leaves, and the sun

Endeavour offers alternative ways to fully comprehend the immensity of our task at hand. We must understand that we are not just one being with one lifetime. Instead: “We are a vast web of interconnected relationships, where every single thought and action is felt by all of the other pieces of the web.”1 Everything is interconnected. We have a duty to heal the indispensable partnership that exists between nature and humanity. Diverting consciousness II aims to bridge the psychological, physical gap that separates us from nature. Highlighting the similarities between us through images of texture and form, blurring the lines that exist between us and nature. Repairing the relationship between humankind and nature requires all of us to take part. I hold myself accountable for minimizing my carbon footprint in my art practice. Integrating naturally grown materials, recycle and repurpose objects, and experiment with different mediums to reduce my negative impact on the earth. Messenger is an example of a collaboration with nature, working in partnership with surrounding foliage, rain, and the sun. I believe that we need to collectively shift our perspective and see ourselves as a part of nature. Only then we could make the significant changes necessary to benefit personal and planetary wellness before it is too late. 1Partner earth, A Spiritual Ecology, Restoring Our Sacred Relationship with Nature. Pam Montgomery, Foreword by Brooke Medicine Eagle. Shirah Andrews, Dismissive, Shirah Andrews, Rebirth, 2021, Acrylic paint on 2021, Three lumen prints repurposed board, modeling in collaboration with rain, clay, gold leaf and ivy vines leaves, and the sun 640mm x 850mm

Geoff Wilson Gallery Toi Te Pito Arts Precinct Gate 3 NorthTec Raumanga Valley Road Whangarei [email protected] 09 470 3805 @geoffwilsongallery

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