Vacating and Inhabiting

Within Vacating and Inhabiting, there exists an underlying sense of playfulness, but also disorientation, as the audience is required to navigate the surreal, dreamlike interiors, landscapes, and installations.

  • Opening Date: Tuesday, 12 July 2016
  • Closing Date: Sunday, 7 August 2016
  • Opening Time: Tues-Fri 11-5pm, Sat 11-4pm, Sun 11-3pm

Vacating and Inhabiting invites both viewer and artist to consider and question how reality is represented, created, and imagined. The new works presented here, by artists Erin Forsyth, Hanna Shim, Kerry Ann Lee and Krystie Wade, are simultaneously drawn from this world and seemingly separate from it. Through a variety of media, Vacating and Inhabiting blurs the lines between what is real and surreal, and juxtaposes the possible with the impossible.

Erin Forsyth is a self-taught artist from Auckland who has contributed to a variety of creative enterprises since the 1990s. Erin's practice is adaptive and intuitive, spanning the fields of illustration, painting, film and publication. Erin draws from a range of influences, amalgamating aspects of contemporary art movements such as pop-surrealism with counter-culture and graffiti elements. Her multi-media approach allows for various social and cultural issues, prevalent in our contemporary milieu, to subtly integrate with her work. Erin is interested in the way certain images communicate and impart information to their audience, and how this is linked to the aesthetics of the artwork. Erin creates scenarios and images that take on innovative forms with an element of familiarity: her works can be described as portals to a new sub-culture and language.

Hanna Shim blurs cute, kitsch, and uncanny elements together in her sculptural and installation-based practice. Hanna describes her method of making as a sculptural version of a collage: she utilises found and manipulated materials, with a range of sensory and aesthetic connotations, and explores how these materials interact in a given space. The artist's engagement with the properties of raw, found, and man-made objects results in a landscape of materiality that sits in the void between the familiar and unfamiliar. A range of dichotomies are present, as a result of the interesting material combinations. The grotesque clashes with the desirable, and comforting reminders of one's childhood are jarred with instances of violence and mutilation - Hanna cites this place between humour and discomfort as a frequent informant for her practice. Hanna has an MFA from the Elam School of Fine Arts, and she has exhibited across Auckland.

Kerry Ann Lee's art explores issues and themes of identity and cultural hybridity. In Vacating and Inhabiting, Kerry Ann presents works that draw from the classical 'still life' genre that can be found across cultures, time, and place. Her works allude to the way we curate and consume aspects of the exotic 'other' in our everyday life - this is further suggested by the tactility of her works, and the implication they can be packed up and transported to another location. There is a surrealist element to her works in her distortion of time, space, and place. A multitude of objects float in void-like spaces with off-kilter perspectives; the real and the imagined are intertwined. In 2008, Kerry Ann completed a Masters in Design from Wellington's Massey University College of Creative Arts. She has received numerous awards and residencies that have allowed her to work and exhibit overseas. Her work can be found in public and private collections across New Zealand, Australia, Europe and China.

Through painting, Krystie Wade reimagines our engagement with different landscapes, exploring and pulling apart the topographical, ecological, and emotional aspects of nature through multiple perspectives and dynamic colour compositions. Krystie works intuitively, drawing from a vast range of influences: there are the real and accessible landscapes that surround her Auckland studio, and the inaccessible and almost unknown worlds that dwell under the sea and deep in volcanic ridges, seen through the digitised, hyper-real space of the internet. Painted textures taken from rubbings of organic and man-made elements coincide with fragments of imagined pools and aquatic plant-life: Krystie distorts and reimagines reality. In a single image, Krystie investigates all aspects of what constitutes a landscape, exploring and reconstructing colour, perspective, and texture. Her paintings are far removed from the romanticism and historicism of the traditional landscape painting genre: Krystie's paintings are not designed to impart topographical accuracy or historical truths, but are motivated by a desire to invoke feeling and wonder through her richness of colour, movement, and fantastical compositions. Krystie Wade graduated from Unitec in 2004 with a Bachelor of Design. Krystie has received a number of awards and public projects, and she has exhibited nationally and internationally.

Within Vacating and Inhabiting, there exists an underlying sense of playfulness, but also disorientation, as the audience is required to navigate the surreal, dreamlike interiors, landscapes, and installations. Multiple dichotomies play out in this exhibition. Environments and objects are familiar yet also divergent from the norm; spaces and interiors are inspired by reality yet inhabitable with off-kilter perspectives. Brimming with colour and excitement, yet difficult to classify, the artworks in Vacating and Inhabiting invite a brief departure from the banality of everyday life.

Rebecca Ward



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