Ayesha Green, Cushla Donaldson, Eve Armstrong, Gabby O'Connor, John Vea, Mike Hewson, Rob Hood with work from the collection of The Suter Art Gallery, Nelson & Ashburton Art Gallery
Exhibition Preview: Wednesday 28 February at 5.30pm
Exhibition Runs: Thursday 1 – Saturday 31 March 2018
(Un)conditional I, 2017, Jamie Hanton
Text is available for download below.
This year, The Physics Room is changing the way it operates. Eschewing a relatively static model, we are partnering with a number of public galleries across Te Waipounamu, the South Island to create collaborative exhibitions. By doing this we hope to draw on shared strengths and resources and embrace the flexibility and urgency that comes from working alongside, and within, other institutions and contexts.
The (Un)conditional series of exhibitions has been developed alongside this operational shift. Most simply, the idea of something being unconditional can be thought of in the context of love; of the unrestricted and unlimited gesture of giving affection without expectation. Outside of this particular—and relatively rare—occurrence, a myriad of overlapping conditions dictate how and why we give and receive on a day-to-day basis. The (Un)conditional series explores the concepts of hosting, being a guest, trade, exchange, reciprocity, utu and manaakitanga. The artists involved examine the conditions that shape cultural, legal, commercial, familial, and educational relationships, whether these are explicit, implicit, above board or sub rosa.
The first part of the (Un)conditional series of exhibitions takes place at The Physics Room (Christchurch) and combines borrowed collection items from The Suter Art Gallery (Nelson) and The Ashburton Art gallery chosen by the artists showing in those spaces later this year, as well as new and existing work by those artists.
(Un)conditional II is co-curated by Sarah McClintock and opens in Nelson at The Suter Art Gallery, Saturday 17 March and features work by Ayesha Green, Cushla Donaldson, Eve Armstrong, Gabby O'Connor, and Rob Hood. (Un)conditional III opens at Ashburton Art Gallery in August and includes work by Eve Armstrong, John Vea, and Mike Hewson.
Wednesday 28 February 10.30am - 12.30: The Unseen: a science and community art project with Gabby O’Connor and Dr Carolyn Lundquist (Marine Ecologist NIWA and Auckland University). This event is free but registration is necessary. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday 1 March 12:30: Ayesha Green & Cushla Donaldson artist talk
Wednesday 7 - Friday 9 March: Eve Armstrong will present her ongoing project Trading Table. Trading Table involves the artist setting up a table in a public place and inviting people to trade with her for something on the table. Trading Table deals in multiple currencies including ideas, information, skills, services and items. Most participants encounter the table unexpectedly and work with the artist and her assistants to devise a trade on the spot. These trades are simply written on fluorescent card and displayed on the table.
Ayesha Green (Ngāti Kahungunu, Kai Tahu) is an artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau. She graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from Elam in 2013 and completed a Graduate Diploma in Museums and Cultural Heritage in 2016. Recent exhibitions include Alma Venus, Corbans Estate Art Centre (2018), Summa Pete, Papakura Art Gallery (2017), 2. Spirit of the Thing Given (Māori), RM Gallery (2017), Biographies of Transition, To Busy to Think, ARTSPACE (2017).
Cushla Donaldson is an artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau. Her practice seeks to identify, expose, and act upon schisms in the heated environment of late capitalism. Her writing has come to include ction alongside essays on art, politics and lm theory. She graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts before gaining her MFA from Goldsmiths College, University of London, as a recipient of the Anne Reid Scholarship. She has exhibited in New Zealand, Europe and Japan. She has participated in residencies in Estonia and in the Manawatū, New Zealand and has taught Art and Film Theory at Auckland University and Unitech, Auckland.
Eve Armstrong holds a BFA from Elam School of Fine Arts (2003), and in 2006 was an inaugural recipient of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand New Generation Award. In 2017 Armstrong was the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Visiting Artist. She has exhibited widely throughout NZ including major solo exhibitions at Dunedin Public Art Gallery (2017),The Physics Room, Christchurch (2010), City Gallery Wellington (2007) and Artspace, Auckland (2005-6). She has also presented solo projects in international exhibitions including: The woods that see and hear, NL (2010), 3rd Auckland Triennial (2007), Busan Biennale (2006) and SCAPE (2006). Her ongoing project Trading Table (2003 -) was presented at Spring 1883, Sydney (2017) and at the Auckland Art Fair (2016). Armstrong is represented by Michael Lett, Auckland.
Gabby O’Connor is an artist, interdisciplinary researcher, Antarctican, science communicator, and educator based in Wellington. Her practice operates across multiple disciplines and audiences – between contemporary art, science communication and community action and looks at the different entry point to conversations around our changing climate. O’Connor studied sculpture in Melbourne at the Victorian College of the Arts, has a Masters in Fine arts at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales in Sydney and is currently a PhD candidate at Auckland University supported by the Sustainable Seas NZ National Science Challenge.
John Vea is a Tāmaki Makaurau based artist who works with sculpture, video, and performance art. Vea works with tropes of migration and gentri cation within Moana Nui a Kiwa. By enacting stories that have been collected through everyday interactions with people, both in his home community and abroad with a journalistic sensibility he offers a sometimes humorous and always powerfully symbolic emic viewpoint to the Western meta narrative. He gained a Master of Art and Design at Auckland University of Technology in 2015, where he is currently undertaking his Ph.D. candidature.
Mike Hewson alters civic sites to highlight pressing issues concerning that community. This involves transposing images or materials to cause hesitation and re ection on the path ahead. He received a Bachelors of [Civil] Engineering with First Class Honours from University of Canterbury, New Zealand and lives and works between New York and Sydney.
Rob Hood lives and works in Christchurch, New Zealand. He graduated with a BFA in Sculpture (1999) and an MFA (2011) from Ilam School of Fine Arts, Canterbury University. Exhibitions include: Precarious Balance, COCA, NZ, 2016; Tricksters, Christchurch Art Gallery, NZ, 2012; Prospect Contemporary Art Now, Wellington City Art Gallery, 2011; From a City Forsaken by its Gods, First Draft Gallery, Sydney, 2011; Last Ride in a Hot Air Balloon, Auckland Triennial, Auckland Art Gallery, 2010. Hood was the Olivia Spencer Bower fellow in 2007. His work is held in the collections of Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tāmaki, Christchurch Art Gallery, Te Puna o Waiwhetū, and the University of Canterbury.