Hopes and dreams, milk and gunfire in Arts Festival visual arts programme

Press Release – Auckland Arts Festival
Art is for everyone in Auckland Arts Festival 2013’s visual arts fiesta

A magnificent display communicating the hopes and dreams of Auckland school children, 200L of milk annihilated by gunfire and The Brady Bunch adorned with bindis are just some of what can be expected in Auckland Arts Festival’s massive, free visual arts programme which explodes across the region from 6 to 24 March 2013. Complementing Auckland Arts Festival 2013’s stellar line-up of performance events, the visual arts programme presents numerous opportunities for Aucklanders and visitors to experience painting, film, installation, projection, textiles and tā moko by some of the very best international and New Zealand artists.

According to the Auckland Arts Festival Artistic Director Carla van Zon, “Just as performance events have the ability to make audiences think, feel, argue, laugh and cry, visual arts have the power to deeply connect with each and every viewer in different ways. In March, we invite everyone – even those who aren’t regular gallery visitors – to venture out and experience at least one of the Festival’s many free exhibitions, because art doesn’t have to be for aficionados only. Art is created for anyone who enjoys seeing things from another perspective.”

Auckland Arts Festival’s brilliant, visual arts night of nights White Night is back for a second time after huge success in 2011. For one night only, on Saturday March 16, over 50 of Auckland’s galleries and museums will open between 6pm and midnight, and art projects and performances will spill into public spaces, with free buses available to help people squeeze in as many exhibitions and events as possible. A detailed White Night brochure will be released in February next year.

New Zealand contemporary artist Tiffany Singh has created Fly Me Up To Where You Are, a huge installation project that has been commissioned by Auckland Arts Festival. From 6 to 24 March, Aotea Square will be emblazoned with colour thanks to Tiffany’s large-scale work made up of hundreds of flags designed and made by Auckland school children. Singh is a globally-recognised artist whose signature method involves working directly with specific communities before turning the resulting material into surprising and breathtaking art works. In this case, Tiffany is working with numerous children who are asked to express their hope and dreams on a Tibetan-style dream flag, all of which will be included in the installation, designed to bring the voices of our children directly to the heart of the city.

The concurrent exhibition Fly Me Up To Where You Are: Te Waharoa, at Ponsonby’s Artstation, will be a chance for anyone interested in seeing the full story of Tiffany Singh’s project come to life through stunning film and photography by Robert George. While they are there, audiences will be able to make their own dream flag which will be added to the Aotea Square installation.

Described as one of the most important artists of our time, the Spanish artist Santiago Sierra presents the fruits of labor and destruction in this monumental global project that spans two years and ten countries, Destroyed Word. In this international collaboration, which includes galleries in Iceland, Germany, Austria, France, Holland, Sweden, India, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand, a ten letter word which resonates with the Global financial crisis is presented as a 25-minute, multi-channel installation at Te Tuhi. In collaboration with Santiago, Te Tuhi produced the letter – A – made from 200L of milk. Employing 500 rounds from shotguns and handguns, the letter A was filmed in a secret location being dramatically destroyed. The exhibition presents ten simultaneously projected films which reveal the word and depict the destruction of each single letter. Each letter was made of materials chosen by the artist and collaborators with significance to each respective country.

Aotea Square will also provide the backdrop for a stunning video work called When The Gods Came Down To Earth by Canada-based film-maker Srinivas Krishna. Through innovative film-making, Krishna has drawn on the stories he learnt as a child in India, of Gods and Goddesses, humans and demons, and the populist imagery known as ‘Calendar Art.’ Using classical dancers and luscious visual effects, Krishna’s work puts a contemporary twist on some of the most spiritual images of Indian mythology. A version of When The Gods Came Down To Earth will also show at Mangere Arts Centre.

Another Mangere Arts Centre show involves a cheeky investigation of Indian identity. New Zealand-Indian artist Bepen Bhana has created a provocatively playful exhibition of paintings depicting the much-loved characters of iconic 1970s American sitcom The Brady Bunch. In his exhibition, titled The Curry Bunch, the Bradys are given Hindu bindis, tilaks and caste marks. Bhana’s humorous and delightfully outrageous images give the widely recognised ‘Western’ faces an Eastern transformation.

Collaboration between artists and the power of art to unite a community underpin Rosebank, an exhibition curated by Unitec’s Marcus Williams that is designed especially for Avondale’s iconic Rosebank Rd. This project brings over 18 artists together with the businesses and community of one of Auckland’s oldest industrial precincts, to develop new work for a special weekend art walk which will allow wanderers to immerse themselves in artwork from the likes of Lisa Reihana, Haru Sameshima and Fiona Jack.

Collaboration is also at the heart of the work of one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed artists, Dame Robin White, who is creating a significant new work with long-time collaborator Ruha Fifita. Ko e Hala Hangatonu: The Straight Path will involve a huge 14ft Tongan tapa cloth created by the artists with expert tapa-makers in Tonga, and will be hung at Two Rooms Gallery.

In Tā Moko – Between the Lines, one of New Zealand’s finest tā moko artists, Derek Lardelli, invites everyone interested in learning what lies behind tā moko lines to a special event. Taking up temporary residence in the Aotea Centre, Derek will bring his studio to the people for three, day-long, live tā moko sessions. Audiences can watch the artists at work, have a kōrero and learn more about this spiritually significant, uniquely Māori and undeniably beautiful art form.

Two cool comic art exhibitions showing side by side at AUT’s ST PAUL St Gallery will give comics fans an unprecedented opportunity to feast on work from Germany and New Zealand. Comics, Manga & Co., an exhibition by the Goethe-Institut, introduces the work of 13 German comic artists spanning two generations. Nga Pakiwaituhi: New Zealand Comics, curated by popular New Zealand cartoonist Dylan Horrocks, presents a diverse selection of work by some of the most powerful voices in contemporary New Zealand comic art – from established professionals to underground talents.

Showing at Starkwhite, the beautifully ethereal Rules of Nature, by highly-regarded Shanghai artist Jin Jiangbo, is a mesmerising hands-on installation blending imagery and sounds from traditional Chinese artforms with new-media technology. Projected onto water, delicate landscapes are formed and re-formed in response to the viewer plucking, strumming or sliding along the strings of a Chinese zither.

Also from Shanghai and also fusing traditional forms with new media, art collective Liu Dao/island6’s The Garden Beneath the Street Lights blends Chinese paper-cut techniques with digital and LED technology to present delightful artworks about the urban maze of China’s largest city, at Bath Street Gallery.

At ARTSPACE Mexican artist Jorge Satorre explores the hidden paths of history in his exhibition The Blacks. Mimicking the investigative processes through which history is written, Satorre collaborates with researchers to offer glimpses into another time and place through illustration and sculpture.

Texturally rich and profoundly beautiful, Islanders at Objectspace surveys the breathtaking work of New Zealand sculptor Jo Torr, whose exquisitely designed and meticulously detailed garments fuse European and Pacific elements to offer an intriguing perspective on the history and fashion of early European and Polynesian encounters.

The energy and diversity of contemporary Pacific performance art is showcased in an exhibition from two of Auckland’s most exciting young artists, Jeremy Leatinu’u and Kalisolaite ‘Uhila, with special guests. More Than We Know, comprises both film and performance at Auckland University’s Gus Fisher Gallery and, for busy city-dwellers on their way home, street-side performances on Auckland’s Shortland St.

Full visual arts venue details and dates are below. To peruse the full Auckland Arts Festival 2013 programme, including all performances and events, please view our press release or visit www.aaf.co.nz www.aaf.co.nz

ENDS

About Auckland Arts Festival

The Auckland Arts Festival is Auckland’s premier festival of New Zealand and international arts. The globally-recognised event celebrates people and culture, and showcases the unrivalled location and landscape, cultural diversity and vibrant energy of New Zealand’s largest city.

Since the inaugural event in 2003, the Auckland Arts Festival has welcomed over a million attendees. For 19 magical days in March, Auckland Arts Festival 2013 will bring the Auckland region to life once again with creations from some of the country’s most innovative artists and performers alongside a sensational assemblage of internationals.

Auckland Arts Festival is governed by the Auckland Festival Trust and the Board chaired by Victoria Carter. Trustees are Rick Carlyon, Roger MacDonnell, Toni Millar, Jim Moser, John Judge, Heather Shotter and Fred Ward. The Trust receives core funding from Auckland Council through the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Act, and from Creative New Zealand through the Toi Tōtara Haemata programme.

The Festival’s executive team is Artistic Director Carla van Zon and Chief Executive David Inns. Significant support for the Auckland Arts Festival 2013 is received from the ASB Community Trust, NZ Major Events, The Lion Foundation and Pub Charity; Gold Sponsors Westpac and Colenso BBDO; Silver Sponsors Auckland Airport and Classic Hits; and other sponsors, patrons and donors.

AUCKLAND ARTS FESTIVAL 2013 VISUAL ARTS PROGRAMME DETAILS

WHITE NIGHT, Various locations
Saturday 16 March, 6pm to midnight
White Night is a partnership between Auckland Arts Festival with Auckland Museum, Auckland Art Gallery, Central City Library and Voyager Maritime Museum. For more info, please visit www.aaf.co.nz.

Fly Me Up to Where You Are, Tiffany Singh (Aotearoa/New Zealand)
Wednesday 6 March – Sunday 24 March, Aotea Square

Fly Me Up to Where You Are: Te Waharoa, Tiffany Singh with Robert George and Leanne Clayton (Aotearoa/New
Zealand)
Saturday 2 March – Sunday 24 March, Artstation

Destroyed Word, Santiago Sierra (Spain)
Saturday 9 March – Sunday 14 July, Te Tuhi

When the Gods Came Down to Earth, Srinivas Krishna (India/Canada)
Wednesday 6 March – Sunday 24 March, Aotea Square
Friday 8 March – Sunday 28 April, Mangere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku

The Curry Bunch, Bepen Bhana (Aotearoa/New Zealand)
Friday 8 March – Sunday 28 April, Mangere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku

Tā Moko – Between the Lines, Derek Lardelli (Aotearoa/New Zealand)
Friday 22 March – Sunday 24 March, Blues Bar, Aotea Centre

Comics, Manga and Co. (Germany) & Nga Pakiwaituhi: New Zealand Comics (Aotearoa/New Zealand)
Friday 1 March – Friday 12 April, ST PAUL St Gallery, AUT University

More Than We Know, Jeremy Leatinu’u and Kalisolaite ‘Uhila with Guests (Aotearoa/New Zealand)
Friday 8 February – Friday 6 April, The Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland University

Rules of Nature – Jin Jiangbo (China)
Thursday 8 March – Saturday 6 April, Starkwhite

The Garden Beneath the Street Lights, Liu Dao/island6 (China)
Wednesday 6 March – Saturday 30 March, Bath Street Gallery

The Blacks, Jorge Satorre (Mexico)
Friday 8 March – Tuesday 9 April, Artspace

ISLANDERS, Jo Torr (Aotearoa/New Zealand)
Saturday 9 March – Saturday 27 April, Objectspace

Ko E Hala Hangatonu: The Straight Path, Robin White and Ruha Fifita (New Zealand and Tonga)
Friday 8 March – Saturday 6 April, Two Rooms

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