Compelled: New Artists Show 2005
Liz Allan, Louise Clifton & Amelia Handscomb, Jacquelyn Greenbank, Anya Henis, Amy-Jo Jory, Mella Lahina, Sam Morrison, Seung Yul Oh
31 August - 1 October 2005
Curated by Rhana Devenport, International Curator in Residence
Artspace presents Compelled: Annual New Artists Show 2005 featuring nine artists who collectively indicate the temperature of emerging arts practice in Aotearoa.
The exhibition is the final in a series of three shows by International Curator in Residence, Rhana Devenport who has worked with Artspace since May and now returns to Australia.
What links these artists is a sensibility of practice, a momentum, a clarity of purpose and form, a compulsion - albeit articulated through vastly divergent materials and conceptual interests.
The processes of economic and interpersonal exchange resonate through the practice of Wellington-based artist Liz Allan. In Garment Repair Services (2005), it is materials worn on the body that become the medium for ideas about bartering, negotiation, and the value given to skills of the hand.
In their collaborative project / series, 'It's A Wonderful Tonight' (2005), Louise Clifton & Amelia Handscomb from Wellington test the emotive power of photographic imagery. The title of the series was inspired by the name of a love hotel in Japan.
Does the British monarchy elicit even a hairsbreadth of affection in the hearts and minds of the people in Aotearoa? How tainted and twisted is colonialism's stain? Christchurch-based Jacquelyn Greenbank poses these questions through her riotous use of crochet in her work The Royal Raleigh Watchers (2005).
Can painting still do it for us? Anya Henis from Auckland is managing to field new territory with works such as her jittery, sumptuous diptych entitled Epicentres (2005). Gaudily hued paint is spun streamer-like from a tension point within each piece as Henis declares herself viscerally aligned to the very possibility of painting.
The oppressive, violent underbelly of small town living permeates the installation work of Dunedin-based Amy-Jo Jory. For Compelled she has created Clubhouse (2005), a spatial zone that suggests generic backyard places that are not worth remembering yet impossible to forget.
Mella Lahina recently completed her Screen and Media studies in Hamilton. Her short film, Niue: This is your Land (2003), offers an elegiac voyage around the idea of (distanced) homeland and personal encounters with culture that occur along the way.
The sonic possibilities of space inform the work of Auckland-based Sam Morrison. Typespace (2005) tackles new terrain for the artist as our attention zeros in on an ancient prepared typewriter. The contraption transcends its analogue purpose and, upon touch, possesses the potential to release sounds once generated from within the room.
Auckland-based artist Seung Yul Oh flips across drawing, painting, sculpture and video with consummate ease. For Compelled he focuses on his sculptural interests in Rooftop Puddle (2005). In many ways, Seung Yul Oh encapsulates the spirit of this show - a surety of visual language, a purposeful intent, an uncompromising pursuit towards experimentation, and a constant refining of personal concerns.
In keeping with the exhibition, an emerging graphic designer and new writers have contributed to Compelled. Christina Thiele designed the catalogue and, in addition to a text by the curator, texts on the artists were commissioned from Louise Tulett, Rod Hudsucker, Harold Grieves, Imogen Kerr, Alison Stoddart, Julie Talagi, Eve Armstrong and Dan Arps.