Headway: New Artists Show 2006

Andrew Barber, Martin Basher, Fiona Connor,
Robert Hood, Tessa Laird, Clare Noonan

22 July - 2 September 2006

Curated by Brian Butler & Laura Preston


The annual Artspace new artists' exhibition highlights contemporary art practice in New Zealand, which is new and vital. This year six artists, we haven't seen enough of, will have the opportunity to realise their work in a larger context.

It is a problematic premise seeking the new, as the question always arises 'what is new?' and the assumption exists that the new is always better. Therefore this selection of artists is less about the new and more of a glimpse at the dynamism and momentum of contemporary art in New Zealand at present. The show hopes to reflect this by presenting six individual artists who are making headway as critical voices.

Andrew Barber lives and works in Auckland and is co-director of artist initiative rm103 Gallery. Since 2002 he has been exhibiting in artist-run spaces throughout New Zealand and Australia.

After studying art at New York's Columbia University, Martin Basher returned to Wellington in 2005 to focus on his work. His interdisciplinary practice considers the environmental and social implications of consumption in our contemporary age.

Fiona Connor graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland in 2003 and is a founding member of artist-run Special Gallery in Auckland. She has exhibited in artist-initiated spaces throughout New Zealand.

Robert Hood lives in Christchurch and holds a BFA from Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury. He has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Christchurch, Dunedin and
Melbourne, as well as managing SOFA Gallery in 2003 and 2004.

Tessa Laird is an Auckland-based writer and artist. Currently completing her Masters at Elam School of Fine Arts and lecturing in Contextual Studies at Manukau School of Visual Art, she balances dual interests in writing and making.

Christchurch-based Clare Noonan completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture at the University of Canterbury in 2003. She has exhibited in a number of group shows in artist-run spaces in Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington.

In keeping with the exhibition, emerging graphic designer Kentaro Yamada and six new writers have contributed to an online catalogue. Auckland-based artist Yamada balances his practice between art and design. He currently studies and tutors at Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland. The writers include Stephen Cleland, Vanessa Coxhead, Amy Howden-Chapman, Simon Ingram and Andrea Low.

HEADWAY online catalogue (PDF 2MB)