By Kerry Males
Over the hill in Macalister Park there are a series of large scale field paintings. The paintings are in bright colours such as matte pinks and yellows, with geometric shapes like squares and rectangles. However the works may be faded due to the weather. These paintings were created by Fjaerestad, with help from various members of the public. Across the whole park was a wide spread selection of paintings that looked similar to pie graphs and bar charts but presented with a flair of abstraction.The lower half of the field had a series of two graph like images , and the upper half of the park had a series of similar looking images but with a more abstract composition. All the paintings are inspired by the site and the community that uses it. In the year of 2014, Fjaerestad and a team of volunteers worked on surveying the park and how the local community used the space.
The statistics gathered from the survey was used as information to inspire the paintings designs. For example the colours or certain shapes and forms might represent how many hours the park is used by young men or woman,or what hours of the day the park is most popular. Siv B Fjaerestad states the the paintings ask questions about how we use our city’s public commons. I found this work responded to the site very well, the narratives of the work made me think about the roles that the traditional field markings play and how the community engage with it. On the 19th of April there was an opening event held at the park. Members of the public were invited to take part in some activities that were held on the paintings site. Such as zumba, football and also some members had the chance to paint there own lines on the field. I feel this project engaged with the community in a way that helped the artwork. A painting made with the community, for the community.
By Kerry Males
At the top of Cuba Street in the Thistle Hall, there is series of works that explore the shape known as “Oloids”. An Oloid is a three-dimensional curved geometric object. It is the convex hull of a skeletal frame made by placing two linked congruent circles in perpendicular planes, so that the centre of each circle lies on the other circle. The works range in size and colour, but usually take on a strange form similar to a muscle shell and are usually made from plaster of paris that is sanded to perfection by hand. The exhibition was filled to the brim with Oloids. As you walk in different sized plinths surround you that each hold around 15 works, this made for a nice selection but was a little overwhelming. Towards the end of the room there are several works that are placed in the gaps between the bricks. An interactive work was placed close to the door on the right that I completely missed until the artist guided me towards it. The interactive piece was set on a small, carpeted ramp with an Oliod on top that you could roll down. Oloids can roll in a perfectly straight line, interesting stuff. I felt a strange sense of “Kiwiana” in this exhibition. Although this exhibition was about the form of an Oloid, it seemed to be more focused on the painting over top of the Oloid. Ranging in colours and common references to kiwiana, such as Oloids painted as rugby balls. I feel like exploration in the actual form of the oliod was almost absent in this exhibition, The forms roll completely straight, Peter Rumble could have made a skateboard with Oliod wheels! Most of the works are all around the same size and form, its the painting on the outside that is explored the most.
SHAUN GLADWELL – INFLECTED FORMS
By Kerry Males
Shaun Gladwell is an Australian born artist and skateboarder. Gladwell primarily works in digital art and describes his video works as performance landscapes , Gladwell also works in painting , photography and sculpture. His works are usually influenced by a site and the ways that inhabitants form relationships with environments. Gladwell is well-known for his video work Storm Sequence, that sold for $84,000. Inflected Forms is a series of interactive public art sculptures that are based in Christchurch. The works are a series of large grey metal objects that are similar looking to skateboarding ramps, the sculptures are functional and are site based. The metal objects are a platform for a skateboarders urban innovation or adaptions. All the sculptures have been divided with a large split through the centre of them, which is a reference to the surrounding site that has been damaged by the Christchurch earthquake.
Gladwell states he is interested in the ways the public will react to the sculptures and how they will be treated. Inflected Forms was strongly influenced by a short five minute skateboarding film called Quaked, a film that was made by local skateboarders in Christchurch soon after the earthquake hit. Gladwell says he was intrigued by the way that the local skateboarders adapted to a new environment so quickly and how they reacted to the new broken forms.I found Gladwell’s work interesting because Gladwell thinks of public art forms as forms to be skated , and I feel that is more of a skateboarders frame of mind rather than an artist critiquing other artists art. However I do feel that Gladwell’s thinking towards public art does complement Inflected forms in a sense that a skateboarding community will interact to urban environments whether they are meant to be skated or not.
By Kerry Males
Steve Carr is an Auckland-based artist. Born in Gore in 1976, He then studied at Otago Polytechnic School of Art from 1995 – 1998. In 2001, Carr became a founding member of the Blue Oyster Gallery in Dunedin, and went on to further study at Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland. Carr has since had multiple exhibitions across New Zealand and in Australia. Steve Carr usually works in sculpture, film, installations and sometimes photography. Screen Shots is from a series known as Mystical Realisms. Screen Shots consists of nine short films that all range from the two to three minute mark, all films are shot on a high definition video camera and then cut into slow-motion. The films are capturing the moment a pin strikes a paint-filled balloon in a very captivating way.
Each film has a different balloon that is filled with a different colour of paint and is carefully chosen to contrast the pastel coloured backgrounds. Each film begins with a very tense few moments when the needle is carefully pressing on the skin of the balloon. Around the twenty second mark the needle pops the balloon and reveals a pocket of paint that for a few seconds imitates the form of the balloon and creates a temporary liquid-like painting which then continues to drop to the floor. Each balloon forms a different splash of paint, and creates a luscious milky painting each time one is popped. I found two interesting elements of surprise in these video works. One would be the form that is yet to be revealed by the balloon, and the other would be the colour that is yet to take role in the work. Steve Carr describes Screen Shots as “a painting that moves”.
By Kerry Males
Alberto Garcia-Alvarez has an exhibition called “Crossings” located on the top floor of the City Gallery in Wellington, from the 14th of March to the 14th of June 2015. Alvarez was born in Barcelona, studied in Spain then moved to New Zealand and worked at Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland for 20 years. His early works consisted of large abstract-expressionist paintings that are influenced by line, form and shape. Alvarez is more widely known for his mural “up” in Auckland that is made of 295 ceramic blocks placed into a grid format, called “Collective Mind”. Alvarez also has worked in other mural commissions made from mosaic, tapestry and stained glass. However this exhibition consisted of a series of wooden constructions with a range of sizes and forms. Before you enter the room you are greeted by a small wooden structure that looks similar to a red, white and blue Nike tick.
Inside the exhibition you are surrounded by a range of similar looking structures that have been painted in some form of Mondrian influence. Naturally I was drawn to a large block structure that is formed by much smaller black pieces. With further inspection of the large block structure, I found that the presentation of the work was slightly under- par. After moving on to the other structures I found it a little upsetting that a lot of the wooden structures are painted with little effort and some of the wooden pieces are cut slightly messy. I was expecting the structures inside the exhibition to be just as visually pleasing as the structure on the door. However the exhibition is called “Crossings”, not “Painted Wood” and Alvarez does note that his wooden constructions are influenced by the idea of crossing, like when the points of the objects intersect or when a section of the object crosses over another section. I found these series of works may have been more closely related to his early painting works in which he would cut his canvases to reveal the underlying structure of the painting.