Tag Archives: School

Sweet FA – Group Show

James Bellany

June 2010

The third year bachelor of fine arts [BFA] and bachelor of visual arts [BVA] exhibition at the Dunedin school of art consisted of an overwhelmingly diverse array of works, with no obvious cohesive thread linking them together. This seemed to highlight the impressive range of works produced by the students at the Dunedin school of art. However such an extensive accumulation of works made one feel overwhelmed to the point of claustrophobia, with the space becoming shallow and many of the works losing their visual impact. Such diversity is often too difficult to properly absorb. However there were some very strong pieces exhibited, particularly from the electronic arts department. Mark Currie’s carefully executed piece ‘motion’ was a simulated urban experience in sped up motion. This enabled the viewer to experience a sensation of dizziness, as though they were on a rollercoaster. Currie’s piece had an intensive interactive quality, which was what made it so successful. It evoked an emotional response from the viewer, as he was perhaps alluding to the disorientation one can feel after observing a cascading cityscape for a long period of time.

Mark Currie

Emma Burgman’s ‘stretching’; a triptych depicting a figure literally elongating the body at different times only made me feel somewhat fleetingly engaged. This film’s repetitive nature, made one feel sedate and bemused. Somewhat interestingly, ‘stretching’ appeared to be reminiscent of torture devices used in medieval witch hunts. Due to the nature of this exhibition, only a select few works should be considered highly regarded, as they were thoughtfully rendered and emphasize the artist’s skill level. James Bellaney’s paintings; ‘Waste land’ and ‘what do you reflect’ were poignantly rendered to seemingly reflect the sequential nature of life. Ewey Boyle’s ‘work in progress’ was plausibly alluding to the realm of deconstructed designs, similar to those by Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo.  Also notable was Kiri Mitchell’s six etchings, primarily engrossing was ‘Shadow boxer 1’.

Reviewed by Hana Aoake.

Emma Burgman

Kiri Mitchell (left), James Bellany (foor), Ewey Boyle (right)


Michael Greaves – Will You Miss Me When I Burn

6 – 14th May 2010

With a name like “will you miss me when I burn,” it’s fairly clear that it’s not going to be the most optimistic of exhibitions. And in this aspect I was not disappointed; I found myself looking at each picture – particularly the portraits – playing the title over and over in my head. “Will you miss me? Well, will you?”

As is probably self-evident, I was fixated on the portraits. The other paintings were nice, but they weren’t as powerful as the portraits. Nor did they so neatly encapsulate the theme of the exhibition. An upside-down cake and a chandelier look kind of nifty, but they don’t really ask if you’ll miss them, at least not in a language that I could understand.

But the portraits made up for it in spades. Each one is a different person, asking the tituar question with his or her facial expression. They cover a wide range of expressions, but still carry the same message, which is what attracts me to this exhibition. The aptly-named “full of hell” has a man brashly extending not one but two middle fingers, while  “a promise partook” and “you will have my word” are both quieter, more resigned expressions.

And that is the crux of Greaves’s exhibition. It’s not just about the human desire for recognition. Rather, it’s about how, even though we all experience it (and a myriad of other emotions), we express them very differently. Some of us scream, some of us act out, and some of us are quietly resigned (or resilient?)The point, though, is that no matter how different we may look, we’re still more similar than we might want to admit.

“Who will miss me when I burn?” It’s a vice, to be sure. It’s a selfish emotion. But it’s one we all have. And that is an idea that Greaves conveyed with very real talent and a very real ability to engage with his theme.

Reviewed by Sam Grover.

Bridget Inders – Fa’a Aotearoa

19-26th March 2010

On first sighting of Bridget Inders’ work Fa`a Aotearoa I am struck by the clean and  ordered structure of the hanging, the tonal range of colour, and the multiplicity of prints. Individuality of print is only noticed on closer inspection. And although each can be viewed separately, together they flow.

Monochromatic in nature, lines of dimly lit prints flank the gallery walls, with the lighting at each end of the gallery enhancing a cluster of four prints and a line of five, suggesting a hierarchic and  highly organised culture.

Floating on white walls tapa patterns rip through earthy ochre tones, small islands and imprints of ‘otherness.’ The patterns mainly isolated, with thin tentacles joining each to the other.

Inders’ work speaks to us of the loneliness of being a ‘hybrid’ culture in a colonised nation. In a culture where bi-culturalism is still lip service and a conversation where third parties aren’t always welcome.

It speaks to us of a sense of displacement, and a fragile unity. A fragile unity strengthened by numbers.

Her prints have the same dripping quality of the work of  John Pule, using pacific symbols and patterns in a similar way. Unlike Pule’s work it is unclear as to whether or not her choice of patterns is fully understood. There is something of the generic about them, which could be a testament to Inders’ understanding of the unrelenting nature of racism.

It was easier to understand what the work was about by reading the text. This wider understanding helped when dealing with the complexity of the issues that this work is touching on.

As much as I understand the nature of her work conceptually I feel the visual images could develop further to articulate more succinctly some of the issues raised in the text.

Perhaps there is a co- relation to the super flat images of Japanese pop art, the stylisation of traditional methods and artwork to fit a western colonised, consumerist and contemporary world. It also fits to the way that Pacific Island cultures (and indigenous cultures)are viewed by the  West.

Individually and as a group these works do read well and Inders’ work has definite potential. It will be interesting to see where her work will go in the future.

Catherine Cocker.

Electronic Arts – Systems 10

Senior Electronic Arts Students group show


Gallery view featuring work by Tom Garden, Oliver of the Sky and Ted Whitaker


9 – 12th March 2010

Systems 10 is the current exhibition on at the Dunedin School of Art. The seven students featured have used electronic art to explore ideas of communication, command and control. The students have each employed different interpretations of the idea of electronic art; from Maria Brett’s G0ss1p, 2010 in which she creates an electronic version of the childhood game of Chinese whispers with her computer; to Tom Garden’s use of multiple computers, software and samples; or to Kristel Dielen’s Concatenation of Control, 2010 in which she drew directly upon the wall and explores the idea of the systematic verses the organic.


Kristel Dielan

Mark Currie’s Ivan-gregory and Cloud, 2010, utilized skype to allow the audience to interact with and observe the rats – we can see them and they can see us. Each different take on the theme is interesting and engaging, working both individually and also as part of the whole exhibition. During the opening, the works which captivated the audience the most were Oliver of the Sky’s two works: small blocks of wood with the words Give Me To Someone Else written on them, and postit notes saying Take Me and Stick Me Somewhere Else. These created a great deal of interaction between the audience – the blocks were passed from one person to another and the postit notes were constantly being rearranged. However, this came at a detriment to the other pieces as they were to some degree overshadowed.



Oliver of the Sky


Returning to the exhibition, Ted Whitaker’s two works Livestock, 2010 and Untitled – A New Zealand River, 2010 could be fully appreciated for their use of sound. Their contrast between the size and visual quality of the two works was effective, the high definition watery cinematic exploration of the swimmer took up an entire wall, while the small, grainy television screen required a closer observation. Emma Burgman. Soundscapes, 2010 could also be heard and the idea of an infinite cycle of sounds was absorbing, somewhat mesmerizing and hard to get out of your head. Overall this is a well thought out and executed exhibition. The seven artists engage the viewers and ponder Jack Burnham’s believed that cybernetics would introduce a new form of aesthetic understanding to art practices. Each work leaves an impression on the audience well after they leave the gallery – a sign of a successful exhibition.

Reviewed by Stella Unkovich-McNab