My headphones, by Jessie-Lee Robertson.
Glue has launched what is possibly its largest exhibition
with the show ''Dirt'', billed as ''a national collection of
experimental works made by women''. More than 100 works are
presented by some 30 artists, and the exhibition spills out
from the main gallery space and across much of Glue's
As always with Glue's shows, the emphasis is on experimental,
yet there is real substance to much of what is on display.
Works range from craft pieces and clothing through to
photographs, paintings, and sculptures. Notable among the
latter are Zehavit Darlington's oddball figurines, and also
Melissa Williams-Blair's paean to desserts, Baked and
This veritable mountain of clay foodstuffs dominates Glue's
main gallery space, along with Anet Neutze's Wall
cloud mural and three impressive wallpaper/wall hangings
of New Zealand female cultural icons by Julia Scarf. Clothing
is a significant part of the exhibition, with Soohee Moon's
garments being of particular merit. Jewellery, from the
quirky to the beautiful, is also plentiful in the display.
Keri-Mei's Maori-inspired personal ornaments are noteworthy
among these, as are Moniek Schrijer's found-object brooches
and necklaces. Among the two dimensional art, Motoko
Kikkawa's delicate tracery cut-out impressed, as did Alissa
Gilbert's silk-screen work.
Never let me go, by Nyree McInally.
''When I grow up'', Antonia Wood,
Phoebe Lysbeth Kay Mackenzie, and Nyree McInally (Blue Oyster
Three recent Dunedin School of Art graduates have produced a
group show at Blue Oyster exploring issues of security and
independence, specifically from a feminist viewpoint.
Nyree McInally's figurines picture the child as the seed from
which the adult grows. Her sculptures are sweet grotesques,
half-formed hybrids which suggest that childhood events shape
our entire lives. Simultaneously, the massive store placed by
society on skin-deep bodily beauty is questioned by the work.
Antonia Wood's doll-formed structures look to attachment
theories, again with the focus on child development. Her
installation Hold me, with its objects wrapped in
felt, carries these same thoughts through into adulthood.
Here the dichotomous relationship between comfort and stress
is examined, notably in the surprising, unnerving form of a
soft, friendly gun.
The most affecting work is one of Phoebe Lysbeth Kay
Mackenzie's two video installations. In Walk, a woman
is surreptitiously filmed walking through central Dunedin at
night. The woman is feigning drunkenness, but the candid
responses of those around her are only too real, dramatic,
This is the other side of ''slut walks'', and shows why such
protests exist, with casual sexism spilling forth in all its
ugly hubris. To reinforce the point, the screen is surrounded
by shattered glass - the path walked is glittering, but
''A Round Christmas'' (De Novo
Untitled, by Petra Fersterer.
Diversity is of the essence in a large group show at Gallery
De Novo, which has launched its annual Christmas display of
uniformly sized round works by various artists. In all, 25
artists are represented, with some 75 pieces, and most are
charming items. Landscapes have pride of place, ranging from
Graham Tait's grand meditations on rural Otago to Michelle
Bellamy's quiet harbourside retreats. A powerful series of
five images by Janet de Wagt forms a mighty stormy seascape,
and Martin Platt's impressionistic landforms are also
Landscape in a more indirect or abstract form is intimated by
the map-inspired images of Lynn Taylor and Luke Calder, and
pure abstraction is present in works by Angela Burns and
Jenufa Waiti, as well as in the impressive colours of Nicki
Gilmore. Portraits (both human and animal) are not neglected,
and neither are still lifes.
The former range from Frank Gordon's happy caricatures
through to Ewan McDougall's gleeful freak-outs; the latter
are well exemplified by Beverley Frost's luscious fruit and
Jan Ingram's precise studies. Overall, a high standard of
work is presented, and as always it is fascinating to see how
different artists have handled the constraints of the
uniformly small and unusual circular format.