Art seen: 30 March

Tini Whetū Project Space.
Tini Whetū Project Space.
"Te Mahi Peita (and Kare ā-Roto)",

(Tini Whetū Project Space)

"Te Mahi Peita" (the act of painting) represents a joyous collaborative moment with multiple relations to place. Occupying the connective area of a hallway (linking the upstairs offices of Yours, and Evening Books) the first exhibition of the newly established Tini Whetū Project Space fosters an experiment in collective thinking through mark-making.

"Te Mahi Peita" springs from an event where emerging and established Ōtepoti-based artists gathered to explore the premise of rock art: reflecting on the human impulse to create, record, and communicate — then and now — curator Piupiu Maya Turei is joined by Vicki Lenihan, Heramaahina Eketone, Megan Brady, Jessica Hinerangi Thompson-Carr, Madison Kelly, Georgina May Young, Mya Morrison Middleton, Aidan Taira Geraghty, Aroha Novak, Toa Makapelu, Jacob Tucker and Zoe Hikairo Morehu.

An informal delivery of contributions dance along the walls, around power-plugs and windowsills and on the windows themselves. Supportive texts — tauparapara, karakia and waiata — speak into the space. Toi Māori and subject matter include botanical and animal treasures, the moon and stars, weaving practices, depicted kaitiaki, and marks that reflect conceptual processes (the traced outlines of stones). Exclamations and contemplations in mark-making are drawn together and span across artistic and individual experience and knowledge — and for the viewer, "Te Mahi Peita" radiates fun.

Featured alongside "Te Mahi Peita", is the exhibition "Kare ā-Roto", a solo showing of a vibrant untitled work on black crushed velvet by Angus Tahere Hayes.

Emergence Force XIV (2011), Monotype, signed & titled verso, 350 x 450mm (framed).
Emergence Force XIV (2011), Monotype, signed & titled verso, 350 x 450mm (framed).
"Irreplaceable", Kristin O’Sullivan Peren

(Fe29 Gallery)

Predominantly spanning works from 1991 to 2011, this exhibition shares with us series and seasons of making. Printmaker and sculptor Kristin O’Sullivan Peren’s practice is deeply engaged with ecological concerns. Forerunning these concerns, in Peren’s 1996 residency at Black Church Print Studio Dublin, Ireland, she used the monotype print to explore the western Ireland landscape, reflecting on the sociohistorical and environmental implications of turf cutting and peat burning.

Peren’s monoprints present a form of making that emulates and images natural processes through the properties of liquid and solid matter. In the work Earth (1996), for example, the artist manipulates ink to become earth-like (she also often makes her own inks, and some from home-made charcoal). The "Emergence" (2011) series are imprinted moving ripples of light on water on matter. And these works fill the frame with an expressive gestural immediacy. Accompanying the prints, and a 1999 series of oil paintings about the honeybee, are small and modular sculptural works in warm resin, "Jewels" (2019 & 2021/22), that refract a diffuse light.

In printmaking and sculpture, Peren offers a methodology of hope: her art demonstrates attentiveness, and a manner of thinking through matter, that seeks both pragmatic ends and imaginative possibilities.

Jae Hoon Lee, Leaf (2003). Single channel digital video, colour, sound (3min 35sec). Collection...
Jae Hoon Lee, Leaf (2003). Single channel digital video, colour, sound (3min 35sec). Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Given 2022 by Jim Barr and Mary Barr.
"Leaf" (2003), Jae Hoon Lee

(Dunedin Public Art Gallery Rear Window)

Leaf (2003) reads like a scrolling time-lapse of a single seamless leaf. Rolled out by a flat-bed scanning process, this moving image was made from many leaves, collected from a variety of places, and digitally spliced together. The work has a vibrant close-up immediacy, with the dizzying effect of a landscape rushing by from above.

Jae Hoon Lee draws the viewer’s attention to the anatomical. The central midrib of each leaf forms the vertical axis of the moving image, a compositional mainstay that modulates along a centre line. The visible lateral veins of the leaves, and the seasonal colour change seen on the blade of each leaf, indicate plant origins. The horizontal lines formed by the veins of each leaf also contribute to the rolling plot, ever moving upwards off the screen.

Seasons and plant species conflate. This work tracks through seasonal change yet roars with the heat of the sun in the crackling white noise of cicadas. Bird song and a low rumbling cityscape can also be heard in the background of the soundtrack. Luminous ascending leaves run in flux, and in contrast, with the sound of distant traffic, constant machinery, or a moving train. This work seems fittingly contextualised by the environmental noise of the outside downtown space of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery’s Rear Window gallery.

By Joanna Osborne