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Boon Sculpture Trail

2024

February 3rd to March 31st

Hamilton Kirikiriroa

 

This work is a comment on both the living mastery of nature's systems and the urgency that is needed to find new (or old) solutions to current destructive practices.

 

The four corners of the garden bed signify the four elements – earth, air, fire, and water:

 

Representing earth is a lump of black clay reminding us of powerful volcanic activity or controversial coal; air is a bronze-glazed emergency whistle, a useless relic and a reminder of the urgency of change that is necessary right now; fire is represented by birthday candles that people are invited to light and blow out - encouraging new kinds of collective wishes for our shared world; water is held in a watering vessel attached to an oil-slicked chain - a former free-flowing river or rain-cloud now a contained, enslaved commodity to be doled out, if there’s enough. The public is also encouraged to share from their water bottles and help keep ‘our communal garden’ alive and thriving.

 

The vase that 'holds no water' was inspired by the voluptuous figurine known as Venus of Willendorf – one of humankind’s earliest sculptures symbolizing the epitome of fertility and abundance.

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2023

"...It is the sensory aspect that has always captivated me about sculpture. While technology reshapes our cultural perceptions of life, our physical form, our ability to sense the world around us, has remained unaltered for nearly 160,000 years. The pleasure derived from engaging with the physical world transcends time, while culture is in a process of constant flux.

 

The works showcased in this exhibition stand as a testament to the artists' profound comprehension of this paradox. Through their chosen materials and techniques, they have embraced the significance of tactile engagement and physical presence in a world that often feels disconnected. These works beckon us to reestablish a connection with our senses, to delve into the intricacies of form, texture, and weight, and to appreciate the inherent beauty found in the physicality of sculpture. Simultaneously, these works must also reflect our contemporary context."

– Andrea du Chatenier, 2023 WSA Judge 

2023

A group exhibition held at Northart Gallery on Auckland's north shore, including work by Philippa Blair, Stella Brennan, Layla Rudneva-Mackay, The Estate of L.Budd, Inga Fillary, Natalie Tozer, Teresa Peters, Maree Horner, Ekaterina Dimieva, Monique Lacey, Rebecca Wallis, Kelly Pretty, Janet Mazenier, Lillie Balfour, Rose Meyer, Robyn Walton, Jana Wood, Michelle Mayn, Kiriana O’Connell, Jessica Douglas, Lucy Boermans, Karen Rubado, Tori Beeche, Susan Nelson, Melanie Arnold and Caitlin Devoy.

Fresh laundry scents seeping out of cobwebbed vents

Gleeful shrieks of fenced-in children 

Muffled arguments, slammed doors, unbothered cats.

Right now in Suburbia, someone is sitting with a hot cup of tea in a chipped mug writing a masterpiece. Or nursing a baby at 2am. Or cutting themselves quietly on a fluffy comforter. 

Hestia pulls us home, wherever we are.

Our place to unstrap, unwrap, unwind

Insulated from each other by

Freeholds, walled boundaries, berms and blinds

But near enough to borrow a cup of sugar

Like the blades of grass that make our precious lawns, we are alone together in Suburbia.

– Su Nelson

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2023

Press Release:

"Artist collective, mothermother, returns to the 2023 Aotearoa Art Fair with nine new members: Jana Wood, Tori Beeche, Michelle Reid, Susan Nelson, Peter Derksen, Rowan Thomson, Lillie Balfour, Janet Mazenier, Karen Rubado and founder Natalie Tozer.

 

This growing anti-establishment collective has been getting noticed as a high calibre underdog, with its eclectic range of talent and grassroots cool factor.

Expect a twist from this group’s booth if past years are anything to go by (dirty, peeling wallpaper and sex booth reds). This year mothermother is hauling in a long-table titled simply ‘The Table’, where you are invited to pull up a chair and take in the works as you would in a friend’s dining room. Just as mothermother was founded on an ethos of manaakitanga (care), The Table conjures images of community, home, sharing of kai (food), connection, ritual, and belonging – a thread that runs through the work on display: remnants of a hug in bronze, paintings inspired by daily walks and elemental kitchen ingredients, melted and repurposed pewter tea sets, film stills of an other-worldly home-bound odyssey, and woven things undone, to name a few.

Amplexus Memorialis (Memory of a Hug) - bronze sculpture

2022

Following the last minute cancellation of the Elam School of Fine Arts 2021 grad show due to Covid lockdown restrictions, fifteen enterprising grads took it upon themselves to get their work seen by publishing a small book and hosting an exhibition when restrictions lifted the following year at The Tuesday Club, Auckland.

Annie Marshall

Briana Duffy

Ekaterina Dimieva

Georgia Wu

Grace Wang

Hannah Davey

Hannah Jia

Inga Fillary

Jayden Plank

Jenny Zhong

Juniper Murray

Kathryn Isla Middleton

Li Si-Rong

Louise Matthews

Lucy Boermans

Monica Wang

Philip Kelly

Sarah Cowie

Susan Nelson

Tori Beeche

Van Luong

Amplexus Memorialis (Memory of a Hug) - bronze sculpture
Amplexus Memorialis (Memory of a Hug) - bronze sculpture

2021

In fulfilment of a Post-graduate Diploma in Fine Arts at Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University.

 

Coined by Merleau-Ponty, ‘the flesh of all things’ refers to the deeper perceptual layers of space and object.

 

The space was painted in a glowing hue with an eclectic range of artworks ‘emitting’ their stories from a combination of both abstract and explicit forms. Titled The Flesh of All Things, it explores Merleau-Ponty’s ideas of spatial, physiological, and energetic perceiving. 

Each of these works is a world unto itself awaiting expansion, in a shared context. A pile of cold bronze pieces is in fact the negative shapes of a warm embrace between the artist and her daughter; clean white paper is violently torn and lit from behind revealing textural tranquility; a female form made of ever-soft modelling clay wears each finger mark that pushed her as far backwards as she could go without falling; a sweet pile of ruby-toned Ashoka Dharmachakra candies tempts us with easy answers and the 'one-a-day' promise of inner peace; a 1950's purse-full of middle finger candles points to the 'bare essentials' for women trapped in embedded patriarchal norms; and a humble rag, the waste product of creative pursuits, is re-contextualised as an artwork in itself – the epitome of happy accidents.

The show was cancelled at the last minute due to Covid lockdown restrictions, but was resurrected the following year by fifteen enterprising students who took it upon themselves to get 'seen'.

mothermother-iteration14-SuNelsonworks

2021

A lockdown project to reactivate lost momentum due to strict Covid restrictions in 2021.

11 artists each made a series of 11 (or 12 for symmetry) small works to split up and gift to each other after lockdown: Michelle Reid, Inga Fillary, Ekaterina Dimieva, Tori Beech, Su Nelson, Janet Mazenier, Karen Rubado, Jana Wood, Veronica Herber, Lucy Boermans and Nat Tozer

 

"Kitchen tables and other claimed and compromised spaces-of-making reflected scattered and deformed plans. When everything was suspended and submerged - we made work for each other.

 

Gift, reciprocity and connection; the demoted and misplaced reasons became the cornerstone of making as our regular dominant economies and demanding schedules dissolved.

 

The promise of a future encounter - a lipstick kiss on the calendar, to summon, whenever needed - it was there 💋." –Natalie Tozer​

mothermother-iteration14-SuNelsonworks
Burned

How many important artists, scientists, inventors, and activists throughout history didn’t make it into the history books because they were female? Countless.

The so called 'his'tory books didn’t disclose this selection process and has left me feeling 'burned'. Only now, well into my adult years, am I starting to realise just how many, just how incredible, and just how ripped off we’ve all been for not having been taught about the rest of 'her-stories' that exist out there. It would've made a difference.

These works represent the axed and charred remnants of one large artwork that will never again be knitted together into one whole picture. Individual pieces sold separately.

Exhibited at the Depot Artspace, Auckland as part of International Women's Week.

2018

2009/10

Exploring the tensions of a pink-skinned colonial heritage and the indigenous spirit of 'home'.

A comment on the hybridized nature of colonial children who are born into a homeland imbued with an indigenous spirit. In my case, the First Nations peoples of Canada – and more specifically, Vancouver (Coast Salish and Tsleil-Waututh).

 

Almost all of these works are self-portraits that express a deliberately naïve kind of appropriation – like a child who doesn’t know what it doesn’t know. I went there knowingly, but with loving, curious intent, as if to say 'this is what I look like on the inside, is that ok?'. These are portraits of a confused essence of self. An attempt at claiming a self-identity that cannot deny the seeping in, respect for, and love of the First Nations ethos and shared ancestry of land despite not having blood ties.

Carousel spirit horse - ready-made toy, hand-carved wooden mask, human hair
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2008

A series of works that were essentially the result of reading too many Richard Dawkins books and wigging out on the weirdness of life on earth. Like the butterfly effect, if one thing went a different way it could change whole evolutionary pathways – these works explore some of the crazy aspects of what is, as well as 'what if'.

Questions beget more questions, from whether silence exists to why we put pineapple rings on Thanksgiving Hams (N. America) and other weird human traditions? It was a deep dive into fascinating evolutionary pathways like that of the seeing eye with its blind spots and tears (Climbing Mt. Improbable). Creatures of today are a result of random intersections that could have become something else if a particular valley or mountain was or wasn't in the way. Suddenly my own made-up creatures and intersections like Mutant Katydid with Black Jellybean seemed just as probable as the adaptations achieved by real-life beings such as the genius camouflage of stick-bugs and caterpillars, or the built-in lightbulbs of deep sea angler fish.

 

A newfound, almost spiritual appreciation for a kind of 'divine Darwinism' was born just from learning about the miraculousness of the natural world.

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