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See the funny side

07 April 2005

See the funny side

Twenty-five Wellington cartoonists will be attempting to divert Wellington library-goers from the more serious business of reading – or at least drinking coffee.

The new exhibition in Wellington City Council's Mezzo-space gallery, next to the Wellington Central Library cafe, opens on 14 April and runs until 29 April.

On display will be sixty examples of the cartoonists’ art, Members of the public will have the opportunity to experience the diversity of graphical styles, social statement, political commentary, and humour. "This is the most diverse cartoon exhibition ever held in New Zealand," says organiser and Capital Times cartoonist Grant Buist. "The artists are caricaturists, political cartoonists, strip cartoonists, webcomic creators, comic illustrators, fantasy artists and satirists," he says.

The artists have selected their favourite works for the exhibition, including a mixture of originals and prints. Their works have been published in newspapers, magazines, mini-comics, student media, and online.

"There are original pages from graphic novels, posters designed especially for the exhibition, and a reading table of material," Buist says. "Comics and cartoon art are such a ubiquitous and popular part of our culture," says Eric Holowacz, Community Arts Co-ordinator for Wellington City Council. "In many ways though, like other powerful forms of creative expression, cartoon art is able to tell us what our culture is – below the whimsical or gilded surface. People who visit this exhibition will know what I mean."

The exhibition is designed to complement several other comics events in Wellington's creative capital. The Armageddon Pulp Culture Expo takes over the Queen’s Wharf Events Centre on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 April, and the gallery at 91 Aro Street is offering a NZ Comics Weekend at the same time.

Artists participating in the Mezzo-space exhibition are: Jarrod Baker, Edward Lynden Bell, Tim Bollinger, Greg Broadmore, Grant Buist, Rob Cruikshank, Victoria Dreyer, Rosi Duthie, Ari Freeman, Brent Harpur, India Kalff, Robyn Kenealy, Martin Molloy, Simon Morse, Robbie Neilson, David Raw, Norman Levido, Grace Campbell Russell, Alexandra Saunders, Rachel Smythe, The Sprayah, stupidlikeafox, Carlos Wedde, Brent Willis, and Jem Yoshioka. Mezzo-space, a temporary exhibition hall for emerging and under-represented local artists, was established last year in a vacated bookstore next to Clark’s Cafe in the central library.


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