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Stack project cracks up from extreme pressure

6 June 2008

Stack project cracks up from extreme pressure

The last in the Toi Pōneke Stack project series, this time by Wellington artist, Gabby O’Connor, will be launched on Thursday 12 June.

The series began early last year with a call by Wellington City Council’s Public Art Panel for a work to adorn the façade of the Toi Pōneke Arts Centre building. Andrew Shaw’s All-Devouring-Art-Beast was selected by the Panel, followed by Victor Berezovsky’s Junction.

Now Gabby is taking the theme of extreme pressure to the rooftop of the Toi Pōneke Arts Centre with Cracks in the Stack.

Gabby says her research surrounds the concept of extreme pressure, focusing on the space of survival.

“My idea of survival considers the elements of our rapidly changing urban environments,” she says. “Cracks in the Stack is part of a series titled Extreme Pressure that explores weather systems, geography, societal and creative pressure, along with stories of human resourcefulness and survival.

“Antarctica, somewhere I am interested in, is an example of a place of extreme pressure. From a human perspective, it starts with all the preparations you need to make before you even get there, not to mention all you need to do when you get there to stay alive. All of my work, culminating with Cracks in the Stack stem from this idea of extreme pressure.”

Public Art Panel member and art critic, Mark Amery, says Gabby’s Cracks in the Stack appear to be breaking up Victor Berezovsky’s Junction – a black and white curvilinear, abstract work. “There has been a conversation between each concept, and Gabby’s is a fine way to end the Toi Pōneke Stack project.

“Cracks in the Stack has many readings. It could be considered to be the result of seismic pressure for which we are continuously preparing ourselves for in Wellington; a floating black iceberg, cracking from above, or the culmination of a variety of environmental and societal pressures.

“Cracks in the Stack also signifies the pressure valve of a pressure cooker, as though the centre is literally bursting with artistic endeavours. That’s another reading that we like to take from it,” he adds.

Cracks in the Stack will be launched at 5.30pm on Thursday 12 June. It will remain on Toi Pōneke’s rooftop for the rest of this year.


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