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Multi-Media Artist Tom Dale Wins Wellington Residency

Multi-Media Artist Tom Dale Wins Wellington Residency

London-based artist and film-maker Tom Dale is the latest Te Whare Hēra Wellington International Artist in Residence.

Jointly run by Massey University’s Whiti o Rehua School of Art and the Wellington City Council, the residency enables artists to live and work in Wellington.

Noted for his witty gestures and subversive commentaries on the material conditions of everyday life, Dale’s sculptural works involve re-purposing found or fabricated objects.

Included in his electric oeuvre is Last Night was Different, a huge synthetic, fur-covered inflatable structure. The work is based on the very logical structures of Sol Le Witt, and his incomplete cube series, ‘the structure of my work is very logical, as if you were making a drawing on a grid or squared paper and yet with the fur, it suddenly becomes activated, something we need to assign a meaning to, simply because of its fur’ Dale says. ‘It’s about a complicating of something apparently straightforward’.

Dale’s tribute to stuntman Evel Knievel, called Memorial Drag Strip, also sets out to interrogate the values of patriotism and offers an exposé of American masculinity. His set of bronze-cast rockets titled The Mighty Crowns, which lean like limp monuments against the gallery wall – unable to take off, or reign supreme in our skies, is a reminder of the limits of human endeavours.

In the short film Shot Through, the artist sets up a full drum kit in a forest clearing and the films it being shot up with a gun until the kit collapses. While seemingly an homage to both rock and troll and Western movies, it is also a poignant reminder about desire and impulses we have to act or react, and the inherent dangers of thrill seeking, but also a quest for quiet amid nature’s chaos.

In recent weeks Dale has been showing his work at SCAPE Public Art Season 2017 in Christchurch where he has exhibited his ongoing project Terminal Blue that involves a plane towing a large blue swatch of six hues, shifting from light to dark blue to inspire reflections on the spiritual connotations of looking up into the sky.

The public will have the opportunity to further engage with Dale’s work at a public lecture on November 20 and a two-day workshop on November 21-22.

Tom Dale’s public lecture, Volatile Structures, will be held at 6pm on Monday November 20 at the theatrette of the Museum Building, entrance D, Buckle St, Massey University, Wellington


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