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Young artists break gallery window for new exhibition

For their upcoming exhibition at Enjoy Public Art Gallery, two ambitious young artists are only doing one thing to an otherwise empty gallery: breaking a window. The aim of the project? To start a conversation about what art can be.

The exhibition, titled Heart of Glass, takes its name from Blondie’s 1979 hit single “Heart of Glass”. As both artist and musicians, the duo are interested in the idea of nostalgia. By looking back to the 1970s era of disco, new wave and rock n’ roll music, Isabella Dampney and Theo Macdonald hope to connect to a bygone radio era. As part of the project, they’ve recorded their own ambient cover the hit single (download/stream here or view the music video here).

As Dampney and Macdonald state:

“One of the hardest things about choosing to make contemporary art is the knowledge that your work will never be as widely distributed as Debbie Harry's.”

“Heart of Glass' ushered in a new era of popularity for Blondie, much as we hope this broken window will usher in a draft.”

Curator Sophie Davis thinks the exhibition will raise some interesting questions for the public, stating:

“Bella and Theo are playfully thinking about how people relate to and understand contemporary art—which tends to be viewed with a certain kind of humour or even suspicion—compared with, say, pop music. Rather than being confined to a gallery space, their work puts the emphasis on conversation.”

The artists will be in Wellington from the 13 – 15 of March and are available for interviews in Auckland prior to this time.

For more information, images, or to arrange an interview, please contact Louise Rutledge at comms@enjoy.org.nz.

Heart of Glass
Isabella Dampney and Theo Macdonald
March 15 – April 7, 2018
Opening: Wednesday March 14, 5:30pm

Enjoy Public Art Gallery
1/147 Cuba St
Wellington 6011
http://enjoy.org.nz/heart-of-glass

Image credits: Isabella Dampney and Theo Macdonald, Avoiding Climax: Bella and Theo Understand it Better but the Frog Dies, Window Gallery, 2016,
http://windowgallery.co.nz/2016/avoiding-climax/

About Enjoy

Established in June 2000, Enjoy Public Art Gallery is Wellington’s longest running independent, not-for-profit contemporary art space. We are dedicated to developing New Zealand’s next generation of contemporary artists and active arts audiences.

Enjoy receives the majority of our funding through Creative New Zealand and plays a key role in the Wellington art community, supporting young artists, writers and curators to develop their work and connecting that work with new audiences.


About the artists

Isabella Dampney
b. 1994, Wellington

Isabella Dampney completed a BFA (Hons) at the University of Auckland in 2016. Working predominantly in performance, video, writing, and sculpture, her work often fixates on a strive for perfection.

Selected exhibitions include: Bella and Theo IDEATE!, RM Gallery, 2017; PISS CANNONN (Performance), Audio Foundation, 2017;TUCAT Telethon (Auckland Hosts), Enjoy Public Art Gallery, 2017; I Think We Should Put Some Mountains Here, Rockies, 2016; Avoiding Climax: Bella and Theo Understand it Better but the Frog Dies, Window Gallery, 2016; How’s Life Sweetheart?, Elam Projectspace, 2016; Summer Research Scholarship, George Fraser Gallery, 2016; Group Shower, Fuzzy Vibes, 2015.

Theo Macdonald
b. 1994, Wellington

Theo Macdonald recently completed a BFA (Hons) at Elam School of Fine Arts, where he worked in video, text, and performance. Theo co-hosts the weekly radio show Artbank, on 95bFM, and co-founded the art-punk band PISS CANNONN with Isabella Dampney. In artmaking, Macdonald feels “scared by the weight of history, the sense that everything has already been done and there’s nowhere to go but back.”

Selected exhibitions include: The Tomorrow People, Adam Art Gallery, 2017;Bella and Theo IDEATE!, RM, Gallery Adam Art Gallery, 2017; Trust Us Contemporary Art Trust Telethon, Enjoy Public Art Gallery Adam Art Gallery, 2017; New Perspectives, Artspace New Zealand, 2016; Is it the Beginning of a New Age?, The Engine Room, 2016; I Think We Should Put Some Mountains Here, Rockies, 2016; Avoiding Climax: Bella and Theo Understand it Better but the Frog Dies, Window Gallery, 2016; Group Shower, Fuzzy Vibes, 2015 .

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