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Arts Centre a canvas for SCAPE Season 2019

Two hundred metres of cord braided by many hands will become a focal point at The Arts Centre as part of SCAPE Public Art Season 2019.

hands weaving cord
onto a thin horizontal wooden pole

Audrey Baldwin Touch-Stones 2019. Image courtesy of the artist and SCAPE Public Art.

Local artist Audrey Baldwin’s Touch–Stones (2019) is one of three artworks that will be on display at The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora as part of the Season. Touch–Stones is comprised of three parts: public workshops where participants weave the cord; a performance using the finished rope; and finally its installation at The Arts Centre’s North Quad for six weeks from 16 November.

Baldwin is a connecter – of people, stories and string. To create the artwork, she’s running a series of public workshops where people of all ages learn a simple crafting technique for braiding cord. They’ll be encouraged to contribute stories and an anchor stone – a rock, pebble, crystal or bead – that will be woven into the cord.

“Children collect stones during play, imbuing them with special meaning, often holding onto them and carrying them home,” Baldwin says.

“Many cultures have customs regarding different kinds of stones. Stones hold history, meaning and a sense of place. The finished rope is a repository for conversations and memories shared.”

SCAPE’s Season 2019 is a six-week, citywide festival that runs from 5 October, igniting Ōtautahi Christchurch’s outdoor spaces with stunning new contemporary artworks and events for all. Touch-Stones will stay on for an extended period at The Arts Centre over summer.

During the Season, visitors exploring The Arts Centre site will find one of Scott Eady’s Princess XL (fountain #1 and #2) (2015) artworks – the other being located in front of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū – and Kazu Nakagawa’s large-scale sculpture Ka mua Ka Muri (2019).

Arts Centre chief executive Philip Aldridge says all three artworks are wonderful temporary additions to the centre.

“These bold new works demonstrate the beauty of this dynamic sculpture season. The pieces will surprise and delight Arts Centre visitors – qualities that we embrace across all activities and events.”

Eady says his artworks – cast bronze marrows, balanced on top of stools – were sparked by seeing his son playfully brandishing a vegetable grown in the family garden.

“They humorously evoke the history of fertility statues, from ancient civilisations through to early Modernism.”

Functional as well as visual, the artworks provide drinking water for thirsty visitors, suggesting that art and life can flow together.

Meanwhile, in Market Square, Nakagawa’s Ka mua Ka muri reflects the city’s unity. A phonetic rendering of a well-known Māori whakataukī that speaks of walking backwards into the future, it features two large open rings that lean in, each depending on the other to stay upright.
“Time folds in on itself as we take our past with us into who we become,” Nakagawa says. Read more about this artwork.
• Come along to our free Season Artist Talk series from noon on Sunday 6 October to hear all three of these artists in conversation at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū auditorium.
• Check out our Public Events programme to be a part of Touch-Stones and attend the performance, parade and ceremonial installation on 16 November.

ENDS


About the artists

Audrey Baldwin is a New Zealand-based artist whose practice incorporates performance, video, photography, and curation. She operates both inside and outside of the traditional gallery space, with an interest in creating shared experiences where the viewer becomes an active part of the work.

Her performances often centre around the body and use absurdity, ritual and aspects of the everyday to raise questions about established values and notions about the body, power and gender. Her work is earnest and emotional, confronting and grotesque, and sometimes all of these things at once.

Audrey has been performing and creating public interventions and events in and around the central city of Ōtautahi Christchurch since 2010. Her practice has been part of the recovery and rejuvenation of the city, which is still recovering from the earthquakes that destroyed it in 2011.

Her work has been presented in galleries and festivals around New Zealand as well as in Zimbabwe, Japan and India. 2018 saw her attend Morni Hills Performance Art Biennial in India alongside other performance artists from around the globe.

Scott Eady is a Dunedin-based artist. Public commissions include The Philanthropist’s Stone for Wellington’s Cuba Mall, and his work is held in collections including Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa; The Chartwell Trust and the James Wallace Arts Trust.

Recent group exhibitions include Ridiculous Sublime, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin (2016); Activating Te Uru: Inaugural Opening Exhibition, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery (2014); Time, Space and Existence, Venice Biennale Collateral Event (2013); The 9th Gwangiu Biennale, Gwangiu (2012) and The Obstinate Object, City Gallery Wellington Te Whare Toi, Wellington (2012).

Solo exhibitions include Good Morning Vladivostok, Artetage Museum of Modern Art, Vladivostok, Russia, (2016) and 100 Bikes Project: Part 1, The Dowse Art Museum (2011).

A survey exhibition of his career to date was held at Pah Homestead, Auckland in 2011. He is represented by Sanderson Gallery, Auckland.

About the SCAPE Public Art Trust
SCAPE Public Art installs public art in Christchurch all year round, with a focus on the annual public art festival Seasons. SCAPE is the Christchurch expert in the installation of public art, and the SCAPE Public Art Seasons are New Zealand's premier public art events.

Held in Christchurch’s central city public spaces and supported through a range of partnerships, the Seasons showcase leading national and international contemporary artists, and provide a springboard for emerging local talent. Artworks in the Seasons are created as a result of close collaboration between art and business. This is a highly regarded model world-wide.
Our Seasons provide an opportunity to focus on the introduction of new artworks while maintaining focus on the impressive base of legacy pieces. www.scapepublicart.org.nz

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