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Humorous approach to art attracts attention

Media Release

25 November 2009

Matt and Tim’s humorous approach to art attracts attention

Humour and irony are two things Unitec students Matt Arbuckle and Tim Webber like to use in his sculptures.

So when it came to working on a project this year, the pair decided to do something that was larger than life – literally!

Matt and Tim came up with ‘The Painting in a Bubble’, which as the title suggests, consists of a large sized painting inside an inflatable bubble that takes up almost the entire space of one of the exhibiting rooms.

It will be one of the main attractions at the Unitec Grad Show starting this evening and ending Saturday.

The pair have similar taste when it comes to art – Matt expresses this through his paintings while Tim likes to create over-sized inflatable sculptures.

Taking the idea of safety, Tim decided he would “exaggerate” certain items people associate with safety and the result has been the creation of a giant-sized inflatable road cone and lifesaver ring, amongst others.

“The idea of safety is a notion that is commonly associated with inflatable objects so my work is based around this,” says Tim.

“It contains elements of humor and irony that’s expressed through challenging the function and purpose of the objects to create light-hearted and playful pieces.”

Both Matt and Tim are final year Bachelor of Design and Visual Arts students.

Matt is an up-and-coming young artist who recently won the runner up award at the prestigious Wallace Art Awards.

The awards attract entries from the top artists in the country and is regarded the Academy Award of New Zealand art.

Matt’s paintings feature recognisable cartoon characters that he ‘deconstructs’ to come up with the finished product, that is an almost tongue-and-cheek look at conventional art.

His works have already been showcased in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

“I’m always looking at ways of challenging the notion of what tradition art should be like which is why I’ve taken something that people can recognise and peeled back the layers to expose them,” says Matt.

The Unitec Grad Show is free to the public and will be held at Building 1 of Unitec’s Mt Albert Campus starting on November 25 and finishing on November 28.


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