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Floral histories: Niki Hastings-McFall's new work

Bartley Nees Gallery: Floral histories ­new work from Niki Hastings-McFall

Spring has arrived (so we¹re told) and the Bartley Nees Gallery is awash with brightly coloured blooms of every imaginable hue. Niki Hastings-McFall¹s newest series of work deconstructs urban lei to create sophisticated and visually stunning light-boxes which offer the viewer a rich range of cultural readings.

The work was inspired by the artist¹s research into effects of colonisation and Christianity on the Pacific and, as the title suggests, refers to oral histories lost in this process. The vibrantly light-boxes also speak of the commodification of Pacific tourist culture and the synthetic nature of culture packaged for the market.

Initially trained as a jeweller, Niki has for some time now been creating larger objects - 'mixed media assemblages'. The more generous scale, while retaining the exquisite detailing of the jewellery, affords conceptual possibilities allowing her to explore what it means to be a New Zealander of Pacific Island descent living in the urban 21st century.

Niki had work on show at the Dowse Art Museum last summer and already this year has been involved in exhibitions in Auckland, Sydney and New York. She is also representing New Zealand at the Asia Pacific Triennial at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane which opens this week.

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