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Art: Unearthing Wellington’s Exquisite Corpse

Tuesday 16th August

Unearthing Wellington’s Exquisite Corpse An exciting new photo / graphic exhibition at Thistle Hall Gallery

Thistle Hall presents Exquisite Corpse, a photo / graphic exhibition by four Wellington designers: Liane McGee, Kate Arnott and Tessa Gourley of Fortyfive Design and Andrew McGee of Teaspoon Films. Drawing from professional backgrounds of graphic design and animation, the group has embarked on an exciting exploration of Wellington through a shared passion for photography.

Exquisite Corpse began as a collaboration with each photographer adding to the composition in sequence, in response to a visual cue from the previous contributor. With new eyes for a familiar environment, the four collected textures, colours, shapes and typography of Wellington that replied to and expanded on the others’ work. The group have been delighted by the surprising and striking sequences that have evolved.

This creative process was borrowed from the Surrealists, who developed a technique similar to an old parlour game in which a player writes on a sheet of paper, folds it to conceal part of the writing, and passes it to the next player for a further contribution. The name is derived from a phrase that resulted when Surrealists first played the game: “Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau.” (“The exquisite corpse will drink the new wine.”)

Exquisite Corpse is by definition an unpredictable journey – following a series of responses, its contributors are guided by the process, rather than contriving an outcome. In the same way, this exhibition began as a literal reproduction of the Exquisite Corpse game but soon initiated further inspiration for each individual. Four distinct perspectives have emerged, offering an insight into each designers’ personal interpretations of the urban space around them.

The process led the designers to dig below Wellington’s surface to discover places behind places, often unnoticed creative dialogues, and layers of human habitation. Following the meanderings of the Exquisite Corpse process, a collection of intriguing discoveries from their everyday Wellington surroundings were unearthed.

The result includes walls of searing colour and landscapes of urban textures produced to a stunning scale. Thistle Hall Gallery of Cuba Street will be brimming with sixteen vibrant works, open from the 30th of August to the 4th of September. Exquisite Corpse is a must-see for those who want to see our Wellington surroundings in a new light, interesting visual and conceptual connections and beautiful photo / graphic works. Liane, Kate, Tessa and Andrew welcome you to visit the gallery and experience this exciting photo / graphic exhibition yourself.


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