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Andre Hemer Accomplishes His Rita Angus Residency

9 January 2012

Andre Hemer Accomplishes His Rita Angus Residency

During his sojourn as artist in residence at Rita Angus Cottage in Thorndon Andre Hemer has produced some remarkable works that are currently on display as a solo exhibition at Bartley and Company Art in Wellington.

A collaboration between Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) and Thorndon Trust, the Rita Angus Residency supports established artists enabling them to access a wide range of cutting edge facilities and technologies to achieve their vision.

"This new body of work marks a departure for Andre, in that he is no longer making a strict translation from the computer image to a hand-made painting,” says Bartley and Company Art director Alison Bartley.

“These paintings are an amalgamation of imagery from lots of different sources, with the computer acting as a filter and tool rather than a sketching pad - with the outcome not known at the outset. The six paintings in the exhibition - with the reduction in scale and the use of paper - are also a response to living and working in the Rita Angus cottage.”

Andre was delighted with the facilities the Rita Angus Residency afforded him. The location at the Cottage was unique in its direct historical lineage to Rita Angus and to the previous artists-in-residence.

“Through the residency I was able to make use of the various technologies and facilities at WelTec - including plotters, vinyl cutters, spray painting facilities, HD digital video equipment, and computer rendering hardware and software. As technology plays an integral part in my work this was especially invaluable, as it's difficult to have access to all of this equipment at once in normal studio life.

“The residency achieved for me what all good artist residencies should – it gave me time and space with no constraints to bound where my work might lead me. It was an incredibly prolific time in terms of creating work, but also a time in which I was able to reflect and take risk in my usual way of working,” he says.

“Practically, it allowed me to focus on work for three months in a studio setting quite different from the usual fluorescent-light-filled industrial studio that I'm accustomed too.

“The domesticity naturally warranted work that was more subtle and domestic in scale. Notably in my solo exhibition 'Swag, Smushing, and Nicki Minaj' at Bartley and Company, I tried to work in some mediums that are relatively foreign to me (to the point of being intentionally old-fashioned) - predominantly using gouache and ink pens on paper - creating works derived from far more technological leanings - in the form of drawing software, screensavers, and iPad applications.

There are two series of ongoing works Andre began while in residence that will continue into 2012 - one a video project and the other an online collaboration with a computer programmer.


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