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Three Further Artists & Locations Announced

SCAPE Public Art announces Three Further Artists & Locations as Part of Presence

David McCracken, Judy Darragh and Rachael Rakena will exhibit artworks as part of Presence: the curated exhibition element of the SCAPE Public Art Season 2016. Artworks placed within the Botanic Gardens, Christchurch Casino and Wynn Williams House will provide an eclectic mix of sites along the SCAPE Public Art Walkway.

With one further artist announcement still to come, Presence is made up of diverse and engaging artworks located in a range of spaces, selected by managing curator, Heather Galbraith.

Christchurch Casino Chief Executive Brett Anderson says being able to support SCAPE Public Art by hosting the 2016 season is great fun for the Casino. "We are thrilled to be a host site for SCAPE Public Art. We look forward to welcoming people to view these sculptures and to being a part of the Christchurch celebration of the creative spirit. We are pleased to support SCAPE Public Art in their endeavor to encourage locals and visitors alike to explore the city"

The Presence works may all be viewed on the one hour free guided tours that depart from the Arts Centre every day during the season. The SCAPE Public Art guided and self-guided walkways provide exploratory trails around the 2016 Presence artworks and existing legacy works in the city. The 30-60 minute loop walks are designed to weave from the Arts Centre around the central city and back to Rolleston Avenue, but can be picked up at any convenient location for walkers.

Deborah McCormick, Director of SCAPE Public Art says that the presentation of work in so many new places provides a wonderful opportunity for people to visit the city centre. “Presence is an exciting selection that places art at the heart of our city, sparking the imagination of visitors. Exploring public art is an important way for people to engage with their city in a positive way.”

The artists and exhibits are:

David McCracken
Diminish and Ascend, 2013

The vertiginous Diminish and Ascend has previously drawn great attention at Sculpture by the Sea, Sydney and Sculpture on the Gulf on Waiheke Island. Located in Kiosk Lake within the Botanic Gardens, the illusion of a staircase to the sky rising out of the lake will take on its own resonance. McCracken is a highly skilled maker, specialising in working with metal, pushing its capabilities to realise formally sophisticated and tactile works.

Plain View, 2016

The pieces of Plain View are based on early aircraft delivered bombs e.g. the tallboy and grandslam designed by Barnes Wallis. These specific shapes formed a cartoonish shorthand for ‘bomb’ for a time in the twentieth century. These reinterpretations in stainless steel bring to mind children’s inflatable toys, but challenge us not to forget their gruesome purpose. Plain View operates within a lineage from Pop Art onwards where stylised, high-key colour objects mined from our material culture lure and provoke. Pieces will be sited at The Christchurch Casino and Wynn Williams House

The pieces of Plain View in Wynn Williams House will be joined by Rakena & Darragh’s presentations.

Rachael Rakena
Te Ia Tangata, 2016

Rachael Rakena (Ngāi Tahu), shows Poutereraki (2011), with additional video works and the new wall-based takarangi (spiral forms) made using electrical cabling. Poutereraki is the darkest realm of Te Pō (the night). In Māori cosmology Hineatauira (also known as Hinetitama) fled in shame and grief from the world of light, through the realms of Te Pō, to arrive at Poutereraki where she resides as Hinenuitepō, the great woman of the night. In Rakena’s installation dark suffocating images are paired with black oil blobs to evoke notions of destruction, drowning and a search for the unattainable. As with all of Rakena’s work, references to the mythological are conflated with references to the world. Here the oil blobs building up on the screen surface and through the gallery recall the black tides of the Rena oil spill and become metaphorical stains on dreams.

Judy Darragh
Stainless, 2010-2011

Judy Darragh, based in Auckland, makes art that engages deeply with popular culture. Often producing works that re-use and restore existing materials, and have an active wit, a sense of the absurd and critique cultures of consumption. Stainless evolved after Darragh had visited the LA Car Museum, where she was taken by the folly and failure of the gull-winged DeLorean car (as seen in the Back to the Future films). This ‘fleet’ of objects made from stainless steel kitchenware offer a retro-themed Sci Fi vision of the future.

Managing Curator, Heather Galbraith comments, “Presence is an exhibition exploring what it means to be ‘present’ and to discern a ‘presence’. Through selection and siting of works the exhibition seeks to explore social, cultural, personal and political implications of being ‘present’, and of being visible (or invisible). Presence includes a number of figurative art works, and sculptures employing an abstract formal language to investigate physical and emotional states of being. The project acknowledges Ngāi Tahu as tangata whenua, and the many waves of long-term and short-term citizens of Ōtautahi Christchurch. The thematic also connects with the emotional and visceral punch of the Antony Gormley sculptures in the Ōtākaro Avon River and the Arts Centre settings and other existing public art works previously commissioned through SCAPE Public Art.”

SCAPE Public Art has moved from its biennial model to an annual, six-week season of Public Art from October 1 – November 12 2016 (incorporating school holidays and the New Zealand Cup and Show Week celebrations), launching new works and showcasing the extensive current catalogue of major public artworks.

Heather Galbraith’s role as Managing Curator extends over three annual seasons through to 2018. Presence, the 2016 Season, will exhibit works from an impressive mix of New Zealand artists curated and selected by Galbraith.

The move came after the success of the internationally acclaimed SCAPE 8 New Intimacies Biennial, the most high-profile of the series to date. The further establishment of Public Art Walkways through the Central City is now seen as essential for the critical mass of legacy works, which have evolved in recent years. The annual seasons will provide an opportunity to focus on the introduction of new works whilst maintaining focus on the impressive base of legacy pieces.

The 2016 Season profiles six key elements related to public art. These components include;

· SCAPE Public Art Walkway

· Presence - Heather Galbraith’s curated exhibition of public artwork

· Re:ACTIVATE - Student & emerging artists’ exhibition

· SCAPE Education – Classroom programme and art making activities

· SCAPE Speaker Series - Artists talks, screenings and public programmes

· SCAPE Events - Including an opening weekend of youth, family and children-focused free event.


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