St Paul st Gallery AUT

Exhibitions

Speaking Surfaces

Jen Bowmast, Ruth Castle, Nikau Hindin and Ben Thomason, Mabel Juli, Karrabing Film Collective, Emily Parr and Arielle Walker,

Sapati Mossiah Avei Fina’i with Speaking Surfaces project team

28 February 2020 - 16 October 2020

Speaking Surfaces at St Paul St Gallery, 2020

Speaking Surfaces: roomsheet (version 2.0),  Creative Wānanga with Jack Gray


Speaking Surfaces is shaped by the questions: How do surfaces speak? How are stories and experiences inscribed in the surfaces that surround us? How might surfaces speak with, to and through people? A collaboration between St Paul St Gallery and AUT Spatial Design students and staff, Speaking Surfaces is a project developed to reimagine the gallery’s capacities as a platform for encounters and experiences. The project has multiple and layered phases, and it runs throughout 2020 with artworks and exhibitions, performances, screenings, gatherings, conversations, and teaching. These activities are not only experiences of physical space, but of time, and of the many different energies that inform all our states of being, doing and thinking.

As a project Speaking Surfaces involves multiple points of engagement. Within the physical and conceptual space anchored by the spatial design, programme activities will come and go over time and space - Gallery Two will be part of Speaking Surfaces later in the year. The project opens on 28 February with works by Jen Bowmast, Ruth Castle, Nikau Hindin and Ben Thomason, Mabel Juli, Karrabing Film Collective, Emily Parr and Arielle Walker, and Sapati Mossiah Avei Fina’i with Speaking Surfaces project team.

In March, during the Auckland Arts Festival over the weekend of the 21st and 22nd Atamira Dance Company artistic director Jack Gray and special guests will activate the space with a Creative Wānanga. The Wānanga invites the public to discuss, share and participate in a tactile, multi-sensory series of events situated both in the gallery and outside. For more information about Creative Wānanga with Jack Gray in the Auckland Arts Festival, click here.

Also in March, as part of AUT’s 20th anniversary as a university, Speaking Surfaces will host ‘storying of place’ discussions and workshops towards the development of an outdoor sculpture commissioned by AUT to mark the anniversary. The project is a collaboration between Taarati Taiaroa and Dion Hitchens and involves students from within the Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies and members of the wider AUT community. 

Speaking Surfaces cannot be defined as an exhibition. It is a project generated through a collaborative and experimental design process, involving Gallery staff and the cohort of 60+ students and staff who participated in the Spatial Design Year 3 Studio, whose collective input fed into imagining varying propositions of speaking surfaces. We acknowledge the particular influence of design propositions from: Sapati Mossiah Avei Fina’i, Silvia Kostandini, Yana Nafysa Dombrowsky-M’Baye, Ellie Blower, Caitlin Hogan, Sharon Semi Tugia, Julia Mapasua, Denise Jillian Saso, and Juvanka Rebello. Subsequently, the core Speaking Surfaces project team has grown into: Emily O’Hara, Charlotte Huddleston, Sapati Mossiah Avei Fina’i, Silvia Kostandini, Nooroa Tapuni, Kahurangiariki Smith, Balamohan Shingade, Eddie Clemens, Monique Redmond, Harriet Stockman, Harold Barton, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Davis, Angus Roberts.


Speaking SurfacesFrom left: Mabel Juli (Gija), Garnkiny Ngarranggarni (Moon Dreaming), 2018. Presented with thanks to Tim Melville Gallery and Warmun Art Centre; Middle: Sapati Mossiah Avei Fina’i with Speaking Surfaces project team, VĀWĀ, 2020. Plywood, unistrut, framing timber (detail), L 9760mm x W 4842mm x D 560mm; Mid right: Jen Bowmast, Calls herself into being, 2020; Mid right: Nikau Hindin (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi) and Ben Thomason (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga); Right: Jen Bowmast, Psychopomp, 2018. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Speaking SurfacesFrom left: Nikau Hindin (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi) and Ben Thomason (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga); Mid left: Jen Bowmast, Calls herself into being, 2020; Psychopomp, 2018; Middle: Sapati Mossiah Avei Fina’i with Speaking Surfaces project team, VĀWĀ, 2020; Right: Karrabing Film Collective, Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams, 2016; The Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland, 2018. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Speaking SurfacesEmily Parr (Ngāi Te Rangi, Pasifika, Pākehā) and Arielle Walker (Taranaki, Ngāruahine, Ngāpuhi, Pākehā), Whatuora, 2020. HD video, 12 mins. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Speaking SurfacesFrom back: Mabel Juli (Gija), Garnkiny Ngarranggarni (Moon Dreaming), 2018. Natural ochre and pigment on canvas. Presented with thanks to Tim Melville Gallery and Warmun Art Centre; Front: Sapati Mossiah Avei Fina’i with Speaking Surfaces project team, VĀWĀ, 2020. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Speaking SurfacesSapati Mossiah Avei Fina’i with Speaking Surfaces project team, VĀWĀ, 2020. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Speaking SurfacesJen Bowmast, Calls herself into being, 2020. Bronze, clay, copper, glass, obsidian, silver, wax, wood, wool. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Speaking SurfacesJen Bowmast, Calls herself into being, 2020. Bronze, clay, copper, glass, obsidian, silver, wax, wood, wool. Photo: Sam Hartnett.Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Speaking Surfaces Jen Bowmast, Calls herself into being, 2020. Bronze, clay, copper, glass, obsidian, silver, wax, wood, wool. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Speaking SurfacesFrom back: Nikau Hindin (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi) and Ben Thomason (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga); Front: Jen Bowmast, Calls herself into being, 2020. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Speaking SurfacesFrom left: Nikau Hindin (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi) and Ben Thomason (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga); Right: Jen Bowmast, Psychopomp, 2016. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Speaking SurfacesFrom left: Sapati Mossiah Avei Fina’i with Speaking Surfaces project team, VĀWĀ, 2020; Mid left: Nikau Hindin (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi) and Ben Thomason (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga); Middle: Jen Bowmast, Psychopomp, 2016; Right: Karrabing Film Collective, Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams, 2016; The Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland, 2018. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Speaking SurfacesKarrabing Film Collective, Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams, 2016. HD video, 28:53 mins, screens on the hour; also showing: The Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland, 2018. HD video, 26:29 mins, screens on the half-hour. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Speaking SurfacesRuth Castle, from left: Check Pattern dish, Sunflower Pattern dish, Spiral dish, Bangalow Palm dish, Fish Basket dish, all 2019. Dyed Rattancore, Bangalow palm. Presented with thanks to Masterworks Gallery. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Speaking SurfacesRuth Castle, Fish Basket dish, 2019. Dyed Rattancore, Bangalow palm. Presented with thanks to Masterworks Gallery. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Speaking SurfacesRuth Castle, from left: Check Pattern dish, Sunflower Pattern dish, Spiral dish, Bangalow Palm dish, Fish Basket dish, all 2019. Dyed Rattancore, Bangalow palm. Presented with thanks to Masterworks Gallery. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Speaking Surfaces
Sapati Mossiah Avei Fina’i with Speaking Surfaces project team, VĀWĀ, 2020. Laminated Macrocarpa, Cotton string, plywood, steel. Photo courtesy of artsdiary.co.nz.

Speaking Surfaces
Sapati Mossiah Avei Fina’i with Speaking Surfaces project team, VĀWĀ, 2020. Laminated Macrocarpa, Cotton string, plywood, steel (detail). Photo courtesy of artsdiary.co.nz.