What we do at home: PDX > AKL
Cora-Allan Wickliffe and Daniel Twiss
19 Apr 2018 - 1 Jun 2018
Cora-Allan Wickliffe and Daniel Twiss, What we do at home: PDX > AKL (detail), 2017. Courtesy of the artists.
“That blurry line between what should be shared and what should be kept sacred in an institutional space gave us our first rule of engagement. We share what we do in everyday life, at home. This exhibition is an exploration of how we embody being indigenous, through memories and past events. With whānau at the core of our thoughts, we will be intertwining memories to establish how we, as the BC Collective own, learn and are indigenous. The works will be installation based and involve conducting ceremonial / contemporary versions of events. We are hoping to involve different groups that inform ideas of being indigenous and the transmission of knowledge within the family unit and how working as a whānau promotes indigenous ideologies of learning.” — BC Collective
In 2017 Cora-Allan Wickliffe and Daniel Twiss launched the BC Collective. BC stands for ‘Before Cook and Before Columbus’, and was initiated as a way to share, directly engage with and exchange indigenous ideas and concepts. BC Collective holds Gallery One, with a series of installation based works relating to the home and lived daily experience. In the front window, donated objects are collected towards a Batons Up event to be held during the exhibition on Saturday 5 May (watch our Facebook page for details).
Cora-Allan Wickliffe (Ngāpuhi, Tainui, Alofi and Liku) is a multidisciplinary artist of Māori and Niuean descent, originally from Waitakere. In 2016 she returned to Aotearoa after working at the Walter Phillips Gallery in Banff, Canada. Her practice often examines constructed identities of indigenous people, finding new ways to provide educative experiences through social art platforms. Cora-Allan has worked as a curator, preparator, photographer, artist and educator. In 2013, she completed her MA in Visual Art at AUT University.
Daniel Twiss (Lakota, Sioux, Rosebud Reservation) grew up in Vancouver, Washington. His family relocated for a year to the Coeur D’alene Indian Reservation in Plummer, Idaho. His late father Richard Twiss was the co-founder of the Wiconi organisation and a Professor of Native American Studies at Portland State University. Under his influence, Daniel took up Grass Dancing and joined the International Dancing our Prayers Tour in 2003, which created the platform for his involvement in Indigenous conferences and gatherings. Since then, he has attended and danced at numerous Indigenous events including NAIITS Symposium, Vancouver, Canada (2011); Rosebud Immersion Experience, Rosebud Reservation, USA (2012); Surrender in the Desert Conference, Alice Springs, Australia (2012) and Good Water Conference, Turangi, Aotearoa (2015).
Between you and me
Louisa Afoa, Natasha Matila-Smith and Molly Rangiwai-McHale
19 Apr 2018 - 1 Jun 2018
Molly Rangiwai-McHale, Love and Affection (installation detail), mixed media, 2018.
Between you and me continues a conversation between three practitioners who work across sculpture, painting, vinyl and video. While the works could each be considered as forms of speech, the artists don’t claim to speak for everyone. These three women share commonalities, but it is their points of difference which underpin the exhibition.
Natasha Matila-Smith’s work is made in response to spaces—both architectural spaces and those of social media. Often text-based, the narratives hinge on relationships, social interactions, and contemporary politics of romance and intimacy. “Do you ever feel as though you’ve failed at life because you haven’t reached certain milestones by certain ages? As if there is a cut-off period for ‘normal’ experiences? I get anxious when people ask me about my first time, my first kiss, my first everything.” (Matila-Smith, ‘Waiting for love in library aisles,’ Enjoy Occasional Journal, 2018). In recent installation work, the fabric banners are also voices: confessional, declarative, and autonomous.
Louisa Afoa writes, “Growing up I would spend a lot of time in the Papakura library reading after school—fantasy and sci-fi favourites to this day—in those books I would read about mostly white protagonists, chosen to save the world. The characters were never fat; any fat character I encountered was a bully, ‘ugly’ and utterly despised—if the character was a female she sure as hell was never a leading lady to be desired or be allowed to feel desire.” Afoa is interested in reclaiming a femininity that was not afforded to her own large body growing up, creating agency and continuing to diversify the body types we see in public space.
Love and Affection (Part 2) by Molly Rangiwai-McHale dissects self-image traits imposed on her as a child and investigates what may be made of these things over time. She brings an adult reading to a narrative constructed by someone with suspect motives and turns it on its head: “I wanted to make something that gives the wearer the softness and comfort that realising my own healthy self-image narrative brought me; a garment that can be worn after the show.”
Natasha Matila-Smith (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Hine) is an artist and writer based in Tāmaki Makaurau. Her practice often deals with social exchanges and anxieties, across installation and digital contexts. Recent exhibitions include Heavenly Creatures, Verge Gallery (Sydney), 2018; You’re my number 1, Firstdraft Gallery (Sydney); In The Flesh, Blue Oyster Art Project Space (Ōtepoti Dunedin) and Cold Islanders, Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato (Kirikiriroa Hamilton), all 2017.
Louisa Afoa is a Tāmaki Makaurau based artist. Her practice deals with social encounters relating to experiences of prejudice, misconceptions, and racism towards brown bodies. Recent exhibitions include Heavenly Creatures, Verge Gallery (Sydney), 2018; Cold Islanders, Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato (Kirikiriroa Hamilton), and I’ll see you at Orion, Corban Estate Arts Centre (Tāmaki Makaurau), all 2017.
Molly Rangiwai-McHale (Ngāti Porou, Te Aupōuri, Chinese, Scottish, Irish) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau. She and her partner, Luisa Tora, construct adornments made with objects sourced from their Ōtāhuhu neighbourhood. They have recently been commissioned by the Pacific Collections Access Project at Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira to create a new series for the collection. They also collaborated on a portrait series of Tāmaki Makaurau and Suva-based queer-identifying women in their lives. Recent exhibitions include Heavenly Creatures, Verge Gallery (Sydney) and The Language of Things: Meaning and Value in Contemporary Jewellery, The Dowse Art Museum (Pōneke Wellington), both 2018.