Maarit Mäkelä, Portrait of a woman
ST PAUL St Gallery Two
27 November – 11 December 2015
Opening Thursday 26 November
5.00pm: Maarit Mäkelä in conversation with Dr. Welby Ings
6.00 – 7.30pm: Exhibition opening
27 November 2015 - 11 December 2015
Maarit Mäkelä, Portrait of a Woman (detail), 2015, Te Henga black sand, Tasman red stone, Long Bay white and yellow clay, Te Matuku clay and Cory Road clay on Matakana clay.
Portrait of a Woman: roomsheet
Maarit Mäkelä Portrait of a Woman 2015 (detail). Painting with Te Henga black sand, Tasman red stone, Long Bay white and yellow clay, Te Matuku clay and Cory Road clay on Matakana clay
Earth-dialogue has resulted from Professor Maarit Mäkelä's sabbatical year from Aalto University, Finland. Mäkelä, who has been hosted by the School of Art + Design, AUT University, has her roots in contemporary ceramics. The title of the exhibition refers to the profound relationship with earth and a woman who via walking starts the tangible and visual dialogue with the material environment.
The core of Mäkelä's artistic practice is the local, natural environment and in particular earth samples she gathered during her walks in Aotearoa New Zealand, especially around Waiheke Island where she lived during the year. These materials were processed in her studio in Waiheke and then used as clay body for the works, and as coloured slips for the paintings she produced on clay. Mäkelä then fired the paintings, and at 1080°C they were transformed into ceramic.
The exhibition consists of clay paintings and documentation of the creative process underpinning her work. It includes documentary photographs of local places and materials she encountered during her walks to collect materials. Earth-dialogue also contains samples of sand, stone and clay – the materials Mäkelä gathered from different locations in Aotearoa New Zealand, that she then processed and fired as test pieces. Together the fired pieces, the documentation images of material gathering, and the test pieces present a view of the process and making practices that go into Mäkelä's final work.
Maarit Mäkelä is a guest of the School of Art + Design, AUT University.