08 August – 17 October 2020

New Artists Show 2020

All images (+11)

Artspace Aotearoa 2020 New Artist Show

8 August 2020 - 17 October 2020
Opening Friday 7 August 2020

  • Vanessa Crofskey
  • Millie Dow
  • Ary Jansen
  • Claudia Kogachi
  • Matt Ritani
  • Luke Shaw
  • Ashleigh Taupaki
  • Jasmine Tuia
  • Louie Zalk-Neale

In view of the many communal spaces which at present sit empty across the world, Artspace Aotearoa regards itself fortunate to be in a position to present our annual much anticipated new artists show for 2020. Our new artists programme evinces a fundamental part of our organisation's kaupapa: to advocate for artistic-innovation within the field of contemporary art in Aotearoa, from diverse voices, marginal and underrepresented practices.

We believe public arts-organisations have an obligation to strive for socio-political and cultural currency; be relevant and responsive to issues of local and global urgency. Be conscious of its own position and enact this consciousness through reactive and adaptive programming.

This year's show brings together nine artists from Aotearoa, with contributions from Ōtautahi Christchurch, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, and Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington.

In response to the current global socio-political climate, we felt it pertinent that this year’s iteration of the new artists show engaged a conceptual outline which connected to a sense of civic movement and futurity, engendered by the potentiality for social renewal and cultural change. We chose to forgo an imposed conceptual framework, so as to call forth those voices belonging to a present-day zeitgeist to communicate their own concerns and desires.

Each artist's work invigorates a site within or outside the building of our new street level premises. Through divergent material and methodological engagements, the artists interact with and reach through the architectural-interface, to call in and speak to multifarious sub-communities. Walls are no longer borders in this exhibition; they become porous through the works invocation, expanding beyond the gallery space to commune with their connecting social networks and public domains.

New Artists 2020 Bios

Vanessa Mei Crofskey

Vanessa Mei Crofskey (Hokkien Chinese, Pākēha) is a multidisciplinary artist and writer based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Auckland University of Technology in 2017. Crofskey’s writing has been published online and in print, including in the recently relaunched AUP New Poets 6, published by Auckland University Press. She is currently a staff essayist at The Pantograph Punch and a collaborator of Satellites, a series of public events and encounters showcasing Asian artists in Tāmaki Makaurau. Her recent exhibitions include smoke signals (2019), Te Tuhi Billboards, and We Were Not Born to Be Stuck (2019), a series of performances staged at Gus Fisher Gallery during Artweek Auckland in response to The Shouting Valley: Interrogating the Borders Between Us (2019).

Collateral Damage replicates the ways that popular media has aligned images of East Asian women with Covid-19. Through a series of posters displayed on the street facing window of Artspace Aotearoa, Crofskey problematises the naturalised signs, language and iconography of journalistic and public spheres, revealing their Orientalist bias. A run of brochures also appear in this public facing site, mimicking those circulated by The Church of Scientology during and after the national rāhui in Aotearoa. While not discernibly insidious, these brochures exemplify the design and use of propaganda media to exploit vulnerable circumstances for private gain. Crofskey’s interest is in examining the relationships of power between providers of free public services and their recipients through the intentional targeting of exploitable communities (including Aotearoa’s Asian population) as audiences for propaganda.

Millie Dow

Millie Dow is an independent art writer. Based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, she is currently studying Art History at the University of Auckland. Dow has worked with various artist run spaces to produce texts to accompany exhibitions, most recently, for Emmanuel Sarmiento: Euphoria (2019) at Furniture Gallery. Also writing long-form arts criticism and prose, Dow’s practise chronicles convergences between digital culture, art and fashion in order to conceptualise new conditions and experiences of creative practise.

In how I learned to stop worrying and love the nausea, Dow discusses the ontological and art historical present in relation to the failure of past Utopias. Dow interweaves prose and art historical writing on issues of digitality, the self, protest, and the future, to formulate lineages of thought that inform her experience of living in “a present charged with memory alone”. Dow’s text appears on Artspace Aotearoa’s website and in the gallery space on tablet devices.

Ary Jansen

Ary Jansen is a queer, Pākēha, multidisciplinary artist, musician and events organiser interested in the interpersonal power dynamics informed by global capitalism. He graduated from Auckland University of Technology with honours in Visual Arts in 2018. In addition to his creative practise, Jansen works in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland as a teacher aide and a community support worker for children with disabilities. Jansen hosted open entry jam as part of The Queer Pavillion 2020. His debut album Cut Off was released in September 2018 and his second album is anticipated to be released later this year.

For the New Artists Show 2020, Jansen has instigated an evolving collaborative artwork as the inaugural project in Artspace Aotearoa’s basement space. Jansen has invited several video artists and musicians to collaborate in multi-disciplinary events that take place on the 7th and 8th of August. While the musicians perform shrouded in video projections, the audience is invited to document the performance. This documentation is in turn re-screened in the space, potentialising endless contributions and contributors. This work proposes an alternative model for the utilisation of creative space, framing democratic collaboration as a generative reprieve from the oppressive conditions of capitalism. Alongside Jansen, this work features contributions from Frances Carter, Ducklingmonster, Ron Gallipoli, Roy Irwin, LEAO, Esther Mauga, Jessica Morgan, Alice Sparrow, UNIFORM, Aliyah Winter, P. Wits.

Claudia Kogachi

Claudia Kogachi is a Japanese-born (Awaji-Shima) artist working in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. She graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland in 2018 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with First Class Honours. Kogachi was the recipient of the 2019 New Zealand Painting and Printmaking award for her painting Mom Wait Up (2019). Her most recent exhibitions include Everyone Has A Horse Phase (2020), Sanderson Contemporary and Uncle Gagi (2020), play_station space.

All The Careers I’ve Ever Considered Doing In Order To Finance My Art Career consists of a series of large scale machine tufted rugs. These textiles depict different forms of labour that Kogachi has considered, and undertaken, in addition to her art practise, as a tongue in cheek homage to the commitments and sacrifices art practitioners make towards sustaining their making. They also depict frenetic activity; both in the illustration of labour, and as the outcomes of meticulous, labour-intensive fabrication.
This series comprises a continuation of Kogachi’s engagement with autobiography, illustrating her introspection about the economic and professional uncertainty engendered by Covid-19.

Matt Ritani

Matt Ritani (Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Koata, Irish) is an artist and researcher living and working in Te Whanganui-a-tara. Ritani graduated with a Masters of Architecture (Professional) from Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington, School of Architecture and Design in 2015. Recent projects include The Block (2020), Te Tuhi Billboards, If you have nothing nice to say (2019), Blue Oyster Art Project Space, and The House We Built (2018), play_station space. Recent texts include The Stone Sarjeant : Architecture, Materiality, and Colonisation in Pukenamu Queens Park Whanganui SAHANZ conference 2018.

This exhibition includes three works by Ritani: Pākehā Pictures, Arotahi and The Competition 2011-2020. Pākehā Pictures is a durational projection work projected onto eastern windows of Artspace Aotearoa during evening hours.
Pākehā Pictures is a series of found images of Pākehā people. The images re-photographed and re-presented in Pākehā Pictures are taken from public and popular media like magazines,television,and street advertising.Pākehā as a demographic majority influence popular culture in Aotearoa New Zealand, designating this identity as normative.

Pākehā Pictures collates representations of Pākehā to render them as specific and distinct. The Competition 2011-2020 is a drawing that also conflates found media. This material is sourced from Art for awhi’s sake, a 2019 competition for artworks for the Wellington Police’s custody unit cells, The Parkin Drawing Prize Competition 2019, and the artist’s experiences with Police in 2019 and 2011.

Luke Shaw

Luke Shaw is a sound artist based in Ōtautahi Christchurch. His current research is focused on repurposing outmoded visual technologies into new sonic languages and articulating the relationship between sound and space through site specific interventions. Shaw graduated from Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury with a Masters of Fine Arts in 2020. Alongside his art practise, Shaw is one half of the guitar duo The Opawa 45s. His recent exhibitions include Domino Domino (2020), The Physics Room, and Sympathetic Resonance (2019— 2020), The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatū.

For the New Artists Show 2020, Shaw has generated a site-specific sound work for the corridor and stair-well space. In Elevator, Drop Me!, long-form improvised guitar performances recorded alongside P.Wits in the basement and gallery are transposed onto this transitory zone, exploring the potential for audible feedback to be re-articulated. Aurally, the architecture of the basement is relocated to the entrance of the corridor, while the gallery descends into the stairwell, enacting an immaterial blue-print for a reimagined corridor that condenses both architecture and duration. Through this sonic intervention, the boundaries of this site are expanded to encompass a much larger metaphysical area.

Ashleigh Taupaki

Ashleigh Taupaki (Ngāti Hako, Hauraki) has a sculptural practise that embodies a revival of indigenous narratives in Aotearoa. Her work draws on ideas of oral tradition, and Māori concepts of place-making as it pertains to self identification and ancestral association. Taupaki is currently undertaking her Masters at Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland, having completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) in 2019. Work by Taupaki has recently been included in the exhibitions WYF: Where You From (2020), Te Uru, and Fire-Lit Kettle (2020), Enjoy Contemporary Art Space. Taupaki is half of the artist duo VVAI with Jasmine Tuiā. She is also the co-curator of Window Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.

Manifesting the narratives and mana of Taupaki’s whakapapa, concrete forms of the Kaimai and Coromandel-Moehau mountain ranges are erected in the gallery, carved with Hauraki Māori narratives, connecting bodies of water, figures, and native plants. Named for the sanctuary where Taupaki’s ancestors settled after being displaced by tribal warfare and colonisation, Paeroa manifests a renowned Hauraki pepeha:

Ngā Puke ki Hauraki
Ka tarehua Te Aroha
E mihi ki te whenua
E tangi ana ki te tangata
Ko Te Aroha kei roto
Ko Moehau kei waho
Ko Tīkapa te moana
Ko Hauraki te whenua
Ko Marutūahu te tangata.

The Hills of Hauraki
Stand enshrouded in the Distance
I greet the land
I cry for the people
Te Aroha mountain inland
Moehau mountain to the coast
Tīkapa is the sea
Hauraki is the land
Marutūahu is the man.

Jasmine Tuiā

Jasmine Tuiā examines concepts of Moana practises in relation to indigenous Samoan narratives through the mediums of print, photography, moving image and tapa (Siapo) making. In 2019, Tuiā completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland, where she is currently undertaking her Masters. Work by the artist duo VVAI, which was formed by Tuiā alongside Ashleigh Taupaki, is included in the RM Women’s Moving Image Archive. Her most recent exhibitions include WTF: Where You From (2020), Te Uru, and Hauraki/Matautu Lefaga (2020), Window Gallery.

Lalaga i fala (weaving (of) the mat) consists of a video work depicting the processes of eco-dying and the embroidery of Samoan tapa alongside an installation in the main gallery space. Together, these elements amplify Moana practises through the spaces, stories, and memories held by Moana people; exhibiting Tuiā’s advocacy for maintaining and regenerating Indigenous knowledge.
Lalaga i fala formulates processes of Siapo making as embedded with cultural or genealogical knowledge, enmeshing the survival of these processes in post-colonial healing and the remembering, reciprocating, and reviving of Samoan values.

Louie Zalk-Neale

Louie Zalk-Neale (Pākehā, Ngāi Te Rangi) is a queer performance artist, costume designer and community organiser raised in Hokitika and now based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. They are currently completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Whiti o Rehua School of Art, Massey University. In 2019, Zalk-Neale presented an interactive performance in an opshop during Home Movies, an event hosted by CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand; and their adaptive queer costume-based performances were included in Performance Art Week Aotearoa in 2018. Alongside their art practice, Zalk-Neale is a facilitator of the artist run initiative MEANWHILE.

Kei Matairangi tōku kainga ināianei consists of an installation of found objects and a video work depicting a hypothetical durational performance by Zalk-Neale on Matairangi, a mountain on the edge of central Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Locating themselves as part of Matairangi’s ecology, Zalk-Neale appears fairy-sized, tossing around on the forest floor in an endless, restless sleep.

Like a paradoxically serene fever dream, this work denotes a complex convergence of queerness, visibility, materiality, costume, and whakapapa; both that of the artist and the landscape. By enacting a disruption of gender normality on this particular site, Zalk-Neale imagines how many under recorded histories of queer lives are embedded in this landscape, and throughout all of the locations we inhabit.