Wynyard Quarter, Auckland[/caption]2014-04-18 12.23.02

While it was a pleasant day to wander along the Wynyard Quarter (sea, small children in the park, people, cafes, artysilos and old oil tanks) it was a stormy night when I arrived and this house looked suitably ravaged in the storm’s aftermath.

"Carlisle House" Ponsonby
“Carlisle House” Ponsonby

I passed it on my way home from seeing My country: Contemporary art from black Australia. I recommend this exhibition for many reasons.

Firstly, it’s huge. One hundred works by 40 artists. You need to do as I did and take a break.

Lemon/chocolate lamington stack at the cafe
Lemon/chocolate lamington stack at the cafe

Secondly, there is an enormous variety of works – digital/digital cartoon, images, videos, paintings, bags, sculpture, 3d moving image. Like this astonishing piece by Warwick Thornton, the artist on a cross that moves across his landscape.

Thirdly, although we have seen the works of the Papayuna artists and various snippets of Australian work from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities I have never seen such a range that covers so many aspects: history, pain, humour, racism, loss, anger, pity, stories, remembering.

And because these people, our neighbours, express ideas, feelings and thoughts that need to be heard. Not to mention fabulous art.

It’s difficult to note here what I loved most, but here’s a smattering:

    Tony Abert’s Sorry or rather Yrros
    Video images (Bindi Cole) of people saying 77 times “I forgive you”. It was so painful I could barely watch.
    A replica of a neck amulet given to mission people who exhibited or were deemed to be leaders. It’s called W38. by Dale Harding.
    An astonishing reworking of historical images where the image is recreated (I can’t find the link to this). You really need to watch this closely.
    A funny, provocative video (author unfound) that shows an Aboriginal man counselling white Australian youth
    Vincent Serico’s Carnarvon collision (Big map) 2006
    Archie Moore On a mission from god

And this is a useful review. But just go and see it. Really. The list is long, the work astonishing, thought-provoking and alarming as well as funny (or rather ironic) at times.

Previous relateds: Into the wilds



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