INFLUX brings together diverse artworks that collectively push and pull our understanding of the Pacific from a perspective that is much larger than Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Tautai exhibition of tertiary students’ work opens at Auckland’s ST PAUL St Gallery, AUT on September 23 (until 28 October), and at Wellington’s PATAKA Art + Museum in 2017 (20 May-13 August).
INFLUX curator Ane Tonga says the exhibition reflects tertiary practice at a time when many artists begin to develop a sense of political agency.
“INFLUX marks a moment where student practices within an academic context find a renewed sense of purpose, embedded within their wider political and social field,” says Ane.
“Artists such as Jasmine Togo Brisby draw our attention to the legacy of colonialisation and the complexities of the South Sea Islander identity.
“Further provocations can be seen in work by Pati Solomona Tyrell which makes visible Pacific narratives of LGBTQI experiences.”
INFLUX also includes works by Jasmine Te Hira, John Vea, Nina Oberg Humphries, Valasi Leota-Seiuli, Shane Tu'ihalangingie, Christina Pataiali’i and Louisa Afoa, and other artists to be announced.
The eighth exhibition of tertiary students’ work presented by Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust, INFLUX is the first in a new biennial cycle that sees the exhibition open in Auckland in September 2016, then in Wellington next May – supported by an expanded public programme.
“I’m approaching this as an experienced artist and curator and as someone who, while studying at the Elam School of Fine Arts, participated in past tertiary exhibitions,” curator, artist and writer Ane says.
“This provides insight into how beneficial this experience is for students - as a platform into the art world and to work with a curator where they will form ideas and drivers in their practice that extend beyond the exhibition.
“Like many past exhibitors, these students will go on to shape, and push the boundaries of, contemporary art in Aotearoa New Zealand.”
Ane says that Tautai provides an important platform between tertiary studies and the arts sector, “it does this in a variety of ways, such as mentoring with senior artists and industry professionals, providing opportunities to curate and exhibit, and sharing its expansive networks across Aotearoa and further abroad”.
“Tautai has supported me through each of these avenues which have been crucial to my professional development as an artist and created inroads into curating as a profession. Different exhibition opportunities allowed me to work with curators and exhibit work early in my career.
“By the time I'd graduated from Elam, I already had an exhibition history, an understanding of gallery infrastructure, and even began to build my own networks.”
INFLUX of political agency
Auckland’s ST PAUL St Gallery, AUT September 23-28 October 2016
Wellington’s PATAKA Art + Museum 20 May-13 August 2017