2006 Artist in Residence
Manukau School of Visual Arts
During his residency, Juan Castillo visited Fresh Gallery Otara and found an important component of his his project, “Minimal-Baroque”. For Juan, Fresh Gallery Otara represented a ‘peoples’ gallery’, where the local Otara community has free access to contemporary visual arts in a safe and comfortable community enivironment. Collaborating with Otara video installation artist, Leilani Kake, a series of interviews was conducted between 10-17th August 2006, asking Gallery goers, “What does ART mean for you?”
The interviews confidently illustrated the idea that art is defined by people/individuals and not/should not be defined/prescribed by institutions. From ‘art is.. graffiti/knitting/singing/rapping/music videos/poetry…’ to more philosophical approaches, specifically within Pacific sociological contexts where ‘art is part of life/growing up/displays cultural understanding’, the interviews were enlightening, and an amazing project to take place at Fresh Gallery Otara helping to develop community ownership and participation in the Gallery and visual arts in general.
The second stage of the project was the projection of the interviews on the rear of a hired loading truck. The truck was driven from South to Central Auckland, parking at important civic sites like the Auckland Museum and Auckland Art Gallery. In darkness, the voices of Fresh Gallery Otara gallery goers telling the world what art is, coming out of the glowing loading truck was quite sublime.
The completed visual outcome, a video installation featuring the interviews and footage of the truck, and large scale painting using tea on calico, featuring Maori place names, maps and portraits of interviewees, was exhibited at two locations: Fresh Gallery Otara and St Paul St Gallery. Juan’s Fresh Gallery Otara installation was gifted to the Gallery and is the inaugural work in the Fresh Gallery Otara Art Collection!
Ema & Leilani farewelling Juan
“Manu(kar) Whale Project”
2005 Artist in Residence
Manukau School of Visual Arts
Launching the Manu(kar) Whale Car at the Otara Shopping Centre
Art Takeaway (2005)
Art Takeaway was a 400 edition exhibition in print disseminated at the Otara Flea Market in May 2005. Artists featured: Leilani Kake, Jacob Su’a, Nooroa Tapuni, Elisabeth Alani, Genevieve Pini and Grace Lazaro.
Art Takeaway was covered by Tagata Pasifika (TVNZ) and funded by Manukau Institute of Technology Student Services.
The Bag Project (2005)
Otahuhu, South Auckland
The Bag Project was a collaboration between Melani Kirkwood Kahi, Melissa Cole, Yazma Smith and Ema Tavola. The artists worked individually on ten pieces of uniformly sized pieces of canvas each, which were then sewn into bags, displayed in the exhibition Mana Wahine 2005 at Duende, Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand in May 2005 for Mana Wahine Week.
As an investigation of value systems in Fine Arts, associated with canvas as the highest currency in Fine Art versus functionality, stitch and sewing, ‘craft’ and women’s art, this project aimed to draw the genderised nature of Fine Arts value systems into the spotlight.
My bags were studies of genderised symbols such as the stag and Fijian war clubs.
And Grace (above) which was a happy experiment, that now belongs to Nia-val Ngaro.
Read more about Mana Wahine 2005 and The Bag Project on the