ARTSTATION GALLERY, Upstairs, 1 Ponsonby Road, Newton, Auckland 1011
8 MAY – 26 MAY 2013
Recreate, reuse, renew, recycle, reimagine.
“Over and Over is a collective examination and interpretation of what this Re- prefix can mean and become. An individuals life is an act of repetition from the small habits and interactions carried out every day to the more compelling events that are a part of all of us. This exhibition uses the act and process of recycling everyday materials, ideas and images to look at the way our personal, social and mental environments are a product of constant renewal, repetition and reinvention.”
Artists: Anna Sharman, Jeremy Hansen, Melanie Deacon, Priscilla Hunter
The opening night was a success, we received lovely sponsorship from Ti Tonics who provided our guests with tasty iced teas. Guests were also invited to take a wooden square the artists had made for free, stenciled, painted, carved and sewed blocks.
I chose to paint on recycled boxes from my personal recycling.
Over and Over Exhibition Overview
Recreate, reuse, renew, recycle, re-imagine. These are the foundations of the postmodern world and process. It is said that nothing is original, that everything has been done before. This is true in the sense that society and culture are built on the bones of the past. But this does not mean that the world today is a carbon copy of yesterday instead it is an evolution of what came before. Everything is recycled and repeated, from everyday objects and debris to ideas, cultures and the very building blocks of our universe. Over and Over plays with the postmodern process in a literal way; taking objects, ideas, materials and images that have been discarded, replaced and overlooked and recycling them through painting, sculpture and digital mediums to create a space that explores the way society interacts with its world.
Contemporary art is built upon a long history of reusing and repeating. “No poet, no artist, of any art has his complete meaning alone” (Elliot, T.S. 1921). Art is a pragmatic creature that always makes use of what it finds nearby. Art parallels life and is a reflection of its time. An idea may have been explored a thousand times over countless years, but that idea, piece of writing, music or art will always be original in its time. The cave man paints on the cave wall, the romantic uses emotion as muse and the postmodernist uses everything. Anything created by the human hand is just as much about the person viewing or making use of it as it is the actual thing itself. A person today is not the same as a person yesterday, a year ago or who lived long in the past. The object remains the same but the person never is, even an individual changes and evolves day to day, moment to moment and will never see the world the same way twice.
Humans are social creatures that like to be connected to those around them and are grounded in the moment through their links to the past. An object gains value through use, it could be used by many people once or one person many times but through use it becomes a bond between people or a marker of a point in time. Typical of this idea are heirlooms or hand-me-downs. A person often feels connected to their ancestors or historical roots via these objects that are passed down through families or found in antique stores. These objects become part of a person’s story and help shape an individual’s relation to their environment, culture and society. An objects importance can be measured by its historical / sentimental worth or its functional value. Art made with recognizable everyday objects is a way of denying the importance of traditional materials used in the creation of art. A recycled item is richer in history than something new which is ‘empty’ of history.
New Zealanders have long held a reputation for do-it-yourself jobs and fix ups and above all cherish their landscape. Throughout our communities there is a prevailing discussion around the environment and the growing unease from the rest of the world in regards to maintaining nature’s treasures. The historical background of New Zealand is also one of adaptation and making do with what is available. In using recycled materials the artists of ‘Over and Over’ are responding to the history, story and value that those materials have. In the current political climate it is contextually important for artists to maintain a sustainable practice. Society’s great thinkers have taught that it is becoming increasingly necessary to look back upon individual actions and the actions of others and readdress harmful habits in order to progress as a social species.
Over and Over invites the audience to look again at their surroundings, their repeated and recycled relationships, habits and actions that are a part of the every day. The hybrid assemblages of Over and Over encourage audiences to consider alternative ways of moving through and interacting with the spaces and environments they are surrounded by every day; enabling them to rethink the past and re-imagine the future. The objects, ideas and interactions that are a part of a person’s life take on meaning and importance because of their ever renewing history. An object is always more than the sum of its parts; it is also everything it has seen, been used for and has been a part of.