When: 20 September 2022, 12.00am - 31 January 2023, 12.00am
Where: Te Ara Ātea

In this exhibition five artists respond to the multi-use nature of Te Ara Ātea with an air of mischief and celebration. Visitors encounter works in unexpected places, as colour and form explode out from the wall, the ceiling, or the confines of glass cabinets.

Works by Miranda Parkes, Janna Van Hasselt, and Judy Darragh celebrate colour and materiality. Canvas and clay take on organic, bodily forms redefining traditional understandings of painting and ceramics. Loaned from the Lincoln University collection, Darragh’s Fluorescent Jellies (1996) sprout from the wall. A new commission from Darragh, Lunge, hangs from the ceiling in the Community Lounge. This strange chandelier forms a drooping silhouette with a collection of recycled plastics threatening to burst through the strained material.

Clara Wells and Turumeke Harrington have responded directly to this site in the development of their new works. Wells’ work spans 20 metres of curved wall from the main entrance. Animated digitally and by hand, organic forms swim and swell across an ethereal background. Informed by Ngāi te Ruahikihiki cultural narratives and taonga species such as pātiki (flounder) and tī kōuka (cabbage tree), Harrington’s work Hei Aho acts as a place marker. Like the tī kōuka tree was used by her Ngāi Tahu tīpuna for wayfinding across the Canterbury plains, Harrington’s work is a glowing beacon in the first-floor window of Te Ara Ātea.

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