Art New Zealand

Art New Zealand Autumn 2018

New Zealand’s most respected and widely-read visual arts magazine, Art New Zealand presents an independent quarterly round-up of the visual arts in New Zealand, by the country’s best art writers.

New Zealand
Art New Zealand 2009 Ltd


dame cheryll sotheran (1945–2017)

I first met Cheryll Sotheran in 1978 during rehearsals for The Beaux’ Stratagem, a University of Auckland Theatre Workshop production directed by Mervyn Thompson. (I was the production designer.) Cheryll, already known for her impressive performances in the university’s Summer Shakespeare productions, played the female lead, Mrs Sullen, opposite Michael Neill, another fine actor. The play is a sexy romp and Cheryll, beautiful, witty and flirtatious as the role demands, commanded the stage with the force of her personality. Cheryll had completed her MA in English in 1969 at Auckland University. She went on to do further research in the art history department and taught there for several years. With Elizabeth Eastmond, she established the Women in Art paper in 1981. Rather than following the standard lecture and tutorial format, the…

francis pound (1948–2017)

Francis Pound died after a long illness on Sunday 15 October last year. His funeral at St Matthew-in-the-City, with eulogies, remembrances and readings from his brothers and friends, was a most moving occasion. A lot of people came, from many different parts and times of Francis’ life, testimony to his numerous friendships from student days in the 1960s to the present, as well as to his impact and influence as an art historian, visual arts writer, curator and teacher since the mid-1970s. Francis completed a BFA Hons at Elam in 1969, returned for an MFA in the early 1970s and later wrote a PhD (1991), his subject the cut-outs of Richard Killeen. He tutored in art history at Auckland University in 1976, taught for a couple of years at the Otago…


Auckland Benjamin Work Whenua Fonua ‘Enua Malcolm Smith Gallery 6 November–2 December IOANA GORDON-SMITH When I think of Benjamin Work’s practice, the richness of Tongan visual language comes to mind. The artist has derived from artefacts a rich taxonomy of patterns that offer both aesthetic and mnemonic potential. Whenua Fonua ‘Enua at Malcolm Smith Gallery offers an interesting spin on his practice. The solo exhibition takes place in the artist’s hometown—or close enough to, having been raised in Pakuranga. It is unsurprising then that place is a central focus. More interesting is the subsequent layering of local and migrated relationships to place. It is a heady dynamic, foreshadowed in the trilingual exhibition title. The exhibition centres around how place is indexed by different visual codes. There is a good range to consider: a wall…

cutting art

The ‘journey’, as an observing layman might put it, begins with a notebook, a spiral-bound ‘visual diary’. There are shelves of them in Barry Cleavin’s studio. He may go through one in a couple of weeks, or over months or days, but what happens with any is much the same, while each is vastly various. There is a pen and ink drawing on the recto of each page. With some there is no necessarily thematic drift, with others there may be a spate of attention to one object or motif. Most pages are dated, some have a word or two, or a sentence that seemed important to jot down. As there is usually no determining visual sequence, each turned page comes as a surprise. A recent notebook I pick up…

sissy that walk

Over the last 26 years, the Pacific Sisters have used their sisterhood to claim alternative futures, presents and pasts, by reimagining the spaces they inhabit. The worlds they created in warehouses, nightclubs, festivals and art museums was anything but small. Often described as the Pacific version of Andy Warhol’s Factory, this loose collective of Maori and Pacific artists, fashion designers, performers, musicians and jewellery makers has been hugely influential in asserting a Maori and Pacific presence in the country. Founded in 1992 by Suzanne Tamaki (Tuhoe), Niwhai Tupaea (Ngati Katoa) and Selina Forsyth (Samoan), the sisterhood grew to incorporate core members Rosanna Raymond ( NZ Samoan/ European), Ani O’Neill (Cook Islands/Irish), Jaunnie ‘Illohaia (Tongan), Lisa Reihana (Nga Puhi), Henry Taripo (Cook Islands) and Feeonaa Wall (NZ/Samoa/Sweden/Germany). Their definition of tino rangatiratanga…

jacqueline fahey

In January, in a crowded Christchurch Art Gallery auditorium, Jacqueline Fahey, celebrated feminist painter and author, known for her forthright, outspoken take on life and art, left the audience spellbound with candid flashes of brilliance. Something was in the air that night . . . was it a sense of (re)claiming? I suspect so. Fahey’s long career is well documented. Born into a well-educated Irish-Catholic family in Timaru, she survived Teschemakers convent school near Oamaru, and went on to study at Canterbury College School of Art under Russell Clark and Bill Sutton. Rebellious, she baulked at the gentility of Christchurch. Now, decades later, she is back where it all began with a remarkable first solo exhibition in the city. Informed by her socialist stance, Fahey’s talk was one of tantalising snippets: her…