Teachers are Doing It for Themselves

16 April 2009

A group of Wellington art teachers have found the time amid their hectic schedules to exhibit their own work at Toi Poneke Gallery from next Friday (24 April).

With twelve artists involved, Utopia / Dystopia covers a wide range of media - painting, photography, installation and sculpture. Each artist has responded to the notion of Utopia, as well as other aspects of existence.

Fiona Sullivan runs Artsight, a contemporary art education company based at Toi Pōneke Arts Centre. She initiated the exhibition with the support of the Wellington Art Teachers Association, and says 'Utopia' was an ideal title.

"It's a broad theme that allows the artists to interpret it in any way they choose, often in quite a personal way. We called the exhibition Utopia / Dystopia because one thing is often both at the same time.

"In my work for example, I chose the concept of place, and in particular airports as sites of condensed and heightened emotion. On the one hand, people greet each other with intense joy, and on the other hand, there are painful goodbyes. These paintings arose from a polaroid photographic series on airports and relates to an almost surreal period of dislocation in my life."

Angela Birch, Martin Butts, Tim Costello, John Denton, Eve Halliwell, Helen Lloyd, Shirley Kauter, Clive Kelly, Nikki Maetzig, Anshu Maholtra and Andrew Topp are also part of the collaboration.

Utopia / Dystopia opens at 5.00pm on 24 April at Toi Pōneke Gallery, 61 Abel Smith Street and will run until 22 May.