See Graphic Art in Motion at Toi Poneke Gallery

2 June 2009

What do David Bowie, e.e. cummings and tea towels have in common? They all have a part to play at an exhibition of graphic artworks, Fermi Paradox, by Wellington artist Tania Willis showing at Toi Poneke Gallery soon.

Tania has created a series of works with found objects as canvas - architectural paper, tea towels and pianola roll (the perforated paper used to activate the keys on a mechanical piano).

The tea towels are intricately decorated with what look like colourful abstract patterns, but the origin of their design is from David Bowie lyrics or e.e. cummings' poetry. Tania says when she was using cotton buds as painting instruments a few years ago, she got thinking about codes.

"I created this colour code to relate to the alphabet and started encrypting tunes like Changes and Life on Mars into my work. I've incorporated the code on to the tea towels with oil paint, and interesting systematic patterns have emerged," she says.

Tania will be working on a new design using architectural pens on a 7-metre-long roll of graph paper every day throughout the exhibition - visitors to the gallery are free to have a look at any stage. The paper will soon be covered in intricate monochromatic patterns.

"Rather than having an official opening, the exhibition will have a closing event where any art buyers can tell me what section of the canvas they would like to take home and enjoy. I will cut off any part of the strip they like on the night," says Tania.

Tania completed a Bachelor of Design at Auckland's Unitec two years ago before moving back to Wellington.

Fermi Paradox will run from 15 June until 12 July at Toi Poneke Gallery, 61 Abel Smith Street.