Toi Poneke Hits Fifth Year Head On

5 August 2010

Toi Poneke Arts Centre is five years old. To celebrate, 17 of our resident artists are putting on an exhibition, entitled Head On, from Wednesday 18 August.

The exhibition includes photography, painting, installation, costume making, illustration, graphic design and jewellery - and most of it's available to buy.

There will be new work from award-winning costume artist Cathy Tree Harris, and up-and-coming contemporary jewellers Jhana Millers and Vaune Mason - both winners at the New Zealand Jewellery show last year.

Painter Gary Peters' colourful geometric work will also feature. These paintings are based on the camouflage used by several nations during the First and Second World Wars. Called 'Razzle Dazzle' or - Dazzle painting', the geometric designs were painted onto ships to confuse the enemy about their size, shape and speed.

In the next few weeks, you may come across odd placements of white pages taped to the floor with black masking tape around the city. They are there to gather the dust, dirt and grime of thousands of people's marks on the world, which will all become part of an installation.

Lisa Martin will use these pages to form the base of her installation. Piled on top will be lots of chairs. Casting shadows on her canvases through the chairs, Lisa will take a special silver-point drawing tool and other media to the shadows and the grime, both before and during the exhibition. The silver marks will oxidise and darken, becoming an evolving part of the pattern.

Lisa's been leaving the canvases in all sorts of places. Schools have proven the most excited recipients of the canvases.

"Once the students find out what it's for, some of them go to the muddiest pool they can find, jump in it and make a strong mark on the paper. Which is more than I can say for careful adults, who carefully tiptoe around them."

Stephen A'Court's dance photography will grace the walls of the gallery once more. His exhibition last August, Body, was hugely successful - depicting the body as a sculptural work in itself.

Toi Pōneke Arts Centre was established by Wellington City Council in 2005 to house and support emerging Wellington artists. It has 3000sq m of space over a total of eight floors in two adjacent buildings. It has rooms for hire, offers courses, and provides space for people to meet and work.

More than 35 local artists have studios in the buildings, and a number of arts organisations have offices.

On Saturday 28 August (the day before Head On finishes) Toi Pōneke artists will open their studio doors so the public can meet them and see what they're working on. 

The exhibition opens at 5.30pm on Tuesday 17 August at Toi Pōneke Gallery, 61 Abel Smith Street - just up the road from Real Groovy. The gallery is open from 9.00am - 7.30pm on weekdays and from 10.00am - 4.00pm on weekends.