What Would Aliens Make of Courtenay Place?

21 April 2011

That is just one of the questions Bryce Galloway accosted passersby with on Courtenay Place for the next light boxes exhibition.

Other questions included "what would you put on these panels?"; "what's the most important thing you did today?" and "have you ever broken anything on Courtenay Place?" The myriad works on display on the light boxes from early May combine a selection of responses together with a sketch of the participants.

Bryce went to Courtenay Place a few times a week over February and March, collecting more than 150 sketches and snippets of information from people, many of whom were only too happy to take part.

"Once people figured out I wasn't trying to sell something, they were much more receptive," says Bryce. "But it was pretty soul-destroying at times. As I stood on Courtenay Place with my clipboard of drawing paper, most pedestrians gave me a wide berth, presuming I wanted their money or their souls.

"Once I got people to stop, they were either annoyed or enchanted to be asked. And I'm sure it was tempting for them to take a peek at the kind of caricature I was feverishly drawing as they spoke. I didn't really want them to see it as my style is not always the most flattering."

Bryce will, however, put contact details on the panels for the exhibition should anyone recognise themselves and want a copy of the artwork.

For Bryce, this exhibition is an extension of the style he uses for his fanzine (self-published magazine) work. Since 2002, Incredibly Hot Sex with Hideous People has been published on a monthly basis, and more recently on a quarterly basis. Auckland art book publisher Clouds is soon to publish a book compiled of selections from the zines.  

Bryce graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts in 1992 and immediately after formed art / music group Wendyhouse. As well as music and fanzines, Bryce makes diaristic video works, one of which can now be viewed at the entrance to City Gallery. Since 2000, Bryce has been lecturing in Contemporary Art Studies, fanzine making and drawing at Massey University's School of Fine Arts.

Media are invited to attend the launch of Bryce Galloway's light box project at the Jimmy Bar on Thursday 5 May at 5.30pm.