Oh, the Humanity!

17 February 2012

Toi Poneke Gallery and Fringe Festival have teamed up to bring together two exciting and slightly obsessive exhibitions, which are sure to get people talking.

Both exhibitions explore what it is to be human - one through cartoon observations and the other through more abstract means of sculpture.

In 'The Amazing BraPants!', Pam Brabants takes the perspective of narrator and throws the viewer into the trivial details, secret lives and phobias of various subcultures, social misfits and so-called 'ordinary' folk.

Brabants says there's a documentary element to her pencil drawings.

"I use the humour and language of comics as a way of talking about difficult subjects and playing with social taboos in a subversive way," she says.

Brabants adds that the title for the exhibition comes from a nickname she was given as a child.

"The kids at school would often poke fun at my surname as it sounded like underwear. I didn't like it at the time but as an adult I embraced it because it's a practical and memorable way of explaining how to spell my name!"

Douglas Crane's exhibition, 'Tutti Time', uses hundreds of painted polystyrene balls clustered onto ordinary objects like sinks, tables, toilets and boxes. Douglas links the balls to thought processes, while the objects represent everyday life.

"The colours and size of the balls are symbolic. They are used to suggest human thoughts. For example white is linked to purity, cleanliness, and neutrality."

Crane uses the Italian word 'tutti' - meaning  'all our thoughts together' - for the show's title to try and show a range of thoughts and ideas about the human condition.

"I want to explore what it takes to be human and to realise one's own humanity"

To further emphasise the idea of a community of thoughts or people, Crane's individual sculptures will grow into an installation that references a garden.

"Gardens are about birth, growth, development and ultimately death and regeneration, as is the process of our thoughts and those within communities," says Crane.

Douglas Crane will give an artist's talk on Saturday 3 March, from 2-3pm.

Pam Brabants will give a slide show and artist's talk on Saturday 10 March, from 2.00-3.00pm.

'The Amazing BraPants!' and 'Tutti Time' is open from Friday 24 February-Saturday 17 March at Toi Pōneke Gallery, 61 Abel Smith Street.