Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Dowling Street Studios presents: Laura Marsh & Hamish Jones

The Dowling Street Studios is a collection of artist's studios filling the old Hallensteins factory building in Dunedin. Hamish and I took on the challenge of filling the enormous 24m x 4m x 8m high space. I wanted to air out a few of my works from my two post-grad years at AUT, and I wanted to have them shown in The South Island.

I created a new work for the show, The Republic Of Aramoana, a series of 35 'collector cards', each with a photo of a different flagpole found standing proudly in the yard of the houses and cribs of Aramoana in January. At the time I could not imagine why such a huge percentage of a town's population would have flag poles! It was a very exciting discovery. Research uncovered the cause, that in 1980 Aramoana declared itself The Republic of Aramoana in order to defend itself against the New Zealand Government building an aluminium smelter where the town still stands gracefully today. Environmental concerns were a key factor in the case against a smelter. On the back of each of the cards is a diagram from a study done in the seventies on the special nature of the huge salt marsh out the back of Aramoana.

Bluff came about in 2009 after a road trip with my Mother and Grandmother to places in Southland that have significance to my family history. THe journey culminated in a visit to Mim's birth town, Bluff, (a name I've always thought humorous, and at the time was telling of my feelings towards how I was progressing through my Postgrad Dip year!) On a previous trip to The South Island I had purchased a woollen Mosgiel blanket from an op-shop; when I was a child my paternal Grandparents had lived in Mosgiel (a small town 20mins South of Dunedin, though the Mosgiel Woollen Co. is long gone). I reconfigured the rug into a banner, the material alluding to the significance of wool to my culture, and of course the form alluding to the fateful moments of Pakeha trading blankets for Maori land. Bringing these elements together in one piece solidifies a moment; catching the experience of a series of events connected over time, through me, into one form, a souvenir. By collecting these fragments of my personal, ancestral and cultural past together in a tangible form, Bluff creates a feeling of 'definitely' being part of this cultural landscape for me, disrupting the feelings of dislocation that I was attempting to address with my Masters project. With Bluff being just down the road, and Mosgiel (where the rug was originally made) being even closer, Bluff was a hit with the locals during this exhibition.

Excited to have the vertical space to hang Pleasure Grounds up again. 

Pleasure Grounds (detail) 2009

Monument was hung lower here than at Second Storey, allowing the fabric to become more involved with the floor.
Monument 2011

Placist 2010, Bluff 2009 & nationculturenation 2009.
Laura Marsh Was Here Souvenir 2010, I Was Here Postcard Series 2010
The South Island Flag
Hamish's work.
Hamish Jones - Black Sheep 2011, White Sheep 2011

Hamish Jones - Fossil 2011

Hamish Jones - Block Colour 2011

Hamish Jones - Deconstruction/Reconstruction 2011

Home Away From Home 2011, Pakeha Dream (dvd projection)  2010
Pakeha Dream ... , Display Case (Prayer for a Pakeha, Club Pakeha, More Maori) 2010
Display Case ... , Flagless City II 2009

Special thanks to Hamish for going hard at the mission; to Vanessa Cook for writing and sorting; to Anya Sinclair for organising; to Jamie Hanton at Blue Oyster Gallery for the lend of a projector; to Terry Brosnahan & John Cosgrove from Countrywide Magazine; to Viv and Gordon Jones, Graeme and Mum, and Dad...Thank you!