Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Margaret Lewis wins Style Pasifika 2010 Street Wear Award

Special congrats to Margaret Lewis for her winning Street Wear design in Westfield Style Pasifika 2010. Margaret has shared the story behind 'Rattle your Daggs' here . She also came runner-up in Resene Asia Pasifika with an entry called 'She was a Skater Girl' inspired by Avril Lavigne going Harajuku. Among Margaret's many talents she's also The Big Idea Marketing and Business Development Manager.

Waitemata Theatre Presents

Charlies Aunt
Opening Night: this Thursday September 30th at 7:30pm.
The season runs till October 9th.

They are also building the "Christmas Wonderland" set. Construction is planned from November 7th. The Wonderland is open to the public every evening from December 8th through till Christmas eve.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Get into The Big Room @ The Big Idea

Inaugural Digital Artist in Residence, Luke Munn is creating The Big Room - a room that explores our everyday work spaces. He describes The Big Room as “a fluctuating sonic space - a combination of concrete floors, motorway ambience, conversation snippets and ambience which is constantly shifting, and only possible through the online medium."

Luke invites anyone to contribute their own acoustic to this unique soundscape, by submitting a short audio recording and image of their room.

There’s no need for elaborate equipment. No technical skills or editing are required. It's about listening to your space and attempting to capture that - whether that's very quiet (silent), loud, chaotic, or 'uneventful'.

To record your room, you can use a variety of free and low-cost equipment. Windows users can utilize Sound Recorder software that comes pre-installed, while those on the Mac can bring up Garageband to also easily record. If you want to crop your audio, change the volume, or make other basic edits, He recommends Audacity - an open source, cross platform audio editor (

If you have a microphone, plug that in and start recording, or use the built-in microphone on your laptop. He'd also encourage you to listen to your space while you're recording - moving your hearing outwards to capture filtered sounds, hums, clicks, and vague tones that form the subtle sonic backdrop to your space. Then simply export the audio as WAV, AIFF, or MP3 format, and send it through.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

SubUrban Development

Corban Estate Arts Centre (CEAC) has been working with Waitakere City Council and Graffiti Art Crew TMD (The Most Dedicated) and have formally agreed that a wall at Corban Estate will be adopted by TMD for their high end artwork. The project titled SubUrban Development links to their project Urban Development at Rhubarb Lane in the central city.
TMD certainly lived up to their name as they painted their way through last weekend's storm. A spokesperson for the graf art crew, Askew says, "TMD took it to mothernature this past weekend and managed to pull off a pretty impressive wall if I don't say so myself. Fighting wind, cold and driving rain and armed with paint, towels and a never die attitude the guys got in there and smashed it like the champions they are..."
TMD is a group of urban artists at the top of their game in NZ, with an international reputation and linked to a worldwide network of graf artists.
Other graf artists wanting to be involved need to contact CEAC in the first instance.

Photos below are by Rimoni, for more see Rimoni's blog

Monday, September 20, 2010

Word Up! 2010 photos

Photos by Molly

- aspiring West Auckland Poet

The Latin Soldiers
- an exciting hip hop abd RnB group on the rise

- singing her origional works

-3DOM are an all family hip hop group, who make their own beats & songs & record them at their home studio.

As Colour Fades
-A West Auckland post-hardcore band. Their songs are written about issues that young people can relate to e.g. break-ups, fighting peer pressure, standing up for yourself... that sorta thing.

Samara and Milly
-performing their origional song

-Keen on words in this language and others

Matt and Adele
-a folky, singer songwritery duo of dreaded folk from Waitakere College, signing about life and stuff.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Summer School Tutor Interview Series - James Moore

James Moore

'Untitled' 2009 - 2010

CEAC staff member Kyla Mackenzie interviews James Moore in the lead-up to his Summer School class ‘Drawing Beyond the Boundaries’ in January 2011. Click HERE for a full description of James's class & enrolment details.

KM: You are holding a three day workshop, Drawing Beyond the Boundaries, 18 – 20 January 2011, at Corban Estate Art Centre in Henderson. How would you describe your approach to drawing in this class?

JM: It’s a broad and explorative approach, covering a wide range of media, techniques and perspectives on the notion of drawing.

KM: Paint is used in this class and you have taught both painting and drawing for 15 years. Are drawing and painting as categories in art potentially confusing?

JM: Categories of drawing and painting may have a large area of overlap. Rather than being confusing it just means that the categories shouldn’t be seen as being too separate. If I make a preparatory study in painted line then it can be a drawing and a painting.

KM: What do you love about teaching art?

JM: It is really satisfying to see students make progress in their work. It is powerful to help instill and support the self belief that students need to make keep making art.

KM: Is it hard to find the time for your own art?

JM: Yes. Sometimes. It can be frustrating to have the ideas and motivation but have other commitments keeping me from getting in to the studio… It’s a matter of grabbing the windows of opportunity when they come along and hope the opportunities coincide with some inspiration.

KM: I have asked painter Viki Garden if she considers painting to be “... a difficult pleasure”. Is a certain amount of struggle simply part of the creative process?

JM: Yes. I would describe it as a difficult pleasure. I generally run into problems in a painting sooner or later even with things quite well planned before hand. Problem solving is a big part of the art making process. A lot of people want to believe that it’s all feverish emotional outpouring and soul bearing split by a lightning bolt of inspiration.

KM: Some of your own work is montage-like. Objects are placed together within the frame creating intriguing combinations. Could you describe them as ‘picture-poems’?

JM: Yes in the sense that the combinations of elements in my work do not necessarily have literal narrative connections. They resonate in more oblique ways so yes it’s more like poetry than prose I guess.

KM: What are some of the things around you that inspire your own work?

JM: I’m interested in certain elements of popular culture at the moment. Computer games, still-frames from T.V. dramas, urban street art, street signage, shopping mall interiors.

KM: Do you keep a work book/diary with ideas on you?

JM: Yes. I have always kept a visual diary and encourage my students to do the same. It’s good to have your thoughts, doodles and pictures collated in one place.

KM: You’re also a musician. Does this have any influence on your visual art?

JM: Music and art work separately for me. When I am not teaching I am either doing a music project or painting project but generally not both. I feel I absolutely need to be doing both music and visual art and they complement each other rather than one being a direct influence on the other.

KM: Who are some of the artists, historical or contemporary, who inspire you?

JM: James Ensor, Francis Picabia, Anette Messager, Alex Katz, Neo Rauch, David Salle, Martin Kippenberger, Sigmar Polke, Bill Hammond, Andrew McLeod, John Pule, Joanna Margeret Paul, Julie Mehretu, Beatrize Milhazes.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Metonymy 2010 - forging new creative connections

CEAC Staff member Anne-Sophie Adelys photographed the opening of the Metonymy 2010 exhibition. Metonymy is on show at the Corban Estate Arts Centre Gallery until the 17th of October.

Click here for more information and other Metonymy events.

Quotes from the 2010 Metonymy selection panel.

"Some of the works in the show have a very simple and simplistic approach to the collaborative process with two ideas or concepts placed together or juxtaposed.

The more outstanding works in the exhibition shows that the collaboration has occurred at all stages from the initial ideas through the development of those idea and the production process,
culminating in an expanded work which has gained in complexity and density."

Joint comment by Panel - John Daly-Peoples, Simon Ingram, Riemke Ensing, Sam Sampson

"This is an unusual and innovative exhibition, where you can dig deep and discover diverse, sensitive, surprising and sometimes puzzling imagination at work in a wide and exciting range of media. I found these collaborations an enticement for the mind, eye and ear ."
- Riemke Ensing (one of the Panel)

CEAC Director Martin Sutcliffe at the Metonymy exhibition opening

'Miss Communication-Mr Communication' Jeong Yeung and Callum Stembridge

'Erstwhile' Kate Sellars and Penny Somervaille

'Erstwhile' (detail)

'Layers of cold' Natalie Rogers and Maddy King

'Human Archeology' Paul Woodruffe and Renee Liang

'Isis' John Eaden and Jane Griffin

'Pupa' Alice Wong and Julie Ryan

'Pathways we carry with us' Isla Osborne and Miriam Barr

'Blind' Dianne Rimmer and Rata Gordon

'All our lovely ladies' Ian Peter Weston and Janet Charman

'The tobacco tin and other distractions' Hana De Roo and Rosetta Allan

'Omphalos' Paul Brunton and Michalia Arathimos

Anne-Sophie Adelys and Helen Sword

Viewing 'The Sound of Silence' Erin Gaffney and Leigh Fitzjames

Renee Liang with her work 'Human Archeology'

Summer School 2011 Tutor Interview Series - Viky Garden

'New World Virtues' 2007
Oil/acrylic on jute
83.5 x 63.5cm

CEAC staff member Kyla Mackenzie interviews Viky Garden in the lead-up to her Summer School class ‘It’s All About You’ in January 2011. Click HERE for a full description of Viky's class & enrolment details.

KM: How long has your work been preoccupied with autobiographical element and the
figure – referenced from yourself?

VG: There’s a self portrait on my wall that was in my fifth form art folder – that’s
going back almost 35 years now….

KM: Your recent works, from 2009 and 2010 are quite different in effect. Rather than frontal portraits with exaggerated features, in the works from ‘nature/nurture’, a young girlish figure in black-silhouetted profile features in various allegorical scenarios. Did anything in particular spur this approach?

VG: I’m forever noting things in my workbook, drawing compositional sketches etc., because I’m always looking for new ways to represent the figurative within a narrative context. When I drew the silhouette, I knew that it would add more abstraction and ambiguity (even though it’s still my profile). The initial idea came from a profile in Arabesque (2006), which I adapted into the Passenger series (2009). While playing with ideas for Nature/Nurture (2010), I drew inspiration from the Pahiatua girls from Any Given Day (2002). I enjoy having a large body of work that I can constantly reference, and from which develop a unique language and individual set of motifs.

Private collection
'Self Portrait - Some trace of her' 2009
Oil/acrylic on hessian
800 x 600mm

Huia I
oil/acrylic on linen
50 x 70cm

KM: You have explored younger 'selves' previously in self-portraiture, such as ‘Seven”. What does ‘girlhood’ mean for you?

VG: It’s a very, very vulnerable time, a time of absorbing and grasping ideas, of
innocence and fragility. In Nature/Nurture, I have been exploring notions of merit and value, juxtaposing youthful innocence against the implicit presence of societal violence and sexualisation, so it was crucial to use a very young protagonist for this series to give emphasis to vulnerability, impressionability and the potential for corruptibility.

KM: What do red lipsticked lips mean for you?

VG: Lipstick is face-paint, a feminine tool. I use it in a number of ways, partly to
convey or accentuate sadness, irony, and artifice, but also to suggest individual projection and power.

KM: Familiarity breeds contempt, as the saying goes. Does this have any relevance to
your own repeated use of your face and body in your works?

VG: Not at all. If an idea is strong, I’m like a bull at a gate. It’s more about how to use her than me.

With regard to her. I start a composition that has a portraiture element to it -
I include myself within the context of the narrative. In the process of doing that, the portrait becomes more a figurative element, a slight disassociation that somehow allows both intimate reference (subjective 'the me') but also universal resonance (objective 'the her'). Which is why when other women (in particular) when viewing a painting, often see themselves.
I don't think they're buying a portrait of me. I've
had experiences (one in particular) where two women came to one of my shows and one woman broke down in front of a painting. It wasn't because she saw me, she saw herself.

All the paintings become 'my girls' - when I see a work I've not seen for a while, I
think, god, isn't she lovely!

KM: I've heard that 'good' models are hard to find. The artist's face is often the most convenient subject and talking to yourself is optional... Do you ever get asked to produce portraits of others?

VG: Talking to myself is mandatory, not optional. I have been asked to paint
commissions, however, painting someone else would mean interrupting a process that I have worked at for nearly twenty years. When I am painting, my mind is already working out how to move and expand (or reduce) the idea – so I’m already prepping the next canvas in my head and have worked in this way for years now - very much to the exclusion of all else. I’m rather protective of the way I work because ideas are fragile things and often the strength of a body of work is in the continuation of various thematic threads. It is very difficult to apply or impose these personal thematic strains on someone else, someone with their own set of expectations.

KM: You have gained a strong following, particularly over the last decade, and your
works have a depth, truth and integrity. Is painting for you, as Australian painter Brett Whitely put it, ‘a difficult pleasure’?

VG: Very much. It’s a difficult pleasure on various levels. I live in a city that
has a high cost of living and I paint full time, so I’m dependent on my work selling. The compromised lifestyle isn’t something I’d recommend in a hurry – not when you consider that inspired work has to come from it. Facing a blank canvas is daunting enough, then comes the time - the very alone time – of creating art. When it works, it’s a moment of personal celebration.

KM: As a young painter, you were tutored by another painter, Vivian Lynn. She later
became Lecturer of Drawing and Design, Schools of Architecture and Design, Victoria University. Did anything about her approach encourage your own hard edged painting style or did that evolve much later?

VG: Vivian tutored me for five years during my mid-teens. I am immensely grateful
for that time with her. They were formative years and I was in the best of hands. Her dedicated, disciplined and focused approach is a constant inspiration to me. An artist for nearly sixty years, Vivian’s work is as topical, relevant and vital as when I first met her. I began painting when I was 27 and my practice is drawn primarily from my time with her.

KM: Who are some artists and or artworks that have impacted on you and your work in
some way?

VG: Many artists and artworks have stopped me in my tracks. Shani Rhys James is a Welsh painter who also uses herself within a narrative framework. Marianne Kolb paints dark figurative studies that I sense are autobiographical. I’m also very passionate about the work of Ben Nicholson and Paul Nash. Their work has a high level of emotional intelligence, more feminine in expression than masculine. The sculptural work of Beth Cavener Stichter is inspiring. Another artist who greatly impresses me is Valerio Adami. My work is vastly different to his, but I completely understand his use of line and colour. His sense of composition is flawless.

KM: How do you recognise long-term potential and drive in the work of students and
emerging artists?

VG: If someone is able to articulate thoughts visually, devoid of superficiality
(unless that’s their intent and they express it well), then that’s a good place to start. Much depends upon motivation, discipline, good fortune and good timing. I am very interested in subtext (which I apply to my own work), and I look for it in the work of others. I’m attracted to art with conceptual depth, a sense of mystery and modesty – these are a few of the things I look for that speak to me about the inherent individual quality of an artist.

KM: Your paintings are instantly recognizable as yours. How do you encourage others painting their self-portraits to find their own iconography and painting style?

VG: I think if I can get others to feel relaxed with what they are trying to do, then
something will come of it – perhaps not even in the week that we have together. That’s fine. The pressure can be immense, a blank canvas can be intimidating, let alone a mirror in unflattering light. I simply want students to realize that painting is a process, and that observing oneself for long periods can be very rewarding.

KM: What are your thoughts on University art schools?

VG: This is a difficult one for me to answer because I didn’t have the opportunity to
attend an art school. However, after twenty years as an exhibiting artist, I’m aware that had I been in the class of so-and-so or under the tutelage of whomever, it would have been very handy for dealers, funding councils etc., enabling them to more easily contextualise my work. It’s a privilege to be able to spend time within an arts facility, and to build up one’s practice without the pressure of exhibiting each year and having to make a living.

KM: Your upcoming class on self-portraiture, ‘It’s All About You’ at Corban Estate Art Centre in Henderson, runs from 17 to 21 January 2011. Teaching painting must be quite a contrast to the solitary activity of painting in your studio. What are your thoughts on this?

VG: Yes, it’s vastly different. I please myself in my own studio, so the discipline
of having to achieve something within a strict timeframe is going to be interesting.

KM: You have taught in this capacity before – what do you most enjoy about guiding
other painters?

VG: I love seeing people quietly bloom. It can be very poignant. Unlike still life
or landscape painting, the trust and courage required to approach this type of self-examination cannot be underestimated. Seeing what one is capable of can be very revealing, but it can also be a very rewarding experience.

KM: What sorts of ideas and approaches should your students bring to their class in

VG: The only thing I would suggest is to leave the Greek chorus of nay-sayers at
home. Everyone will come with their own ideas, aspirations and hang-ups, so if I can get on track with each person and support and encourage them, then I’ll be more than happy, and hopefully they’ll enjoy what they’re doing and not feel it’s an examination.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Photos from our free workshops for 15 – 18 year olds

Held over 2 weekends in mid-August at the Corban Estate Arts Centre, in association with the Going West Books and Writers Festival.

Track - 'REMIND ME'
Ivoviana aka Kid Ivo, Ioane Ioane aka YUNGS, Filo Teofilo aka Applesauce, Irae Partsch aka Lycan

(track will be uploaded soon)
Tory Boyce aka TOARIS, Joe Lomu aka illegal, Junior Tautogia aka JUNZ

(track will be uploaded soon)

STREET ART CLASS with Tutor Andy Tolhurst.

Andy discussing designs with one of his students.

HIP HOP DANCE CLASS with tutor Taupuhi Toki (centre front) Ashlea Williams, Robert Rohrig, Tamihana Arama


Dance performance

HIP HOP SONGWRITING & PRODUCTION with Tutor Matthew Salapu (aka Anonymouz)

Students recording for their compilation CD

POETRY AND SPOKEN WORD CLASS with Tutor Courtney Meredith

SONGWRITING CLASS with Tutor Paul Toilalo