Gorge on a visual feast of the sickeningly sweet.
From skull lollipops to disaster-inflected dessert commercials, this exhibition features a fascinating pick ‘n mix of artworks by contemporary international and Aotearoa-based artists who play with an aesthetic of sugary to explore dark and unsettling things that lurk beneath the candy-coated surface.
Turning away from the current gloomy climate of the world, the artists of Candy Coated instead embrace gooey pink bubblegum delights—perhaps responding to that urge to comfort ourselves with sweets during troubled times. Artists include Rachel Maclean (Scotland), Jon Noorlander (Sweden), Alison Nguyen (USA), Patrick Smith (Puerto Rico) and Elisa Barczak (Germany/NZ) alongside Aotearoa-based artists, Laura Duffy, Sam Duckor-Jones, Emily Crooks, and Wayne Youle (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whakaeke, Ngati Pākehā).
Candy Coated is part of The Dowse’s 50th Anniversary programme. Since its founding in 1971, The Dowse has demonstrated a strong tradition of bringing wide-ranging international art practices to local audiences. In the first decade alone, this included exhibitions on Russian art, Japanese ikebana, Australian Aboriginal art, and the photographs of American artist Diane Arbus (1979). More recently, exhibitions of international artists have included To The Moon: Laurie Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huang (2020) and The Language of Things: Meaning and Value in Contemporary Jewellery (2018).