16 Oct 2021 – 20 Feb 2022
SOLO 2021 is a snapshot of contemporary art practice in Te Whanganui-a-Tara right here, right now.
Featuring five extraordinary new projects by Chris Ulutupu, Dianne Prince, Gabby O’Connor, Martin Awa Clarke Langdon and Peter Deckers.
We asked the artists what they would like to do—perhaps something they’ve been dreaming of making or been mulling over—and help them realise their project in an entire gallery space of their own.
SOLO 2021 is a biennial exhibition to showcase and support local Wellington artists by actively commissioning and presenting new work.
Martin Awa Clarke Langdon (Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Whāwhākia, Ngāti Hikairo, Kāi Tahu) invites visitors to step into wooden structures that contain earth with special connections to his whakapapa. Through a playful intervention, participants will see their feet beamed before them in larger than life projections, encouraging them to consider the different but interconnected ways we find meaning in landscapes that reflect our identities.
Peter Deckers: Despite having formed over thousands of years, a humble pebble on the beach has little monetary worth. Working with their inherent qualities, Peter Deckers morphs coastal stones and minerals with costume jewellery and discarded commercial items like computer hardware. Contrasting them side by side on rotating panels, the artist blurs the line between nature and artifice to question how value is perceived.
Chris Ulutupu (Samoan, Niuean, German): A woman takes a break from her walk in an empty quarry. While gathering branches to scatter on a white sheet laid on the ground, she begins to sing a Samoan aria. As she continues her song something magical begins to happen, connecting her to the island her and her voice are descended from.
Dianne Prince (Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Whātua): A bunker protects several tiny whare and a mighty tower. Protective tools like a gas mask and telescope help bolster the bunker’s defences, as a waka glides through the air above. Woven entirely by hand from muka, Dianne Prince’s ambitious installation is about knowing one’s mātauranga or place in the world. Her woven objects challenge dominant colonial narratives, and offer a sense of protection, resilience and mārohi (strength) against these destructive forces.
Gabby O’Connor sculpts with light, creating an immersive kaleidoscopic installation that coats your senses in colour. The work was originally made for the Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival in 2017, but has been updated and expanded here for its first ever showing in Aotearoa. Dance through it and drink it in—the work relies on the audience’s visual perception of light waves to bring it to life.
- Gabby O’Connor, All the Colours, All the Light (detail), 2017-2021. Photo courtesy of the artist
- Peter Deckers, Rings, 2021. Sterling silver, chrysoprase, opalite, pyrites, crystal quarts. Courtesy of the artist and Avid Gallery Wellington