Fresh Gallery Otara was established in May 2006 by Manukau City Council in partnership with the Otara community in South Auckland. As the manager and driver of Fresh, I produced 66 exhibitions from 2006-2012; I invested my blood, sweat and tears into the Gallery and loved my job but in June 2012, I left the role. The then Curatorial / Gallery Assistant, Nicole Lim took the reigns and has overseen the Gallery’s recent refurbishment and significant expansion.
This week, Fresh Gallery Otara re-opens as a new space under new leadership. I have unwavering support and loyalty to Nicole Lim and I can’t wait to see her first show in the new space.
Juan Castillo is a Chilean artist who produced a multifaceted work called Minimal-Baroque in 2006 as part of his residency at what was then Manukau School of Visual Arts. He collaborated with Otara artist, Leilani Kake to film a series of vox pops at Fresh Gallery Otara, asking members of the community and visitors to Fresh, “What is Art?”
The video is a historical and fascinating insight into community perceptions of the word ‘art’ – I’m so glad Nicole has chosen to re-show it.
Vinesh Kumaran is a long-time collaborator and his input into Fresh Gallery Otara, SOUTH publication and the Pacific Arts Summits has been significant. His excellent series shot for the exhibition South Style (2009) is being re-shown and like Minimal-Baroque, exists as a historical record of South Auckland social history.
Fresh 2.0 is an exhibition that recognises the legacy of Fresh Gallery Otara, its significant relationships with Manukau Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Creative Arts (previously known as Manukau School of Visual Arts) and its enormous potential as a hub for creativity in the heart of grassroots South Auckland.
Great job, Nicole and go well, Fresh!