Posts tagged ‘PIMPI’

Writing media releases is not a strength of mine. I’ve had the privilege of working with some excellent marketing heads in the past; they’ve taken my words and created digestible, broad appeal information that gives mainstream mana to projects which generally sit comfortably within the margins.

Producing a series of exhibitions in a non-conventional, central Auckland commercial space, with an agenda of selling art and engaging broad and diverse audiences, on a minimal budget, has forced me out of my comfort zone. These exhibitions couldn’t exist ‘comfortably within the margins’; they needed to be translated, positioned, re-valued… or did they?

As the PIMPI Winter Series has rolled out, the deeper purpose and complexity of what I set out to do has revealed itself to me day by day, online and off, in conversations and silent observations. In this space between commerce and creativity, the perceived margins and the centre, where skin is marked and hair is cut, the exhibitions are encountered largely unintentionally by wandering eyes, passers by, social media followers and waiting mates, spouses and children.

Partner in the PIMPI Winter Series, and owner of Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio, Stan Lolohea, has challenged and invigorated my thinking at every stage. Outside of the conventions of an art gallery, who are these shows for? And does increasing the net of general awareness create more genuine interest? Does an exhibition grow the scope, care and engagement between audiences, groups… does it facilitate understanding, conversation and debate across class, race, gender divides?

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It got deep at @bigwillielegacy_barber_tattoo tonight! 🌊 Stan, Leilani and I installed "That's not #PacificArt", the second group show I've curated for the #PIMPIWinterSeries featuring new and recent work by Faafeu Kapeneta, Ana Lakusa, Qingze Nan and Genevieve Pini. My mind is still short-circuiting around issues of who buys, appreciates, promotes (Pacific) art, the constructed spaces that (re)define meaning, value… The money making secrets and lies around what art / artists are seen to be successful… what's the value of producing Pacific art exhibitions in a barber and tattoo studio in Mt Eden, when will Leilani and I ever open our art gallery slash art school?! So much meat (beef?), so little time! Tomorrow night join us for a drink, good music by DJ Skeez, and a reeeeelax! No heavy chit chat, just a kick back… 6-8pm, 159 Mt Eden Road, Central Awkland 🍷

A post shared by #PIMPIknows (@pimpiknows) on

 

I’ve found producing these exhibitions so completely refreshing, a total love-project with no funding, but built on the back of a strong forgiving partnership (vinaka vakalevu Stan), and carried by my family, who have shared the load (malo ‘aupito Taka, Si’i, Lini, Tu’i). I had found myself working from funding round to funding round, writing late night proposals, planning, pitching, failing… I needed to get back to the grassroots of what I love to do and flex my curatorial muscle.

DIY curating is a full To Do list most days, but the hosting, promo, multiple trips to Warehouse Stationary, the framers, finding excellent deals on good wine, getting my earth-thrills from using corn-based bioplastic cups… I’ve loved it all! But mostly, it has been a privilege to gently hustle these 12 talented and clever artists, facilitating sales for many of them, instigating new work and fresh thinking.

I’m grateful for the partnerships, support and online engagement that has pushed out the potential of these shows. To those who have bought work – thank you, and to those who have given their time and skills: Lana Lopesi, Ralph Brown, Sean Atavenitia for South Auckland Photography, Sangeeta Singh, Leilani Kake – I’m deeply grateful. Thanks also to the residents of Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio, Duss, Damian and Willy – I’ve been totally inspired watching you work!

The Private Views / Opening receptions for the PIMPI Winter Series have been too cool. Eclectic, diverse audiences… family, friends, colleagues, locals, South Aucklanders too! To those who travel from near and far to support these artists – thank you so much! It means a lot. Check out this badass video by South Auckland Photography:

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Here’s an interview Stan and I did with Radio New Zealand reporter, Justin Gregory, aired on Friday 7 August:

 

And there’s still ONE MORE SHOW to go!

Please join us from 6pm on Thursday 27 August at Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio, 159 Mt Eden Road, central Auckland to mark the opening of Know what I mean, jellybean? featuring new and recent work by Leilani Kake, Niutuiatua Lemalu, Waiora Palalagi and Pati Solomona Tyrell – all work is for sale!

Click-Click-Follow on Instagram and Facebook for real time happenings!

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Front Cover

Things have been quiet on the blog front since Between Wind and Water, a residency and exhibition that took place in January at Enjoy Public Art Gallery in Wellington. This beautiful publication is in development and documents the whole thing with photos, papers, extended artist statements and drawings – the first print run is headed to the Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival Symposium in Melbourne next month where I’ll be delivering a keynote presentation entitled, Curating Pacific Spaces: Oceania and the White Cube.

[Front cover: Installation view, Naqalotu: Na qalo tu (2015) by Luisa Tora]

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PIMPI fan

We’re using the New Zealand crowdfunding platform, PledgeMe to raise some funds to cover costs associated with accommodation and transport during the Between Wind and Water residency at Enjoy Public Art Gallery next month!

Having been live for about three weeks, we’re now in the final hours. I’ve just added two PIMPI fans to the mix as rewards (NZ$75) and also the last three REAL TALK T-shirts (XL only) designed last year by Tepora Malo to support the #2girls1conference project (NZ$50). There are also signed photographic prints by Tanu Gago (NZ$200) and the option to contribute NZ$20 for an acknowledgement in the project publication.

The PledgeMe campaign closes at 6pm, Sunday 21 December! Every dollar, share, like and shout-out counts – much appreciated!

Click here to find out more + support!

 

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"Real Talk" by Tepora Malo

This is the design Leilani Kake and I have helped to develop with our excellent MIT Faculty of Creative Arts intern, Tepora Malo. Created at the Otara-based arts school, this design will be lovingly hand-printed by a team of volunteers using the Faculty’s commercial screen-printing facilities. Our aim is to produce a range of tote bags and t-shirts to support the #2girls1conference fundraising efforts to get Leilani and I to the 11th International Symposium of the Pacific Arts Association (PAA) in Canada this August.

Tepora is in the final year of her Bachelor of Creative Arts and working on the #2girls1conference fundraising campaign as part of a professional practice paper. We love her floral ‘island print’ mash-ups with leopard, zebra, text and cultural iconography and were keen to collaborate on a customised design for the campaign.

From our hashtags and conversations, stories and scribbles, Tepora came up with a design that we love a lot. Zebras, ‘island print’ and camouflage have been recurring themes in my art practice and Leilani has been planning a work using the idea of disruptive coloration for the past few years. Tepora was drawn to the term, REAL TALK, and that is exactly what we intend to take to the PAA!

Leilani and I will also have a stall at the GROUNDED: Festival of Sustainable Arts pop-up art market on Saturday 29 June at MIT Faculty of Creative Arts, 50 Lovegrove Crescent, Otara, South Auckland from 10am – 5pm. We’ll be selling t-shirts, totes and hand-made bits and pieces

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This video briefly documents the journey of Fijian-Maori visual artist Margaret Aull from her Te Awamutu studio in the Waikato to her solo exhibition at Papakura Art Gallery in South Auckland. I co-curated Margaret’s solo exhibition, Concealed Ancestors with Nigel Borell; the exhibition features sculpture and works on paper and runs until 23 February 2013. Read more here.

This video was shot and edited by Leilani Kake and produced as an archival record with support from the Pacific Arts Committee, Creative New Zealand and Toi o Manukau.

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The AMP Peoples Choice Scholarship is won every year by public vote. Over the years I’ve voted for authors and artists, poets and designers – the programme supports extraordinary kiwis doing great things and skilled Pacific creatives have often applied. So this year I’m giving it a go.

Every vote counts and voting is open to anyone with a Facebook account!

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