11 Sep 2012
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Original, inventive, challenging … These are the words curator Stuart Shepherd uses to describe the work of self-taught artists around New Zealand featuring in a national exhibition presented by Arts Access Aotearoa at Pataka Museum of Arts and Cultures in Porirua from 6 to 23 September.
Entitled Original Voices, the exhibition will be opened officially on Sunday 9 September by Darcy Nicholas, Director of Pataka. It includes work by artists from 17 creative spaces around the country. Sixty of the 300 works submitted were selected to line the walls of the Bottlecreek Gallery in Pataka. However, all of the works will be presented in a continuous slide show throughout the exhibition.
Creative spaces are community arts organisations where people who face barriers to participation can make art. The art produced by the artists in these spaces is contemporary, edgy and imaginative, Stuart says.
An art lecturer at Massey University until earlier this year, Stuart hopes that gallery visitors will open to the different “voices” of each artist. “You don’t need a degree to enjoy art. You need a confidence and an openness to appreciate the work and the different forms of expression.
Richard Benge, Executive Director of Arts Access Aotearoa, says Original Voices is an opportunity for people to see the vibrant, inventive art being produced by artists working from creative spaces around New Zealand.
“Having the exhibition at Pataka enables the work of these creative space artists to stand alongside other contemporary art,” he says. “Galleries such as Pataka can play a significant role in encouraging artistic diversity and building inclusive local communities.”
Stuart Shepherd has been promoting New Zealand self-taught art since 1991, when he first attended the New York Outsider Art Fair. He has marketed the work both here and internationally in New York and Paris – and now in Liège, Belgium, where he has curated an exhibition of four New Zealand self-taught artists, on until 9 September.
A public programme will include an art workshop by Marcel Baaijens (30 August); an artists talk (13 September); and a curators’ talk and panel discussion, moderated by art critic Mark Amery (16 September).
Participating creative spaces
The creative spaces whose artists are participating in the exhibition are:
Arts Access Aotearoa receives core funding from Creative New Zealand. The exhibition is also supported by Pataka Museum of Arts and Cultures and the Chartwell Trust.