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Strange and ephemeral at Blue Oyster

4 Mar 2011

This content is tagged as Visual arts .

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Strange creatures, suitcases of trees, and pockets filled with expanding foam will fill the Blue Oyster Project Art Space, in Dunedin, from March 8.

The three new exhibitions that open next week are Andy Leleisi'uao's Arytipidal, Colleen Altagracia's The Fullness of Empty Pockets, and Clare Fleming's At once we are rootless and harbouring, floating on an inland sea (I am from here).

Arytipidal

Mysterious black and red creatures will come to life, transforming from paintings on the wall into 3D creations, in Andy Leleisi'uao's exhibition Arytipidal.

Leleisi'uao refers to his imaginary creatures as captured 'cryptids', which are creatures that exist although there is no scientific or factual evidence to support their existence – like the Loch Ness Monster, Sasquatch and Yeti.

Auckland-based Leleisi'uao is best known for his paintings. As a New Zealand-born, Samoan artist, his early work was noted for its critique of the social, cultural, and political stereotypes and realities of Samoans in New Zealand. More recently his work has become more playful and it is this angle he is taking in Arytipidal.

The Fullness of Empty Pockets

Expanding casting foam that fills and then sets in people's empty clothing pockets whilst being worn, moulding to their body shape, is the central ingredient in Colleen Altagracia's exhibition The Fullness of Empty Pockets.

Altagracia's interest in seemingly inconsequential actions, and then reactions, has led her initially to explore bubbles, such as bubble-gum and soap bubbles, and more recently the use of casting foam. One of the works in the exhibition is a DVD showing the process of people having their pockets filled with the foam. She will also perform the work on March 22 as part of the Dunedin Fringe Festival performance series.

Along with the DVD the exhibition will include an installation made of hand knotted facial tissues, a sculpture made from one of the pieces of clothing worn in the DVD which appears to have been sculpted on the body, and drawings that explore the idea of drawing as an action.

At once we are rootless and harbouring, floating on an inland sea (I am from here)

Suitcases, trees, movers' blankets and sound make up the elements in Clare Fleming's work At once we are rootless and harbouring, floating on an inland sea (I am from here), where she combines the personal with the political.

As someone who lived in many countries while she was growing up, and more recently choosing to settle in New Zealand, Fleming says she struggles with the idea of home and place and in locating where she belongs.

"I am becoming more comfortable in some ways with the idea of not having a place, but there is still the desire to be connected. I think this feeling of placelessness and disconnection is something that most migrants feel, but is also something inherent within the notion of belonging for a citizen of a colonial country like New Zealand," she says.

Fleming's installation will feature suitcase 'boats', with trees made from recycled felt movers' blankets growing through them. A sound component will mix the ocean, violin and her own voice to create a kind of lament.

 

Blue Oyster Art Project Space | www.blueoyster.org.nz | Ph 03 479 0197
Basement, 24b Moray Place | PO Box 5903, Dunedin 9058
Gallery hours: Tuesday–Friday 11am–5pm, Saturday 12pm–3pm