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Wellington Harbour recreated in Liverpool

11 Sep 2012

This content is tagged as Visual arts .


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The Liverpool Biennial, the United Kingdom’s largest international contemporary art festival, is set to open on 15 September and will include the work of three talented New Zealand artists who will build a small version of Wellington harbour in the English port town.

David Bennewith, William Hsu, and Marnie Slater’s exhibition Watermarking will be presented alongside artists from Belo Horizonte, Copenhagen, Gdańsk, Hong Kong, Incheon, Lisbon, Makhachkala, Reykjavik, Oslo, Taipei and Vilniusin the Biennial’s collateral project ‘City States’, which will take place in the old Royal Mail Sorting Officenear Lime Street Station, Liverpool.

Working within the Biennial’s theme of ‘hospitality’ the three artists explore the capital city of Wellington’s identity as a harbour and its enduring relationship to the ocean.

Watermarking will feature a small-scale catch-pool of Wellington harbour: mimicking the salination levels of the city’s harbour water and using mud collected from the nearby Hutt River, the exhibition space will be filled with the essence of Wellington city.

Central to the exhibition is the production of a collaborative book that traces the journey from New Zealand back to the United Kingdom. It will begin its life in Wellington and develop cumulatively as it moves to Melbourne, Taipei and Rotterdam. At each stop along the way local printers will receive instructions from the artists including a request to print the colour of the ocean in their own harbour.

On arrival at its final destination of Liverpool, the printed material will be bound and given to the audience to dunk in “Wellington harbour”.

David Bennewith (b. 1977 Auckland, New Zealand) is a graphic designer based in Amsterdam. As well as undertaking commissioned work, he initiates research-orientated productions under the moniker Colophon. David earned a Master in typographic design from the Werkplaats Typografie, Arnhem in 2007.

William Hsu (b. 1979 Taipei, Taiwan) lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand as an artist, educator and as part of the team at RM Gallery and Projects. William completed his Bachelor of Visual Arts at Auckland University of Technology, Auckland in 2001.

Marnie Slater (b. 1980 Wellington, New Zealand) lives in Brussels, where she spends her days being an artist, editor and a member of the collaboration All the Cunning Stunts. Marnie graduated with her Master of Fine Arts from the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam in 2010.



David Bennewith, William Hsu and Marnie Slater

Curated by Melanie Oliver and Laura Preston

Liverpool Biennial 2012

15 September–25 November 2012