• Close to Home

    Mixed media artists and collaborators Melanie and Ahilapalapa (Ahi) Rands have evaluated proposals for Close to Home, a group show featuring work by art students from Auckland’s five tertiary institutions. The mother and daughter curating team say Close to Home will draw upon notions of identity and environment. “We wanted the show to be informed by these elements since they are both threads in our city’s complex social fabric.”


    Social media will be used to promote Close to Home and encourage feedback and additional works will be contributed throughout the exhibition’s duration.   “Social media is a great way to get the word out, and a great tool for artists,” says Ahi. “We want to use it to get audiences involved and responding. We aim to get other artists and people outside Auckland, involved in Close to Home by contributing their works and responses.  This will give the project a life of its own beyond the actual exhibition.” Close to Home will open at the ST PAUL St Gallery, AUT University on 5 September, and run from 6 September to 18 October. This is the sixth year the gallery has hosted the Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust show,” says Charlotte Huddleston, director and curator for ST PAUL St Gallery,  “we recognise the value of providing a platform for emerging artists, and in the process, providing an exciting experience for audiences.” Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust manager Christina Jeffery describes the collaboration with the AUT venue as a win for all those involved. “Visual arts audiences justly regard ST PAUL St Gallery as a premium space for cutting edge contemporary work. Tautai is delighted to enlist two artist-curators for Close to Home so audiences will be able to see some of the most exciting contemporary work being produced by emerging artists in Aotearoa New Zealand.


    Tautai supports contemporary pacific art through actively fostering and maintaining links between contemporary pacific visual arts and the development of artists of Pacific heritage. Every year ST PAUL St Gallery hosts Tautai to support a curator to develop an exhibition with artists of pacific heritage who are currently attending art school in the Auckland area. Mother and daughter collaborators Melanie and Ahi Rands are artists of Hawaiian, Fijian and Scottish descent who live and work in Auckland. They often collaborate in performances, multi media shows and publications. Melanie Rands is a poet who also writes for ecostore, the company she founded with partner Malcolm in 1993. Ahilapalapa Rands is a mixed media artist and founding member of D.A.N.C.E. art club.


    Diana Aiono and Danielle Dooley (Unitec), Luisa Tora (MIT), John Vea, Darcell Apelu, Claudia Jowitt, Cora Wickliffe and Pilimi Manu (AUT), and Lucy ‘Aukafolau, Chris Ryan, Cordelle Feau, Sione Faletau, Caleb Satele, Salome Tanuvasa and Paipai Fulutusi (Elam). Curated by Melaine and Ahilapalapa Rands.


    6 September – 18 October 2013


    St Paul St Gallery, 40 St Paul St, Auckland.

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