Hawkes Bay Spring Trunk Show, @THE CRAGGY RANGE LODGE

 
 

Hawkes Bay Spring Trunk Show, @THE CRAGGY RANGE LODGE

Who

Hawkes Bay Spring Trunk Show by Fourth St, Muse Boutique & INÉS Store

When

2 November 2020

Where

The Craggy Range Lodge, Craggy Range, Hawkes Bay, NZ

What

Fourth St. joins friends Muse Boutique and INÉS Store in Hawkes Bay to showcase a curated edit of their spring collections. Expect an edit of hand picked homewares, coveted international fashion and high performance skincare from around the globe.

GETTING THERE 
The Lodge is a short stroll from the main parking and drop off area. Leave your car parked and enjoy wandering through the vines. 

AFTER 
We welcome guests to visit the restaurant and enjoy a complimentary glass of Craggy Range wine on us. Please note, bookings to the restaurant are essential. 
FOURTH-ST.COM

Kāryn Taylor, @JHANA MILLERS

 
 

Kāryn Taylor, @JHANA MILLERS

Who

Impossible Logic by Kāryn Taylor

When

5 November – 28 November 2020

Where

Jhana Millers Gallery, Level 1, Mibar Building, 85 Victoria St, Wellington

What

Kāryn Taylor manipulates materials, light, form and shadow to challenge our perception of the structures that ground our reality. Her practice is informed by geometric abstraction and stems from her interest in quantum physics and how all is not as it seems — “we are wandering around in an illusory world”. Kāryn is interested in the idea that we are twisting reality on a moment-by-moment basis. Are we creating our world by consciousness alone, as quantum physics seems to suggest? We already know that everything is made up of energy and a lot of empty space, so why or how are objects so convincingly solid?

To Kāryn, geometric abstraction is a language that has the ability to express complicated non-sensical ideas in a more logical way. She feels that geometry, along with colour, has a strong and clear energy structure, a kind of imbedded coding that the viewer can pick up on at some level.

There will be a range of works in Impossible Logic, including self-illuminating light boxes, shadow boxes and multi-dimensional drawings.

The self-illuminating light boxes are intense in colour and their glowing lines of light defy logic, glowing without power, convincing many that there must be some kind of hidden mechanism or light source. The shadow boxes are more subtle and ephemeral; they use shades of grey to elicit 3 dimensional geometric forms. The multi-dimensional drawings are made up of painted lines, rods protruding from the wall and animated projection — combining moving and static lines in an attempt to push the work beyond 3 dimensions.

Kāryn holds an MFA from the Elam School of Art, University of Auckland, and a BFA from Massey University, Wellington. Her work has been exhibited widely throughout New Zealand and Australia, most recently at Sydney Contemporary Presents 2020. In 2017 she was included in Personal Structures, Pallazo Mora, Pallazo Bembo, Venice, Italy and at Art-Athina Contemporary Art Fair, Faliron Pavilion, Athens, Greece. She was a finalist for the Fulbright Wallace Award, 2018 and received a Merit at the Parkin Drawing Prize, 2017.

JHANAMILLERS.COM

Vertigo by Kāryn Taylor, 2020.

Star Gossage, Christina Pataialii, Kathy Ramsay, Salome Tanuvasa, @TIMMELVILLE

 
 

Star Gossage, Christina Pataialii, Kathy Ramsay, Salome Tanuvasa, @TIMMELVILLE

Who

This is Tomorrow by Star Gossage, Christina Pataialii, Kathy Ramsay, Salome Tanuvasa

When

4 November – 28 November 2020

Where

TIMMELVILLE, 4 Winchester St, Grey Lynn, Auckland

What

When an artist has a cultural background or ethnicity that is ‘other’, or even a gender that is not male, it can sometimes become their defining label.

In fact, there’s often an expectation that cultural identity will be at the centre of these artists’ practices.

But is this helpful? Or even fair?

On the one hand, in a crowded art world, it could be argued that ‘otherness’ is an advantage since it differentiates non-European artists from the Pakeha majority. 

But on the other, if an artist is being defined by the narrative of their cultural label rather than by their artistic qualities isn’t this a career obstacle?

It is an interesting aspect of the art world that viewers and collectors will sometimes expect a Samoan or Tongan artist to make art about the Pacific … or that a Maori artist’s paintings will feature koru. But shouldn’t it be the artist’s decision to make whatever work they’re inspired to make?

In an attempt to open a line of discussion Tim Melville is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings by four female artists of Samoan, Aboriginal, Tongan, European and Maori descent: Star Gossage, Christina Pataialii, Kathy Ramsay and Salome Tanuvasa.

 

TIMMELVILLE.COM

Untitled by Salome Tanuvasa, 2020.

ART 101: Project Row Houses

 
 
 
 
 
 

ART 101: Project Row Houses

Written by Sabina Sysantos

Photography Supplied by Project Row Houses

Exploring Project Row Houses — the artist community that helped save Black history from being erased.

In 1993, a group of seven Black artists bought a block of shotgun houses in Third Ward to protect it against the gentrification of Houston, Texas. James Bettison, Bert Long Jr., Jesse Lott, Rick Lowe, Floyd Newsum, Bert Samples, and George Smith purchased and refurbished a block of 22 shotguns with the intention of providing a safe space for members of underrepresented communities to share resources and build support.  

Shotgun houses are narrow buildings (usually no more than four metres wide) with rooms arranged one behind the other and a door at each end. They are believed to have gotten their name from the idea that if a bullet shot from the front door, it would pass through each room of the house and exit through the back door without hitting anything. Shotguns were the most popular style of house in the Southern United States from the end of the American Civil War through the 1920s.

The artists saved the shotguns from being destroyed, as preserving these buildings meant preserving Black history and culture. Where others saw poverty, the artists believed in the potential to form a community based around creativity. Project Row Houses was established in one of Houston’s oldest African-American neighbourhoods, with the intention of exploring how art could be a resource to a community and catalyst for social transformation. 

In its initial stages, the project primarily housed single mothers that were artists who needed the resources and support for their work to flourish in the ways it deserved. The idea was to bring together groups and pool the resources of artists, young mothers, small businesses, and Third Ward Residents to allow for black people to carve out their own space in the art world. 

Nearly three decades on, and the Houses continue to welcome marginalised groups to create and present their art. The ethos of Project Row Houses is to support these people and their ideas, so that they may be provided with the tools and capacity to then do the same for others. It stems from Joseph Beuys’ concept of art as “social sculpture,” the idea that art is about its potential to transform society. 

The work of Project Row Houses has allowed for representation to exist in a world of cultural arts institutions whose systems inherently lack opportunities for people who are not white men. By highlighting the importance of community, the Houses do away with the idea of the “genius artist” as a god-like figure and counteract the ideas of art as inaccessible. 

Project Row Houses reaffirms how valuable these celebrations of African-American art, history, and culture are to society. As this year’s events have further proven the importance of African-American people to dictate their own narratives, the Houses work as a cultural artefact of Blackness and the South that work to keep their stories alive.

PROJECTROWHOUSES.ORG

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Be a part Georgia Alice’s exclusive fashion club with SSENSE

 
 
 
 
 
 

Be a part Georgia Alice’s exclusive fashion club with SSENSE

Written by Adam Bryce

Photographed by Hannah Scott-Stevenson

Styled by Bridie Gilbert

Full of unexpected twists and turns, one of New Zealand’s best fashion brands release a highly-collectable capsule collection.

Back in the day it was Barneys, then it was Colette, then Net-a-Porter. Now? SSENSE is the retailer of the moment and an INDEX favourite, Georgia Alice (which has been included on their brand list roster for a few seasons), have just released an SSENSE-exclusive capsule collection.

Georgia Currie, the designer at the helm, joins the club only a few others have managed to enter, joining fashion elite such as Random Identities’ Stefano Pilati, Off-White’s Virgil Abloh and Martin Margiela.

The collection is awash with purples and greys, browns and pale blues — captured in a sea of satin and velvet. It’s quintessential Georgia Alice and it’s great. 

SSENSE.COM

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INDEX STYLE: Nail alfresco life with enduring classics

 
 

INDEX STYLE: Nail alfresco life with enduring classics

Photographed by Adam Bryce

Styled and written by Sara Black

Become one with home improvement life and allow it to inform your alfresco style.

‘Lawn’ Lounge Hat by Companion Co-design x EDN
Hats are a summertime essential and, if you’re looking for one with premium shape crafted with ‘slow design’ principles in mind, this is the hat for you.

Made in New Zealand by former refugees, you can purchase one in pink, khaki, stone, blue or all of the above.

EVERYDAY-NEEDS.COM

‘T’ Tote by Gabrielle Stoddard
Next time you’re thinking of transporting a red cabbage in the heady heat of mid-summer, buy this bag to carry it in. It’s a ribbed knit, sits cross body, on the shoulder, curled up in the palm of your hand or comfortably inside another bag.

Available in dijon (pictured) or sage, this versatile carrier is made from 40 per cent linen, 60 per cent cotton and mindfully sewn in New Zealand by an old Japanese knitting machine.

EVERYDAY-NEEDS.COM

‘EM77’ Vacuum Jug by Stelton
Those Scandinavians sure do product design well. The EM77 was designed in 1977 by Erik Manussen and remains a classic to this day.

The indisputable champion of the vacuum jug world keeps your liquid warm for up to six hours and boasts a unique rocker stopper that opens automatically when the jug is tilted and closes when the jug is in vertical position.

Perfect for a one-handed pour job.

SIMONJAMES.CO.NZ

‘Everyday’ Tee by Everyday Needs
With many a t-shirt in the market, you may be excused for being a tad dimissive of a plain green tee but this is no ordinary plain green tee.

It’s made from Pima cotton, which touts longer fibres than conventional cotton that produces an ever-so-smooth finish. Wrinkle-resistant and ultra-durable, Pima is going to be your new best friend.   

EVERYDAY-NEEDS.COM

‘Purple & Brown’ Stripe Towel by Tekla
The striped-towel market just found its winner in these by Tekla. They are THICK, like, 600g terry thick, extra combed and woven from 100 per cent organic and Oeko-Tex certified cotton.

Made in sunny Portugal, they are super durable, super soft, super durable, super absorbent and super long-lasting.

SIMONJAMES.CO.NZ

Fine artists team for a community-spirited collab

 
 
 
 
 
 

Fine artists team for a community-spirited collab

Written by Adam Bryce

Photography Supplied

Eat your bacon and eggs atop a fine artist-decorated plate and support those in need with Artist Plate Project 2020.

Fifty top-notch artists have lent a helping hand in aid of Coalition for the Homeless, an organisation established in 1981 to help homeless men, women and children.

Ed Ruscha, Eddie Martinez, Rashid Johnson, Yoshitomo Nara, Nate Lowman and Jenny Holzer are among those who have created limited-edition porcelain plates and will available to purchase from 14 November.

Homelessness in New York has risen by almost 150 per cent in the last 10 years and a recent report notes that homelessness is unequivocally an issue of racial justice by highlighting enormous disparities between the rates of homelessness among black, Hispanic and white New Yorkers. Equally concerning numbers show the plight of those suffering from physical and mental disabilities.

Coalition for the Homeless is America’s oldest organisation dealing with the issue of homelessness and money raised from the sale of the plates will go towards providing food, crisis services, housing and other critical aid to thousands of homeless and at-risk people a day. 

COALITIONFORTHEHOMELESS.ORG

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Get your hands on a ‘Mastectomy Mug’ for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 
 
 
 
 
 

Get your hands on a ‘Mastectomy Mug’ for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Written by INDEX

Photographed by Kate Francis Battersby

Kōkako collaborate with Artemis Ceramics to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ.

Established in 2001, Kōkako began as a coffee cart situation and is now a fully-fledged organic roastery business enriching lives of New Zealanders on the daily. 

Fervently fairtrade- and BioGro-certified, they’re a company that truly cares about people and community. And so, upon brainstorming a concept to help raise funds for the Breast Cancer Foundation, they reached out to Artemis Ceramics.

Ceramicist Georgia Casey entered the picture and the two companies teamed up to produce a limited-edition series of handmade coffee cups. Entitled ‘Mastectomy Mugs’ the 10-strong collection tell the breast cancer journey in the form of breasts modelled off women who have endured the surgical procedure.

If you fancy supporting a very worthy cause and nabbing yourself a one-off mug with the same stone, head to TradeMe to bid.

TRADEME.CO.NZ
kokako artemis
kokako artemis

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INDEX MUSE: Jade Hsu by Blake Azar

 
 

INDEX MUSE: Jade Hsu by Blake Azar

Photographed by Blake Azar
Assisted by Chantelle Kemkemian
Styled by Andrew Mallett
Makeup by Sean Brady
Hair by Joel Phillips
Modelled by Jade Hsu from Priscillas Model Management

 

We tag into Sydneyside happenings, for a quietly emphatic photoshoot captured by Blake Azar.

Dress: by Christopher Esber
Shoes: by ZARA

Blazer: Anna Quan
Shorts: ESÅNT
Shoes: Bata

Shirt: Anna Quan
Tie: Giorgio Armani
Dress: Michael Lo sordo
Stockings: Woodford
Shoes: Zara

Double-Breasted Blazer: Stylist’s own
Single-Breasted Blazer: Stylist’s own
Stockings: Woodford
Shoes: ZARA

Blazer: Christopher Esber
Blazer: Stylist’s own
Trousers: Anna Quan
Turtleneck: GANNI
Shoes: ZARA

Izzie Triangle Bikini Bodysuit: Mei Zhang
Skirt: Christopher Esber

Gratitude — not a positive expectation

 
 

Gratitude — not a positive expectation

Written by Yasmin Singh

Gratitude can be found in almost anything but the key is to validate the hard stuff first.

The year 2020 kicked off with a Covid-shaped bang and you may have noticed a social wave of opinions and pressures surrounding the idea that other people have it worse. The news was filled with packed hospitals with bodies spilling into corridors and videos of city streets being locked down by the military. So, yeah, things were worse in some places than others.

While thousands were dying, New Zealand had moved into a national lockdown and it was chaos and again comparatively, things were worse in other places. But what good ever comes from a comparison of who has it worse? We often throw support at people in the shape of ‘look on the bright side’ or ‘things could be worse’ and usually it stems from a place of love.

But often it can fall from the realm of gratitude into toxic positivity. This shift often happens when we use words like ‘should’ or ‘must’ as a pre-tense on how we think we should feel, as opposed to recognising how we feel, validating those emotions and then identifying where we can find joy or happiness.

Many conversations over lockdown were revolving around ‘I should bake some bread because we have all this time to do so’. This created a vortex of social pressure that disconnected from the emotional strains of life being turned on its head and making the assumption that we needed to keep being productive. Because, of course, we look to find validation of our worth through the number of exercise videos we did in our living room or how we Marie kondo-ed our entire wardrobe.

Lockdown dawned an era of invalidation surrounding the hard truth that, despite being better off than most countries around the world, it was still an immensely difficult time for quite simply anyone on any level. Even when we delve a little deeper, the social pressures of life outside of lockdown are shifting too. Daggers fly from the eyes of co-workers if you dare arrive at the office with a disposable coffee cup and a confession to shopping at your secret favourite fast fashion store is never spoken louder than a whisper. At the end of the day life is complex and expectations have an impact whether we like it or not.

The practise of gratitude is not simply looking at what good thing you have to be thankful for but recognising the hard stuff and holding it with the good. Often gratitude can make people feel as if they aren’t grateful for the basic necessities that surround us, promoting guilt and shame, leaving us feeling worse or hesitant to try process hard or painful emotions.

But that’s the thing about gratitude, it can look different every day for every different person. Some days, recognising how good the sun feels on your skin is enough to help recognise that there is still joy to be felt. And other days, you can find joy in the more obvious context such as time spent with friends or family.

Gratitude can be found in almost anything but the key is to validate the hard stuff first. The thing about practices like these, is often that they are oversimplified to annoying catchphrases like ‘just be positive’, the last thing you want to hear when it feels like your walls are falling down around you. But like all things in life, nothing is that simple.

Holding the dialect of both good and bad can be an incredibly useful tool to have under your belt when times get tough and also when times are good. Gratitude is functionally a practice and practising this when things are manageable is going to feel easier. But, like any habit, it takes time a repetition to strengthen the neural pathways that build the foundation for a consistent practice. 

Unsure of how to get started? Treat it like a cup of tea before bed. Each day, write down a few things that you are grateful for; be honest with yourself, they don’t need to be the things people expect you to feel grateful for.

Pro tip: Consistency is key but, more importantly, don’t beat yourself up if a week has passed and you only did it that one time before forgetting about it. Keep coming back to the practice, eventually, it will start happening automatically when good things present themselves. Ultimately practising gratitude widens your mental capacity to feel good about positive things in your life or the ones around you. If there was year to start finding more joy, this year is the one.

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Professor and photographer Deana Lawson wins big with the boss

 
 
 
 
 
 

Professor and photographer Deana Lawson wins big with the boss

Written by Adam Bryce

Photography Supplied

Lawson wins the prestigious Hugo Boss prize, becoming the first photographer to do so in the process.

New York–based Deana Lawson has become the first photographer to win one of the art world’s most respected awards — the Guggenheim Museum’s Hugo Boss Prize. Historically awarded to artists producing large-scale sculptures and video installations, the prize has previously been snapped up by the likes of Matthew Barney (1996), Pierre Huyghe (2002), and Simone Leigh (2018).

Lawson’s work primarily revolves around themes of intimacy, family, spirituality, sexuality and black aesthetics with scenes are full of cleverly nuanced cultural symbolism. Her photography centres on black people in poses and settings that appear to be organic but are, in fact, carefully staged.

Not only will Lawson receive US$100,000 in prize money, she has been awarded the opportunity to exhibit a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in spring 2021.

It’ll be a busy year for the freshly awarded winner, with both the Institute of  Contemporary Art (Boston) and the Museum of Modern Art (New York) hosting museum surveys dedicated to the work of Lawson. And keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming Bienal de São Paulo and New York’s Sikkema Jenkins & Co gallery where you’ll discover new commissions of photographs focused on the African diaspora.

SIKKEMAJENKINSCO.COM

Mama Goma, Gemena, DR Congo, 2014 by Deana Lawson.

Coulson Family, 2008 by Deana Lawson.

Signs, 2016 by Deana Lawson.

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Michael Hight, @GOW LANGSFORD GALLERY

 
 

Michael Hight, @GOW LANGSFORD GALLERY

Who

Two Rivers by Michael Hight

When

28 October – 21 November 2020

Where

Gow Langsford Gallery, 26 Lorne St, Auckland

What

Michael Hight’s latest exhibition Two Rivers makes particular reference to the Whanganui and Rangitikei Rivers, sites of personal significance to the artist’s whakapapa and upbringing. The exhibition brings together two distinct compositional approaches, which share common meditations on the Anthropocene’s manipulation of the natural landscape.

In Ruahine, beehives are scattered amongst a field of rusting agricultural machinery. Fence posts cordon off the surrounding farm while powerlines disappear into the distance. With innate skill, Hight’s realism evokes a sense of place and familiarity beyond the rural scene depicted. The work gives off a warm glow, co-inhabited by homes of lively bees and the traces of human liveliness.

Sitting in contrast to what have become known as Hight’s ‘beehive paintings’, his ‘black paintings’ act as thought cabinets of curiosities. This body of work brings together fragments of landscapes and collected objects that employ the sort of free association often encountered in a dreamscape. With glimpses into an autobiographical narrative, these paintings challenge the viewer to create and question connections between time, object and place.

GOWLANGSFORDGALLERY.CO.NZ

Photography courtesy of Michael Hight. 

CONSCIOUS COUPLING: Ophelia and Ryder

CONSCIOUS COUPLING: Ophelia and Ryder

How do two creative souls co-exist? We talk with photographer Ophelia Mikkelson and artist Ryder Jones on partnership, collaboration and balance.

Interviewed, photographed and styled by Adam Bryce.

Ophelia wears suit by Low Classic. Ryder wears his own jeans and Workshop zip hoodie.

Ryder wears jacket by Loulou Studio.

Can you both describe what the other does?

Ryder: Ophelia has an atmosphere that manifests in all of her work ­— a tacit knowledge. Whether painting or taking pictures, the feeling remains the same. Soft and clear.

Ophelia: I feel the same about Ryder. He has a language through making that is truly his own. He’ll chainsaw a log found around the rocks, write a story and make a sandwich and they will all look like his and only his — tactile, layered and alluring.  

You create separate work but do you feel as though the other inspires your work in any way?

Ryder: For sure. There is contamination and overlap. We are different people, our tastes separate and converge. But, through proximity, I’m given the opportunity to see in another way. I’m inspired by Ophelia and our life together. 

Ophelia: I am always drawn to the physicality of Ryder’s work. I often watch him walking around, headphones on, shirt off, thinking, critiquing, truly making with his whole body. There is an immediacy and playfulness that reminds me of how I enjoy making too. 

Do you collaborate at all, in terms of helping each other, critiquing the others work etc?

Ophelia: Ryder is really good at drawing me out, asking questions, prompting and encouraging me. We collaborate through conversation, proximity and excitement we have for each other. 

Ryder: I think criticism, when balanced, is an act of love. And, if we consider criticism as that, then we are always trying to help each other’s work. The two of us are both incredibly sensitive people, this is our likeness and power. 

What are you working on at the moment?

Ryder: We are working on our new house, an old (barn-shaped) sculptor’s studio. Last night, Ophelia painted our table a muddy rainbow. I was trying to make dowsing rods out of willow branches and bronze. We’ve been looking for water. 

Ophelia: We’ve been working in the garden a lot too. Planting and building. Next week, we will paint the house, we are trying to decide whether to paint it lilac or green. I’ve been taking lots of photographs too. That’s constant. Taking in the new landscape around us, observing the shapes of trees, finding clay in the garden. 

How do you find balance in your lives when you work and live from home? And both work in such creative ways?

Ryder: Calm and lightheartedness. I find and lose balance and find it again. Routine is important. Each day I see or go into the ocean. I think a measure of computer life and physical work is my balance.  

Ophelia: Things are pretty blurred. For example, cooking for me is an important creative outlet, something that I have to do. Gardening is becoming the same. I think we both find balance by being in nature, by being in the ocean. 

What do you enjoy doing together when you’re not working?

Ryder: I just came in from surfing, Ophelia was walking the beach. Everything is work and none of it is work. We cook together. Water the plants in the evening. Most of everything is shared.

Ophelia: I love dancing together in the kitchen. Talking and swimming.

Are there any challenges you find as a couple with you both being artists?

Ryder: I don’t believe any life is easy. We are taking a risk living the way we do. This is an unorthodox path. But we have both come from families who have lived adventurous lives. There are challenges when you are answering only to yourself, there is no in-built stability. Faith and confidence arrive and depart. I have tried treating it like a normal job and sometimes it works. My Dad is incredibly hard-working but he is also always out surfing. Sometimes, when our house is our studio, the house is messy.  For me, it is about deciding what is work and what isn’t, this is not always clear. We have learnt and are still learning. 

What are your plans for the upcoming summer?

Ryder: Look at the trees we have planted. Save water. Go surfing. Try to read Moby-Dick. Get into a good routine. Be surprised. Work hard in the shade. Wear lots of hats and sunscreen.

Ophelia: I want to grow dahlias that are taller than me; hopefully taller than Ryder. That’s my plan this summer. And to paint the lone kauri that we can see from the kitchen sink. 

Ophelia wears suit by Low Classic.

Ryder wears jacket by Loulou studio. Ophelia wears shirt and jacket by Isabel Marant.

Ryder wears his own jeans and jacket by Loulou studio

Ryder wears Workshop zip hoodie

Is your sun protection factor (SPF) squeaky clean?

 
 
 
 
 
 

Is your sun protection factor (SPF) squeaky clean?

Written by Hannah Cole

It might seem murky, but not all synthetics are as evil as they are perceived.

I still remember being told by my great-grandmother as a meek six-year-old to take care of my skin. Wear sunscreen, she preached. I didn’t listen, but I wish I had. My skin might glisten with a more youthful glow and bear fewer frown lines if I had paid attention. Shockingly, SPF has only become a regular part of my skin regime in the last year. Thank God we got there eventually.  

We know, we know, we know: we should wear SPF daily (particularly with Australasia’s harsh conditions). Which do we choose though? We consider the SPF, ingredients, coverage, and more recently, the ‘naturalness’. I am the embodiment of the shoulder shrug emoji.

I chatted to skincare expert and SPF mega-fan, Hannah English, to finally get to the bottom of the trend. To go clean, or not to: that is the question. 

Termed ‘clean‘ SPF, these offerings avoid chemicals and stick to mineral-only ingredients. Stemming from the holistic health and wellness discussion, Hannah notes that our contempt towards processed ingredients has now leaked into the beauty industry — “where it absolutely does not make sense.” 

The movement undoubtedly has some positives, yet fails to recognise the importance of science, synthetic chemistry and the subsequent developments that aid us daily. Hannah offers Aspirin as an example: willow bark was once a remedy for pain relief but had the side effect of stomach lining irritation. Enter synthetic chemistry, and we now have an irritation-free solution, without which many people would still suffer. It might seem murky, but not all synthetics are as evil as they are perceived. 

This brings us to sunscreen: a product that is admittedly (and unabashedly) full of chemicals. (To which Hannah remarks, “everything is a chemical. Even water”). It’s another instance of chemicals and science serving us for the better. 

Remember our discussion on beauty buzzwords? Anybody can slap on a ‘clean’ or ‘no nasties’ label and call it a day; they have become meaningless buzzwords to win over a few well-intending consumers. Traditional sunscreen undergoes rigorous and routine testing; the Australian governing bodies make sure of that. As Hannah notes, “Sunscreen ingredients are rigorously tested with the safety data submitted to regulatory before they’re allowed in a product that goes to market.” UV filters are given a bad wrap in the press, but with 33 approved filters here, they aren’t all problematic. 

I have a vested interest in the conversation — I am always hoping to save the trees or the ocean, and now ‘reef-safe’ has become the hot token. Products labelled so claim to contain ‘no nasties’ that will impact the current coral bleaching crisis. There is no denying this crisis is widespread, quickening in pace and horrifying, but sunscreen may be “unfairly demonised” here according to Hannah. “It’s a really nice feeling to think that by purchasing certain sunscreens, we can do our part to help the planet.” Then comes the but. These studies relied on giving coral an excessive dose of sunscreen, “And a massive overdose of anything is going to be a problem for most living things.” Put simply, it’s climate change that is the primary proponent of coral bleaching, not necessarily the meagre amount of sunscreen we apply. (Read more about this here).

“Sunscreen ingredients are rigorously tested with the safety data submitted to regulatory before they’re allowed in a product that goes to market.” — Hannah English, scientist.

I may not be able to save the planet with my sunscreen choice, but that’s not to say that some sunscreens on the cleaner end of the spectrum are without merit. I asked Hannah for her recommendations of those that actually do the job and fit into the mineral criteria:

  • Paula’s Choice RESIST SPF30 — “Silky and light, and full of skin-soothing and protecting antioxidants. Not ideal for deep skin tones, however.”
  • Ultra Violette Clean Screen SPF30 and Lean Screen SPF50 — “Both of which work for medium to deep skin tones. The dream.”

Now kids, wear your sunscreen and choose it wisely. One last gem of wisdom from Hannah: according to the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, we need to wear ¼ teaspoon of sunscreen for the face, or ½ teaspoon for face, neck and ears. Learn from the best and buy a set of teaspoons specifically for sunscreen measurement, and always buy the highest SPF you can — “because we’re probably not using enough.”.

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Tunakaimanu Fielakepa, the Dowager Lady Fielakepa, with Cosmin Costinas and Vivian Ziherl, @ARTSPACE AOTEAROA

 
 

Tunakaimanu Fielakepa, the Dowager Lady Fielakepa, with Cosmin Costinas and Vivian Ziherl, @ARTSPACE AOTEAROA

Who

Koloa: Fafine, ‘Aati, Mo e Tekinolosia / Women, Art, and Technology by Tunakaimanu Fielakepa, the Dowager Lady Fielakepa, with Cosmin Costinas and Vivian Ziherl

When

14 November – 5 February (2020 – 2021)

Where

Artspace Aotearoa, 292 Karangahape Rd, Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland

What

Oku hounga ia a e Artspace Aotearoa ke fakaha a e “Koloa: Fafine, ‘Aati, Mo e Tekinolosia / Women, Art, and Technology. Ko e tu’o tolu eni e fakaha ngaahi Koloa ni; ‘Oku fakamamafa pea e katonga’i, e mahuinga pea mo e laukau ‘aki etau Koloa FakaTonga a ha’a Fafine, ngaue fakamea’a , ngaahi founga motu’a, mo e fakakoloa aki etau ngaahi katoanga fakafonua.

Artspace Aotearoa is proud to present the third international iteration of Koloa: Fafine, ‘Aati, Mo e Tekinolosia / Women, Art, and Technology; an exhibition that centres on the significance of the female artistic lineage of Tongan koloa, to generate a transformative-context in which female Indigenous practises are a pivotal cultural force.

The exhibition brings to Aotearoa over ninety unique ngatu / barkcloth works from the collection of Tunakaimanu Fielakepa, the Dowager Lady Fielakepa, revered as the foremost authority on customary Tongan art practices in the Kingdom of Tonga. Her wealth of knowledge has and continues to be called upon by museums and institutions as an advisory, and contributor to global Indiginous scholarship.

In 2019, the Dowager Lady Fielakepa exhibited her extensive collection of rare and new Tongan artworks in Koloa: Women, Art and Textiles, an exhibition at Langafonua ‘a Fafine, Tonga. This site was established in 1953 by Queen Sālote Tupou III, as a historic centre for women’s customary arts. The exhibition was a momentous cotemporal occasion; it paid tribute to the cultural and social significance of koloa art practises while honoring the Dowager Lady Fielakepa for her life-long commitment to, and passion for the endurance and vitality of these diverse practices. (Koloa connotes something of treasured value; interchangeable material and immaterial wealth.)

Koloa was shown for a second time at independent art space Para Site, Hong Kong, in an expanded exhibition that included work by contemporary female practitioners: Tanya Edwards (Tongan, Māori, Tainui), Nikau Hindin (Ngai Tūpoto, Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi) and Vaimaila Urale (Sāmoa). For this third iteration of Koloa, Artspace Aotearoa focusses on the potentiality that these female practitioners embody, making-vital Indigenous narratives and knowledge while generating progressive perspectives through adaptive contemporary methodologies. Additionally, works by Sarah Vaki and Tutana Tetuanui from Tahiti will be on display at Artspace Aotearoa.

ARTSPACE-AOTEAROA.NZ

Design: Amy Yalland, 2020

Why the internet was obsessed with SAVAGE x FENTY Vol. 2

 
 
 
 
 
 

Why the internet was obsessed with SAVAGE x FENTY Vol. 2

Written by Laura Roscioli

Photographed by JP Kim

An embodiment of diversity, inclusivity, change and positivity — all under the umbrella of entertainment and fashion.

“Skin… Touch… Feel…” were the words that introduced Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty Vol. 2 fashion show which aired on Amazon Prime earlier this month. In the midst of a global pandemic, when touching and breathing on each other is forbidden, the hour-long virtual show was a feast.

Not only oozing with sass, it showcased a measure of diversity that has never before been seen in a fashion show. I was instantly lured into a futuristic, techno heavy, fast-paced world of colour and movement. Beautiful bodies contrasted each other as they walked and danced with a certain I-am-who-I-am-come-and-get-it fierceness. 

Rather than a white-washed runway of token body types winking and blowing kisses, there was body rolls, ass slapping, twerking, warped mirrors and body movements that made me feel connected as a viewer. A sensory experience that featured a multitude of body types, gender identities, ages and skin tones.

New Zealand’s very own choreographer, Parris Goebel, was behind some of the most epic moments of the show including the ‘Garden Scene’ which embodied ideas of beauty, love and pain in a raw, vulnerable and startling way.

This was her third time working with the Savage show and, this year, the show featured nine amazing dancers of Māori and Pasifika descent. “People all over the world, like myself, have been waiting to see themselves represented and celebrated in the fashion world.” Parris said. And here they are. 

Rihanna’s previous Savage x Fenty show was immediately compared to the now-cancelled Victoria’s Secret annual fashion show. The reasons for the comparison are fairly obvious; fashion shows that centre around a lingerie collection that features celebrities, iconic musical performances and aimed at consumers. Beyond these, the similarities cease to exist and thank god for that. 

Known for a certain ‘fantasy’, Victoria’s Secret told an unrealistic and, frankly, unhealthy fantasy that wasn’t inclusive or aspirational. In late 2018, their chief marketing officer Ed Razek stated that trans and plus-size women do not exemplify the ‘fantasy’ that Victoria’s Secret was trying to sell. The show was cancelled shortly after.  

Usually not an advocate for comparison, in this case, I think it’s important. It symbolises our society’s current evolution, undeniably upward trajectory of body positivity and acceptance of diversity. Not only does it show up the industry’s flawed concept of luxury but it gives us a vision of what fashion shows and fashion weeks could look like in the moving forward. Rihanna’s paving the way with her vision and the Savage x Fenty Vol. 2 show was a window into the future.

Another question this year has focused around the future of the fashion week’s structure and how shows work in real life vs. digital. The whole magic of a fashion show is said to be in the feeling, the atmosphere that is created; a look into the imagination of the designer.

Rhinna fed Savage x Fenty to us in a virtual format showing that it’s possible to create an experience that inspires through a digital platform. However, perhaps the bigger question for the future should not be around the format but the content. The fashion and entertainment industries are not considered progressive for their inclusivity, diversity nor positive messaging, even though they have been informed by politics, society and culture since, well, forever.

To witness someone, who has as much global reach and influence as Rihanna, placing importance on our evolving society and the things we care about so loudly, it feels as though we have a chance to create some real change.

Do yourself a favour and watch. 

AMAZON.COM

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Denys Watkins, @WEASEL GALLERY

 
 

Denys Watkins, @WEASEL GALLERY

Who

Nancy’s Big Day Out by Denys Watkins

When

28 October – 21 November 2020

Where

Weasel Gallery, 260 Victoria St, Hamilton

What

Weasel Gallery is pleased to welcome Denys Watkins to Kirikiriroa to present Nancy’s Big Day Out, a solo exhibition.

With Nancy and her hair (from Ernie Bushmiller’s comic strip) as Watkins’ muse, the distinctive motif (a furry looking caterpillar form slugged upon Nancy’s head) operates as a unifier for the minestrone-esque offering. As per Watkins’ style of constructing complex compositions of vibrant hues with layers of watercolour and gouache, Nancy’s Big Day Out exemplifies Watkins’ innovative and intuitive approach to making.

Consistently dynamic and energetic, Watkins’ painting career of five decades has seen the artist take inspiration from a plethora of subjects including music, nature, and the everyday. Super flat and of course still, a cornerstone of the artists practice lies in his ability to imbue forms with a sense of movement through composition, balance and precariousness. Watkins’ exuberant style, masterful approach and unique visual rhythm remain endearing and deceptively clever.

Watkins studied at the Wellington Polytechnic School of Design from 1962-1964 before travelling to London to study at the Central School of Art (1967), and the Royal College of Art (1968-1970). Alongside his practice, Watkins taught as a senior lecturer at Elam School of Fine Art from 1980-2011. Watkins works are held in public and private collections , in New Zealand and overseas.

ARTNOW.NZ

Heatwave by Denys Watkins, 2020.

Jess Johnson and Simon Ward, @THE DOWSE ART MUSEUM

 
 

Jess Johnson and Simon Ward, @THE DOWSE ART MUSEUM

Who

Terminus by Jess Johnson and Simon Ward

When

14 November – 21 March (2020 – 2021)

Where

The Dowse Art Museum, 45 Laings Rd, Lower Hutt

What

With their pioneering use of virtual reality, artists Jess Johnson and Simon Ward present a mysterious universe of alien architecture populated by humanoid clones and cryptic symbols.

Explored via a network of travellators and gateways, Terminus presents a quest, a choose-your-own adventure, inside a technological world.

Animated by Ward and enriched with input from developer Kenny Smith and sound composer Andrew Clarke, Johnson’s drawings are transformed from an analogue 2-dimensional artwork into an immersive digital realm. The exhibition, re-designed specifically for The Dowse Art Museum, is a navigation of the many optical challenges and visual puzzles of the virtual space, ultimately revealing that reality is not fixed, but is both malleable and multi-dimensional.

Terminus was commissioned by the National Gallery of Australia with support provided by The Balnaves Foundation 2017-18 and is toured in Aotearoa by Tauranga Art Gallery.

This exhibition has been generously supported by DAC Group.

ARTNOW.NZ

Terminus by Jess Johnson and Simon Ward, 2018.

Craig Wright, @ALLPRESS STUDIO

 
 

Craig Wright, @ALLPRESS STUDIO

Who

The Reluctant Supporter by Craig Wright

When

28 October – 5 November 2020

Where

Allpress Studio, 8 Drake St, Freemans Bay, Auckland

What

A series of uncanny self-portraits showing the various stereotypical caricatures that have flooded to Trumps mantra. Part commentary, part satire, part art. The images look at the themes of God, guns, flag and patriotism. Dark and moody, the images are often confronting and humorous, with a twist of reality and fiction. The photographs were all taken with a self timer.

Think Cindy Sherman meets Red State.

Craig Wright works in Aotearoa’s Television and Film industry, shooting stills and motion.

ARTNOW.NZ

The Reluctant Supporter by Craig Wright.

Veranoa Hetet, @THE DOWSE ART MUSEUM

 
 

Veranoa Hetet, @THE DOWSE ART MUSEUM

Who

Creating Potential by Veranoa Hetet

When

10 October – 28 February (2020 – 2021)

Where

The Dowse Art Museum, 45 Laings Rd, Lower Hutt

What

Veranoa is a master Māori weaver and kaiako based in Waiwhetū, Lower Hutt, who comes from a long line of prominent makers.

She first learnt the weaving techniques raranga, tāniko and whatu kakahu from her mother, the late Erenora Puketapu-Hetet, and learnt tukutuku and kowhaiwhai from her father, master carver Rangi Hetet.

In her new exhibition, Creating Potential, Veranoa explores the notion that each of her works hold the past – building from traditional methods, patterns and stories of whakapapa. But they also hold the future—the exciting potential of creating something new, using contemporary materials, colours and techniques.

Woven with a deep sense of aroha for both past and future generations, Veranoa’s weaving upholds the creative legacy of her whakapapa by “seeing what can be, working out of what was”.

ARTNOW.NZ

Creating Potential by Veranoa Hetet, 2020.