Emily Hartley-Skudder, New Old Stock

Emily Hartley-Skudder

New Old Stock

Window Gallery
5 Alfred Street
General Library Foyer
University of Auckland
Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland
Aotearoa

18 August–14 September 2021
(or longer depending on alert level)

Avocado bathrooms, turquoise Hoovers and faux stained glass.

New Old Stock refers to dusty old products once left on the shelf. Through the passage of time they are re-rendered as desirable—taste has seemingly come full circle.

My use of readymade, retro items and new-but-old-looking materials explores the idea of kitsch as nostalgic commodification—reflecting our yearning for physical things to help recapture the past. There’s a nod to the decoration of the domestic space—and the still life—historically being a common creative outlet for women. Many materials here are semi-permanent imitations: faux stained glass and foam tile stickers, existing for DIY home decoration on a budget, and for those who crave a quick makeover.

The avocado bathroom suite harks back to a distinct time period, becoming fashionable in the 70’s—and it’s a trend people now love to hate. In using these signifiers of bygone taste that have been renovated-away in the name of progress, I’d like to examine how conservative New Zealand’s palette has become, perhaps reflective of the ‘hot market’ and investors buying houses to flip in a few years time. Apparently no one wants a house with an avocado toilet.

Here the still life and the bathroom showroom have become shrines; the shop window display has become a blown-up painting in 3D relief. Intimate components of domestic life are now commercial and distinctly public. Riffing on a Koonsian, Darragh-esque aesthetic, I’d like this dressed window to speak to our relationship with inanimate objects, everyday bathroom rituals, and how consumer culture determines the ways we ‘personalise’ domestic spaces.

— Emily Hartley-Skudder

Emily Hartley-Skudder, New Old Stock, 2021, transparent window film, readymade basins, bathtub, taps and Hoovers, oil on linen, advertising light boxes, polyethylene foam tiles, acrylic paint, digital sublimation print on microfibre, pine and aluminium trim. Installation view, Window Gallery, August 2021.

Emily Hartley-Skudder, New Old Stock (detail).

Emily Hartley-Skudder, New Old Stock (detail).

Emily Hartley-Skudder, New Old Stock, 2021, transparent window film, readymade basins, bathtub, taps and Hoovers, oil on linen, advertising light boxes, polyethylene foam tiles, acrylic paint, digital sublimation print on microfibre, pine and aluminium trim. Installation view, Window Gallery, August 2021.

Images courtesy of the artist.

EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS