Kelcy Taratoa, Te Āio

Kelcy Taratoa

Te Āio

Bartley & Company Art
Level 2
22 Garrett Street
Te Aro
Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington
Aotearoa/New Zealand

30 JULY–10 OCTOBER 2021

In titling this exhibition Te āio, Kelcy Taratoa invites us to take a moment to stand still, to enter the quietness of contemplation offered by the visual arts.

Taratoa has long been interested in liminal spaces, those transitional moments of stillness between the breath going in and out, the tide changing, between story and idea, the grey ambiguous space that is neither one thing nor another.

What we see here is figuration and abstraction interacting: figuration that at certain distances seems like uniform blocks of colour, abstraction that is rich in Māori cosmological narratives—all held together by the artist’s signature meticulous layering of super-flat paint that teases the digital with the absence of any visual brush marks. We see an exploration of how form, colour, and pattern embody ideas and speak to and across cultures, generating conversations around Te Ao Maori to Te Ao Whānui, the wider world.

We also see also a timelessness. Some of the earlier paintings, for example, Disappearing Reimagined (2012), speak almost presciently to a then unimaginable global pandemic and the role of female (non-white male) leadership in creating new ways of operating in the world.

Kelcy Taratoa, Te Āio. Installation view, Bartley & Company Art, August 2021.

Kelcy Taratoa, Te Āio. Installation view, Bartley & Company Art, August 2021.

Kelcy Taratoa, Te Tihi o Manono, 2020, acrylic on linen, 1000 x 1000 x 70 mm. Kelcy Taratoa, Garvis…Are you there?, 2009, acrylic on linen, 1000 x 1000 x 70 mm.

Kelcy Taratoa, Te Āio. Installation view, Bartley & Company Art, August 2021.

Kelcy Taratoa, Disappearing Reimagined 16, 2012, acrylic on linen, 1800 x 1800 x 70 mm.

Kelcy Taratoa, Downloaded, 2007, acrylic on linen, 3050 x 2130 x 70 mm.

EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS