When The Dust Settles

When The Dust Settles offers an extraordinary opportunity to acquire works by leading artists while supporting the future of contemporary art in Aotearoa New Zealand. Over the last 34 years, Artspace Aotearoa has presented over 400 exhibitions by more than 2,000 artists. For When The Dust Settles, 36 works by seminal artists return to the gallery for presentation and sale in an ambitious fundraising auction.

This auction intends to generate the last necessary funds to complete three newly designed spaces in the Artspace Aotearoa basement. The completion of these spaces will realise a greater and better aligned range of opportunities and entry points for artists, curators and other cultural practitioners at Artspace Aotearoa. Read more about this project here.

Artspace Aotearoa have partnered with Webb’s to deliver When The Dust Settles. From 10am 14 October, bidding for the works below will open on Webb’s Online Auction Portal. When The Dust Settles is made possible with the support of our artist community and their representing galleries.

— Artspace Aotearoa

At the heart of Apple’s practice over seven decades is the promise and allure of transformation. Apple is always ‘moving house’ between persona, product and ultimately in a form of secular canonization, a brand. In the early 1960s he transformed suburban Auckland boy Barrie Bates into the international conceptual artist Billy Apple®. In this work, Apple Turns to Gold, the gestation period has taken some 38 years, but as that quintessential New Yorker Lou Reed once wrote, “between thought and conception, lies a lifetime.”

Apple Turns to Gold also refers to Apple’s numerous forays into the world of precious metals, going back to the early 1980s. This iteration harks back to The Golden Apple collaboration with the Auckland Coin and Bullion exchange in 1983 and is entangled with the artist’s collaboration with the picaresque business man Ray Smith. These Tales of Gold were recorded in Billy Apple’s 2004 exhibition of the same name at Artspace, achieved in collaboration with Wystan Curnow.

Billy Apple®, Apple Turns to Gold, 1983/2021, UV impregnated pigment on canvas, 500 x 500 mm.

Mary-Louise Browne uses words as found objects, redeploying existing texts to upend cliché and make us look again at sayings we thought we knew well.

The advice this neon imparts is a helpful guide to everyday life, especially in these Covid times, however it is in fact the title of an iconic New Zealand film from 1966 by John O’Shea, a romp of a musical starring a young Howard Morrison and Kiri Te Kanawa at a Rotorua pop and shearing festival. One of only two feature films made in New Zealand in the 1960s, Don’t Let It Get You bursts with optimism in the face of artistic difficulty. Similarly, this neon depicts language as a tool that shapes power dynamics.

Mary-Louise Browne, Don’t Let It Get You, 2010/2019, neon, 1500 x 1000 mm.

There is nothing more seductive than romanticising about who you could be, within the confines of who you are.

Claudia Kogachi’s contribution to When The Dust Settles references this idea by living vicariously through the image of Devon Aoki, an actress who rose to cult figure status in her role as Suki in the 2003 film 2 Fast 2 Furious. Aoki is lauded as “one of the most recognisable alternative faces of the 90s” and has become an icon for many young femmes to fashion themselves on, and to assert themselves, be literally or figuratively, in the naughty by nature scene of drifting (a type of motorsport).

Under the restrictions of lockdown that have plagued the impossibility of cruising around and being flirty and bossy in your whip (slang for car), Kogachi opens up this space of dreaming, grasping for a sense of freedom and pleasure that is eagerly en route.

Claudia Kogachi, Self Portrait as Suki, 2021, acrylic on plywood, rims frame, 1275 x 1250 mm.

In a direct response to Smoke (2015), a work shown in The Bill at Artspace Aotearoa in 2016, Ava Seymour created a series of new works derived from her longstanding visual research on vintage cat pictures. The two works presented in When The Dust Settles, entitled Hey Menes and Oh Cleopatra, both share the same format, two pairings of cats sharing the same gaze. Following the gaze and sight-lines of the rockstars in Smoke, these works similarly explore the act of looking. We ourselves look to the images of these rather detached and unselfconscious characters who do not return our interest, looking towards something seemingly more important creating a third subject slightly threatening and unknown.

Ava Seymour, Hey Menes, 2021, collage, frame, 315 x 230 x 35 mm.

Te Ao Tua-ātea is a sculptural work comprised of the disentanglement of the tight mechanic weaves that make up plastic material, appearing as a semblance to the non-customary weaving tradition. Through movement, Te Ao Tua-ātea expresses its agency and mauri (lifeforce, vital essence) as a work that is responsive to its environment and is attuned to the much larger conceptions of the material and immaterial worlds of Te Ao Māori. Te Ao Tua-ātea is described as a ‘veil’, the thin space between the past and the present, between the dead and the living and a line in which the spiritual and physical converge.

Jade Townsend, Te Ao Tua-ātea, 2021, plastic, paint, custom oak bracket, 1150 x 1040 mm.