SoFA goes dark for Hīnātore exhibition
Student Series II Hīnātore, showing until 6 September at University of Canterbury’s SoFA Gallery, asks viewers to consider the way light transforms a space, along with their own sensory experience.
In the darkened gallery, the illuminated pieces become points by which to navigate, offering spatial cues and the possibility of a range of responses.
Hīnātore began as a collective interest in the qualities of light across studio disciplines. The exhibition creates an immersive atmosphere grounded in the emotive resonance of light, and the physical and psychological experience of materiality.
The multidisciplinary works tap into universal human emotions, playing on involuntary psychological responses to the experience of shade or shadow. The exhibition takes as its departure point the practice of the late Bill Culbert, an eminent UC Fine Arts alumni.
The Ilam Student Series is an annual exhibition series that encourages and facilitates student-led group shows and projects. Exhibitions are frequently collaborative efforts by artists from different studio disciplines.
Hīnātore features work from three student artists - painters Jamie Teheuheu and Connie Dwyer and filmmaker Christian Lamont.
Jamie is a fourth year student studying towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting. What matters to him in his practice is not what a work ‘means’, but what emerges from the process of producing it. Jamie’s practice is informed by experimenting with different materials and applied processes, in order to evoke a variety of moods and feelings in the viewer.
“My work for Hīnātore is a reaction to the collaborative works by New Zealand artists Bill Culbert and Ralph Hotere. Using their works as a departure point, I’ve attempted to combine the feelings I have towards their works with the process-based art I make. Student Series has been a great opportunity to experiment and collaborate with other artists and technicians.”
At heart of Connie’s artwork for Hīnātore is consideration of obsolete technologies such as light-boxes and overhead projectors. Her intimately scaled mixed media works recall the role of such dated light devices in creating art and examines their possibilities as being the final creations themselves. Connie is in her fourth year of a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in painting.
“Hīnātore, and Student Series as a whole provides an excellent opportunity for cross-discipline collaboration as well as a secure environment for experimentation in one’s art. Working on the install with the School’s technicians was a valuable glimpse into gallery practice, beneficial for many like myself who wish to work in such institutions,” she says.
Christian is an experimental film maker who investigates the slippages between Abstracted and Structured Narratives. Lighting and colour are used as tools to invoke certain moods and feelings within his works. He is a fourth year fine arts student majoring in film.
“For the exhibition Hīnātore I was looking to explore the visual and physical reality of film. Seeing film as a light source in and of itself and how it could be used as a potential light sculpture. I intended to explore perception by altering the physical space with films as light sources. This was to create a sensory and temporal experience of the gallery space, while taking influence from artist Bill Culbert and his own exploration of light as painting. Student Series has been an enjoyable experience for me. Being able to discuss and collaborate on shared interests and ideas was very beneficial.”