Making Spaces

Te Waka Tūhura Elam School of Fine Arts is making space for artists and art professionals to share their practice and research.

In this lecture series, leading artists are invited to share their research, illuminating their practices and the contexts in which they operate professionally. 

Lisa Reihana - Home in Motion

Lisa Reihana sitting with her back against a stone wall, knees drawn up and arms wrapped around each other. Her face is tilted to the right and her eyes are closed
Lisa Reihana/supplied. Photo by Jacquie Manning

Tuesday 21 May, 6-7pm

University of Auckland Conference Centre
Building 423 rm 342
22 Symonds Street, Auckland CBD 1010
Parking information

Register here

About the lecture:

"...Art shifts, language changes… but the land remains..." 

Many of the projects Lisa Reihana has worked on are responses to special sites, allowing her to hear and research local histories and the people who've shaped them.

Making pictures and telling stories is her business and pleasure.

Lisa will share insights on public projects, films, and exhibitions in this illustrated talk. Narratives rule and complex ideas abound, and she'll attempt to weave connections between various commissioned works, such as the Kura Moana installations by the Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of Arts, Wellington; the built design of Tiramarama Way in Auckland; the permanent vide ihi showing in the Aotea Centre in Auckland and; Groundloop presented in Sydney Modern Atrium.

Above: Lisa Reihana - Emissaries (In pursuit of Venus[infected]) - New Zealand Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Art Biennale Viva Arte Viva

In Neoclassical France, entrepreneur Joseph Dufour used the latest printing innovations to produce Les Sauvages De La Mer Pacifique (1804), a sophisticated twenty panel scenic wallpaper. Mirroring a widespread fascination with the Pacific voyages undertaken by Captain Cook, de Bougainville and de la Perouse; it’s exotic themes referenced popular illustrations of that time.

Two hundred years later, Maori artist Lisa Reihana employs twenty-first century digital technologies to animate Les Sauvages De La Mer Pacifique. Enlivened with the sights and sounds of dance and cultural ceremonies, a vast video panorama is populated by a myriad of people drawn from across New Zealand and the Pacific.

Filmed and edited by: Mickey Mayer
Interviews courtesy of: Te Papa Tongarewa & Wintec Spark
Extra footage from: Lisa Reihana
Artist: Lisa Reihana
Commissioner: Alastair Carruthers
Curator: Rhana Devenport

About the speaker

Lisa Reihana is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice spans film, sculpture, costume and body adornment, text and photography.

Since the 1990s she has significantly influenced the development of contemporary art and contemporary Māori art in Aotearoa New Zealand. She has earned an outstanding reputation as an artist, producer and cultural interlocutor with her attention to the complexities of contemporary photographic and cinema languages expressed in myriad ways.

Her ability to harness and manipulate seductively high production values is often expressed through portraiture where she explores how identity and history are represented, and the intersection of these ideas with concepts of place and community.

Reihana represented New Zealand at the Venice Biennale in 2017 with the large scale video installation in Pursuit of Venus. The work premiered at the Auckland Art Gallery in May 2015 and has since become a seminal work in Aotearoa New Zealand’s art history canon.  in Pursuit of Venus has since been shown around the world and garnered widespread critical acclaim. You can watch a feature of the work on YouTube here.

Other notable solo exhibitions include Mai i te aroha, ko te aroha, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand (2008); Lisa Reihana: Digital Marae, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand (2007); and Native Portraits n.19897, Museo Laboratorio di Arte Contemporanea, Rome, Italy (2007).

In 2014 Reihana was awarded an Arts Laureate Award by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand, the Te Tohu Toi Ke Te Waka Toi Maori Arts Innovation Award from Creative New Zealand in 2015, and in 2018 she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

For a full list of Lisa's work, awards and accomplishments, you can visit her website here.

Shannon Te Ao - Perspective

portrait of Shannon Te Ao
Shannon Te Ao/ Photo by Shaun Waugh


New date to be announced soon

About the speaker

Te Ao's works traverse the mediums of live performance, writing and videoed performance. Whakataukī (proverbs), waiata (song) and poetry have become resources for Te Ao in his ongoing exploration of language, ways of knowing and the nuances of communication.

Most of Te Ao's recent artistic output has seen him investigating and responding to material drawn from Māori paradigms, testing the implications of alternative creative, social and linguistic models concerning contemporary video art and other performative practices. He primarily teaches in the Whiti o Rehua School of Art undergraduate programme.

Te Ao won the Walters Prize in 2016. Since then, he has completed a Master of Fine Arts from Whiti o Rehua School of Art, Massey University, and continues to exhibit nationally and internationally.

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