Pantograph Picks: Our Artweek Itinerary

We sift through the jam-packed Artweek programme so you don't have to.

We sift through the jam-packed Artweek programme so you don’t have to.

Artweek Auckland (8 to 16 October 2016) is nearly upon us. With enthralling exhibitions and art events popping up all over the isthmus, we know it will be hard to decide what to see and do. The user-friendly Artweek website is a great tool for exploring your options. But for those who want a little more guidance, here is our itinerary of top picks. From crafty muggings to a tongue-in-cheek tea party, there’s something for everyone – and it’s almost all free.

Day One: Saturday 8 October

We loved it back in 2014, and we still love The Great Mugging, where members of Auckland Studio Potters wander Ponsonby Road swapping nasty disposable cups for beautifully crafted ceramic ones. The idea is to encourage our appreciation of the handmade and to advocate for less waste. The problem, of course, is that you need to have a disposable cup to get mugged. We suggest you take your KeepCup instead and just turn on the charm.

In the evening, head down to the underpass at the bottom of Myers Park for Detour: Enter the Dark, an event that invites us to reclaim spaces that we might otherwise avoid at night. Lighting designer and artist Rachel Marlow will be illuminating the underpass with a light sculpture, and a host of excellent writers (including The Pantograph Punch’s own Sam Brooks) will be providing words in response.

Day Two: Sunday 9 October

Quite a few galleries are closed on Sunday, which naturally limits our choices. Call us unimaginative, but we’d suggest old faithful, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Check out the excellent suite of local exhibitions on the ground level, (re)visit the Walters Prize, and be sure to join Assistant Curator Emma Jameson for Putting art into illustration, a tour of her latest show, which delves into the complex and fascinating world of 19th-century book illustrations.

After that, head over to Tim Melville Gallery for Quasi Concertino, a performance of music for bassoon and string trio by four contemporary composers from Aotearoa: James Gardner, Samuel Holloway, Alex Taylor (who also writes for The Pantograph Punch), and Chris Watson. The performers are Ben Hoadley (bassoon), James Yoo (cello), David Samuel (viola), and Andrew Beer (violin). Tickets are a bargain at $10/$20.

Day Three: Monday 10 October

The standout event on Monday is Stuck in the Maze / from housed to homeless. Organised by Margaret Lewis as part of World Homeless Day, the project involves building a temporary maze in Beresford Square, near K’ Road. The aim is both to raise awareness of homelessness and to suggest some practical ways we can all help those in need.

While you’re in the area, head over to Studio One Toi Tū, where you can check out Serene Timoteo’s See My Pretty Flower, Flower, Flower. Playing with Pacific art and craft practices, Timoteo’s brightly coloured, large-scale woven works celebrate the garden created by her grandparents upon their arrival in Tāmaki Makaurau from Samoa in the 1960s. (Pro tip: Toi Tū is open till 7pm Monday through Thursday, 5pm on Friday, and 4pm on Saturday.)

Day Four: Tuesday 11 October

The south of Auckland boasts a great selection of galleries, from the TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre (Pah Homestead) in Hillsborough to Franklin Arts Centre in Pukekohe. But if we had to pick a favourite it would probably be Fresh Gallery Ōtara. Head there for We, Ōtara, an exhibition of documentary photographs of the Ōtara-East Tāmaki area. (For the nine-to-fivers among us: Fresh Gallery is open till 2pm Saturday. It is closed on Sunday.)

Not far away, at the Nathan Homestead in Manurewa, is another exhibition of photography that’s not to be missed. Signs of Protest includes images by veteran photographers like Marti Friedlander, Gil Hanly, and John Miller, and looks at a wide range of protest activities in Aotearoa, from the waterfront dispute of 1915 to a recent hīkoi against deep sea oil drilling.

Day Five: Wednesday 12 October

Wednesday night is the heart of Artweek, with activities all over the city. At the centre of this is Late Night Art, a series of events in the central city. This year sees the introduction of a new feature, streetARTdego, organised by the good folk over at gather & hunt. It’s a spinoff of their amazing ArtDego event, bringing artists and street food vendors together to create unforgettable culinary experiences.

Once you’ve had your fill of Judge Bao, it’s time to start exploring. It’s shrouded in mystery, but Campbell Patterson’s Long and Slow, a 100-minute projection in Freyberg Place, is sure to be worth a look. We also recommend checking out Peter Roche’s ASYLUM at Silo 6 in Wynyard Quarter, an ambitious installation that explores some of the darker elements of present-day life, including the Panama Papers, the Syrian refugee crisis, and Donald Trump.

Day Six: Thursday 13 October

The obvious thing to do would be to send you all off to K’ Road on electric bicycles as part of Auckland Transport’s Electric Night. But much as we love the growing power of the bike, we reckon you should make East Auckland the focus of Day Six instead – even if it means carpooling. For starters, visit Te Tuhi in Pakuranga for Share/Cheat/Unite, a show that explores the complexities of social behaviour, naughty and nice.

Next, head over to one of Auckland’s newest art spaces, UXBRIDGE’s Malcolm Smith Gallery in Howick. There you will find their latest exhibition, Sacred Economies, which is concerned with social activities of a ritualistic nature. If you stick around until the evening, you can enjoy a reading of poems written by Richard von Sturmer, Erena Johnson, and others in response to the works on display.

Day Seven: Friday 14 October

Auckland University of Technology’s ST PAUL St Gallery is one of the best little galleries in town. Head there to view Influx, the eighth Tautai tertiary exhibition, which is sure to fascinate and challenge fascinate and challenge as previous iterations have. We also suggest visiting the University of Auckland’s Gus Fisher Gallery, where you can enjoy Into the Layers of the Abyss, an exhibition of contemporary Korean lacquer work by master SungSoo Kim, curated by SunMin Elle Park.

We usually associate the Langham with high tea and One Direction, but on Friday evening the hotel will host a talk by the director of the Gus Fisher, Linda Tyler. Biennale fever looks at international art exhibitions and the rise of the superstar curator. Will she be for Hans Ulrich or against? You’ll have to attend to find out. Book fast – it’s a free event, and spaces are bound to fill quickly.

Day Eight: Saturday 15 October

There are several events taking place on Day Eight, but we recommend the artist tour of Artspace’s New Perspectives, a group show ‘edited’ by Berlin-based New Zealand artist Simon Denny. The exhibition features work by more than 20 up-and-comers based in Aotearoa, including Louisa Afoa, Quishile Charan, Mark Schroder, and Tim Wagg.

While you are in the K’ Road area, check out some of the exhibitions at the local galleries. Shane Cotton’s Dirt Cache is on at Michael Lett. Bowerbank Ninow has Oscar Perry’s Essential Oils. We also recommend visiting the transcendent ‘creative space’ TÜR, which is exhibiting Neubau, their new collection of handmade textiles, jewellery, and objects.

Day Nine: Sunday 16 October

Go west for Cause and Effect, a survey of the superbly elegant ceramics of John Parker at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery in Titirangi. Later, head down to the Islay Anderson Auditorium at Kelston Girls College, where the inimitable SaVAge Kʻlub will be hosting an afternoon of tea and treats, both edible and artistic. It’ll be the perfect way to finish your Artweek in style.

Main image: SaVAge Kʻlub

Artweek Auckland
8 to 16 October 2016
Mostly free

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The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.

The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.

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