Category: Writing

Community, Community Art, Community Art in Howick

With its founding declaration to ‘promote the wellbeing of the community in the area usually known as Howick’,[1] how is Uxbridge Arts and Culture today to fulfill its role? Founded in 1981 as a ‘creative leisure centre for the community’, the newly redeveloped centre comprises numerous studios for art education, a theatre for live performance […]

The Adda Community

I was recently appointed as the curator for Uxbridge Arts and Culture, an organisation based in East Auckland, which, in the past, imagined and defined itself as a ‘creative leisure centre for the community.’ The word ‘community’ holds a ubiquitous presence in my field of work. Used in a hundred arbitrary ways, within a myriad […]

Joyce Campbell: Hide

Hide reorients our sensibilities to non-human spheres, emphasising soft, seemingly illusory things. In this exhibition, Joyce Campbell reveals to us an almost imperceptible thread in her recent photographs; cutting through various series with a different kind of logic, a group of images are bought together which have non-human creatures at their core. A raven is […]

The Story of Rama at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

In the upstairs pink-washed interiors of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, the god-king Rama is depicted with celestial blue skin, using pigment made from crushed lapis lazuli. All colours, obtained through natural processes by pounding vegetables or powdering rocks, are applied with a single-haired squirrel brush, and Rama’s jewels, almost imperceptible, are made of […]

Shruti Yatri: From the Flatlands of Agra and Lake Waikaremoana

Following the deaths of his parents, Shruti Yatri painted a liṅga for each. The liṅga is a sacred sign. It is the axis mundi of existence, but also the erect phallus of the Hindu god named Śiva. Yatri’s paintings feature many other signs, symbols, and icons. The bindu, for example, is a point of intensity. […]

The Churning of Oppositions and Extremes in the Mythology of Śiva

The Hindu mythmakers attribute opposing qualities to the god named Śiva. He is the ascetic archetype, but also the god of the phallus. He appears in paradoxical guises incorporating divergent facets of human experience. At once awful and auspicious, effeminate and masculine, intoxicated and sober, he is as an embodiment of death, as well as life. This thesis […]


The sky was weeping over Dal Lake the day Chaya and Hamir journeyed on a ferryboat. Behind a geography of folds on his face, the boatman had a look of delight that seemed not to correspond to the situation. Soon he began to sing to himself, sneezing through the verses, but only the lake listened, […]

Sam Thomas: New Gallery Models—Assured Quality, Discreet Service

Suppose the romantic ideal of art as the expression of an individual was neither abandoned nor quashed under the modernist thumb. It is possible that the old sentiment assumed a new guise and traversed from the individual to the collective, from a personal signature to an institutional taste. It is a situation of ideological sensibilities […]

Things do not know whether they exist or not

Emery and Lever are makers of precarious things. Some rest on the gallery floor, few on sheets of glass and others on softly dressed plinths made of cardboard. There is a photograph sandwiched between cardboard and glass, an interior shot of a glass house growing palms. Two more photographs hang on the walls depicting wood […]