During my residency in New Zealand I visited a number of galleries and cultural centres including but not limited to my host gallery on Waiheke Island, Devonport’s; Flagstaff Gallery, The Depot and Library, Auckland City’s; Auckland Art Gallery – Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Gow Langsford Galleries (Lorne and Kitchener Streets), Parnell’s own; Parnell Gallery, Artis Gallery, International Art Centre and Pierre Peeters Gallery. Of these galleries, both Parnell Gallery and Flagstaff had a fantastic print collection, which introduced me to New Zealand’s top printmakers reminding me of my first arts passion. Thoughts regarding the situation of (my own predominantly print and sculptural) works were triggered and inevitable with an overabundance of bronze pieces experienced during my stay. This culminated in my strongest mixed media work, Coaster Concertina, a book-form for exhibition in CORE, New Zealand (July, 2015). Although the scales and formats of exhibition were incredibly diverse during my residency, my passions for metal casting and printmaking were ignited. I viewed works within institutions, public and commercial spaces, outdoor event showings and street art all of which, however large or small, inspired me. This residency has contributed to my own practice the fruits of which will be ongoing.
Katherine Kennedy, Coaster Concertina: Book form (2015)
Internship: Waiheke Community Art Gallery
During summer 2015, I undertook an eight week intensive Internship placement (Monday 5th January to Saturday 28th February) at Waiheke Community Art Gallery (WCAG), New Zealand. WCAG is situated on a 9,324 hectare picturesque Island (36 square miles), via a 45 minute ferry ride from Auckland Metro. WCAG enjoys a high level of patronage as its large visitor numbers reflect its status as a popular and picturesque holiday destination. Further to this, Headland Sculpture on the Gulf, a biennial event (installed on the Matiatia walkway), as hosted by WCAG, was scheduled at the time of my internship and thus formed a large portion of my program. I project managed the preparation and installation of the ‘Pavilion Gallery’ sculptural art works (open 7 days a week) for Headland (2015) and produced countless high-res photographs of public program events, artworks, artists, locals and scenery. These images were used in various media publications both online and printed and formed a blog visual mapping of my New Zealand experience (K. Kennedy 2015).
Working closely with gallery Director Linda Chalmers, I also assisted in the facilitation of exhibitions (5 weekly show rotation) in the main gallery, review and design of upcoming exhibitions and public programs, assisted in writing exhibition ‘stories’ in preparation for press releases for a number of exhibitions. As a gesture of good faith and our ongoing professional relationship, the gallery awarded me two spaces in the gallery for two exhibitions to curate later this year. One, a printmaking exhibition is themed; ‘CORE’ and a smaller annex space will feature Australian digital artist, Damien Orriss and his video installation, Obscura.
The upcoming themed exhibition of prints will introduce Australian established and emerging artists of my selection to Waiheke. ‘CORE’ will take place in 17 July – 17 August 2015 at WCAG. Artists, in supplying or producing the work for this project, are asked to interpret the theme in any way they want – relative to scale, medium, preferences and the exhibition selection and submission criteria. I approached Arc for a grant for this event on the basis of actively promoting one selected postgraduate student Olivia Wilson. A detail of Olivia’s print ‘Pace’ will advertise the exhibition in the upcoming Imprint Magazine, Winter edition. I was awarded a partial payment by Arc to assist in the costs of flights for the upcoming show. This grant application will help in my ongoing arts practice.
Aptitudes as both an industry professional and artist were simultaneously increased. New proficiencies enhanced my skills base with profits to studies and professional practice upon return home. Exposure to a ‘cluster of cultural production’ provided crucial learning outcomes and introduced a diverse array of art and arts practitioners (SART 3800 PDF, 2015). An increase in administrative, marketing and publicity abilities ensued alongside furthering photographic and multi-tasking skills. These transferable outcomes are required to conduct oneself competently as an artist. Also significant was the inevitable stimulation gained from viewing, installing and otherwise handling artworks and daily liaisons with professional artists. This residency enhanced my appreciation for sculptural forms and promoted reflection upon my own (predominantly print) practice, its situation now and where I could take it henceforth.
Upon arrival to WCAG, take-in for the imminent exhibition Close to the Heart was underway. Artworks were photographed, catalogued and promoted and exhibition labels and wall texts deployed. This was a crash course in the gallery administrative systems. These exchangeable skills are also required to conduct a creative business in art-object documentation, exhibition and curation of my own arts practice.
During installation of Close to the heart, I personally assisted ceramic artist E.M. Mertens with her three installations of delicate wall pinned (slip cast) porcelain and ceramics. I learned invaluable hands on complex fine art installation skills and the possibilities of wall based designs for my own practice spring boarding my recent interest in ‘print-as-installation’. I also watched L. Chalmers closely and asked questions to learn decision processes and curatorial rationale for the placement of works for the broader Close to the Heart exhibition arrangement. These observations were immediately beneficial upon return to third year university for the course ‘Curating Art and Exhibitions’. Also significant is the germinating notions of interrelatedness between my own practice potentials regarding print-as-installation, curatorial activities generally and print-as-object (as Close to the Heart was largely object based).
On the topic of installation; artist Gaye Jurisich built a suspended installation in the annex (small square space – Where Obscura will be featured in July), They all Fall Down (2015). This work also left a visual imprint for potentials within my own print-as-installation goals.
Internship: Headland Sculpture on the Gulf
The summer of 2015 was especially ubiquitous with the highest numbers of viewer participants attracted to the island for the seventh Headland event (in excess of 40,000 and highest sales to date), established through WCAG and managed by Headland board members and subsidiaries. The Pavilion Gallery exhibited maquettes of the Matiatia walkway works and a selection of invited works by predominantly New Zealand high profile artists.
Sculptural works were universally experienced not only at the Headland walkway and Pavilion Gallery but WCAG exhibitions, Oneroa village, Waiheke (had several galleries and outdoor sculptures) and Auckland was also host to street installations of bronze works. This prompted enrolement into (SART2842) Metal Casting, the forming of a relationship with a local foundry here in Sydney and the production of a print-as-object work which consists of a print on paper book-form with bronze book jackets (Coaster Concertina). I look forward to producing more bronze works and working with Crawford’s Casting in Sydney.
Paul Radford, 3 sculptures made from Waiheke sourced driftwood
This residency has been crucial for situating my work within spaces like WCAG and indeed begins with Coaster Concertina’s inclusion in the upcoming CORE exhibition for July this year.
K. Kennedy (2015), About me, date accessed 25 May 2015,
K. Kennedy (2015), Category Archives: New Zealand Internship Experience, date accessed 27
May 2015, https://katkennedy.wordpress.com/category/new-zealand-internship-experience/
K. Kennedy (2015), Community: Exhibitions: Revewis, Sculpture at Scenic World, date
accessed 24 May 2015, https://katkennedy.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/sculpture-at-scenic-world-15-april-10-may-2015/