Installations

Master of Fine Arts : Year one, Massey University (2021)

My focus this year has unexpectedly broadened to include the notions of culture and identity held within the place where I live in Aotearoa. It feels like the land is telling its narrative if I could just be quiet enough to listen. Another unexpected event this year is a shift away from natural materials as I try to embed the principles of Mana Whenua into my practice. It has been a radical departure for me and resulted in quite exciting outcomes. The three installations which follow illustrate a growing awareness of the way we perceive the world around us and the dynamics of space as non-linear.

Series 1: Mountain, Forest, and Sea (MFA 2021) 

Beginning a master of fine art's at Massey University, we were asked to respond to another artist's work. This is my response to Kelcy Taratoa's Silence, displayed in the Bartley & Co exhibition Recalibrate. Material used is collected from my local beach, and like Kelcy's work which describes his daily walks on Mount Maunganui to witness sunrise, mine too describes daily walks along the beach and in the forests of East Harbour Regional Park. The last two images, Space and Space Between, are made to describe the agency of space as a material. 

Mountain, Forest, and Sea
Mountain, Forest, and Sea

Pebbles, wood, pastel and paper Suzy Costello

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Mountain
Mountain

Pebbles Suzy Costello

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Burnt Wood
Burnt Wood

Wood Suzy Costello

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Sky and Sea
Sky and Sea

Pastel and paper Suzy Costello

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Sky
Sky

Pastel and paper Suzy Costello

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Sea
Sea

Pastel and paper Suzy Costello

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Silence
Silence

Kelcy Taratoa

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Space
Space

Charcoal Suzy Costello

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Space Between
Space Between

Wood and pastel Suzy Costello

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Series 2: Impressions of Mountain, Forest, and Sea (MFA 2021)

Impression of Mountain, Forest, and Sea
Impression of Mountain, Forest, and Sea

Tissue paper, thread, masking tape and plywood Suzy Costello

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Impression of Mountain, Forest, and Sea
Impression of Mountain, Forest, and Sea

Detail of Impression of Forest Tissue paper and thread Suzy Costello

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Impression of Mountain, Forest, and Sea
Impression of Mountain, Forest, and Sea

Detail of Impression of Mountain Tape Suzy Costello

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Impression of Mountain, Forest, and Sea
Impression of Mountain, Forest, and Sea

Masking tape Suzy Costello

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Impression of Mountain, Forest, and Sea
Impression of Mountain, Forest, and Sea

Detail of Impression of Sky and Sea Thread Suzy Costello

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Impression of Mountain, Forest, and Sea
Impression of Mountain, Forest, and Sea

Tissue paper and thread Suzy Costello

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Moving away from using natural materials, in this installation I am trying to describe the dynamic qualities of space, a space where our movements and memories are held in the texture of the land and our enactive embodiment is experienced in a non-linear, relational way.  Retracing the memory of Mountain, Forest, and Sea (exhibited in the same room last semester), here tissue paper, tape and thread delicately capture the transitory precious nature of memories and impressions of my daily walk along the beach and in the forest. The two prints on tissue paper are impressions from rubbings of the charred wood used in the previous installation. 

Series 3: Impressions of Impressions [Mountain, Forest, and Sea] (MFA 2021)

The final installation for 2021 describes the way we perceive and make sense of our existence within the shifting dynamics of temporal textures. Imbued with the concept of enactive embodiment, this installation tries to capture how we experience 'now' through the intertwining of our lived and living bodies, and the nesting of our retained pasts and anticipated futures within this moment of becoming. These notions helped me incorporate Mana Whenua into my understanding of the cultural landscape I live in. Tissue paper has been formed by the outgoing tide, threads hung to suggest the veil of perception, and the green water on the floor is a memory trace of our ancient moist forests!! This is a pared back, minimalist aesthetic that I enjoy. 

Reflections
This year has asked me to examine my place in this land and what it means to be Pākehā. Delving into readings by Geoff Park, Avril Bell, Vincent O’Malley, Jen Margaret, Honiara Love, the Waitangi Tribunal, and others, helped me understand the histories held within the texture of this land but it was the emotional quality of Sara Ahmed’s writing in Collective Feelings, or, the Impressions Left by Others, that gave me licence to feel the complexity of this journey of becoming Pākehā:

     "Through emotions, the past persists on the surface of bodies. Emotions show us how histories stay alive, even when they are not consciously remembered; how histories of colonialism, slavery, and violence shape lives and worlds in the present. However, emotions can also offer new paths forwards (…) open up futures, in the ways they involve different orientations to others”. She cautions us, “It takes time to know what we can do with emotion" (Ahmed, 2004, p. 202).

 

My feelings congealed into a collection of poems titled Nested Nows, and it was in the very act of writing this poetry that I would understand how and why I belong in Aotearoa. Until this moment, I had not truly realised how deeply the need to belong had lain hidden inside.

Nested Nows
Nested Nows

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Nested Nows
Nested Nows

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Nested Nows
Nested Nows

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Nested Nows
Nested Nows

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1/14

Nested Nows by Suzy Costello

The Space that Binds (MFA 2021)

The Space that Binds
The Space that Binds

Tissue and thread Suzy Costello 2021

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The Space that Binds
The Space that Binds

Tissue and thread Suzy Costello 2021

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This is my first effort for masters, cross-stitching into tissue paper to describe the defragmentation of pattern and colour as day turns to night. It was time consuming and complicated and even more disappointing when I realised it resembled Tukutuku panels. It is here as a reminder not to repeat itself!

Summer Skin : Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Arts, 2020 

St Albans Project
St Albans Project

Pohutukawa wood and stamen

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St Albans Project
St Albans Project

Wooden pohutukawa stools and stamen, 2020

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Photograph
Photograph

Suzy Costello and Peter Miles

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Summer Skin
Summer Skin

Cicada shells and gold leaf, 2020

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Despite Covid-19 interrupting the study year life continued and these are some of my postgraduate works during 2020 which focus on the narrative of discarded natural materials from my local area. In the first semester I explored the materiality of pohutukawa stamen and wood collected from the felling of two 110-year-old trees at St Alban’s Anglican Church in Eastbourne.  Coordinating a socially engaged artwork with the parish community allowed the trees to be commemorated and help the community explore their memories held in this space and place. These trees were a small part of a massive planting of thousands of pohutukawa seedlings in the early 1990's along the shores of Te Whanganui-a-Tara and along the banks of the Hutt River, markers of colonisation and its process of forests becoming farms. 

 

During the second semester at Massey, I followed the narrative of discarded cicada moltings collected during the summer of 2020. Using sound recordings by Charles Fleming, macro photography (with generous help from Massey technician Peter Miles) and poetry I have delighted in discovering so much about Aotearoa's unique cicada species and their biological processes. This experience has given me a deeper appreciation of the value of art to society and a curiosity in the inter-relationship between art and science.  Arts ability to focus on inner feeling, creative problem solving, and new interpretations of understanding the world we live in, are things I would like to explore.  See my blog for more information about the artmaking process.

Exposure Exhibition : Graduate Diploma in Fine Arts, 2019

Brand vs Form Installation
Brand vs Form Installation

Suzy Costello, 2019 L-R Brand=signs+symbols+icons Brand>form $GoldenRatio Brand=colour

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Brand + Consumption = X
Brand + Consumption = X

Cardboard boxes and strapping tape, 2019 Suzy Costello

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Yellow and Red
Yellow and Red

Wrapping paper, paint and thread, 2019. Suzy Costello

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Plastic Cups & Gaffer Tape
Plastic Cups & Gaffer Tape

Suzy Costello, 2019

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This is some of the work made while studying for a graduate diploma at Massey. These installations explore formalism and are created using base materials (cardboard boxes and plastic cups) which led to an investigation into branding and consumerism. My aim when starting at Massey was to create art in such a way as to end up with nothing, so all materials have been recycled.

Form+Grid Installation : Graduate Diploma 2019

Form and Grid Installation
Form and Grid Installation

Form and Grid Installation Suzy Costello, 2019

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Falling Boxes
Falling Boxes

Form and Grid Installation Suzy Costello, 2019

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Balanced Boxes
Balanced Boxes

Form and Grid Installation Suzy Costello, 2019

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Crushed Box
Crushed Box

Form and Grid Installation Suzy Costello, 2019

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This is my first effort in Art Studio at Massey.  Using deconstructed rectangular cardboard boxes and the grid, I am trying to understand if there is a space where formalism can coexist with post-modernism  ... I'm not sure if I succeeded but what I did learn is that branding interrupts the reading of form! 

Advanced Diploma Exhibition : The Learning Connexion, 2018

Light Modulation 1
Light Modulation 1

Ink on Perspex Plates Suzy Costello, 2018

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Light Modulation 1
Light Modulation 1

Ink on Perspex Suzy Costello, 2018

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Light Modulation 1
Light Modulation 1

Ink on Perspex Plates Suzy Costello, 2018

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Light Modulation 2
Light Modulation 2

Oamaru Stone, 2018 Suzy Costello

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Light Modulation 2
Light Modulation 2

Oamaru Stone Suzy Costello 2018

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Light Modulation 1 & 2
Light Modulation 1 & 2

Perspex and Oamaru Stone, 2018 Suzy Costello

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Light Modulation 3
Light Modulation 3

Monoprint on Tissue Paper Suzy Costello, 2018

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Red Oxide Grids
Red Oxide Grids

Monoprints, 2018 Suzy Costello

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Bronze and shell
Bronze and shell

Bronze Suzy Costello, 2018

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Bronze Crystalisation
Bronze Crystalisation

Bronze Suzy Costello, 2018

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Ceramic Shell used in bronze making
Ceramic Shell used in bronze making

Suzy Costello, 2018

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Raw Earth 6 & 7
Raw Earth 6 & 7

Monoprints, 2018 Suzy Costello

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Yellow and White I, II and III
Yellow and White I, II and III

Monoprints Suzy Costello, 2018

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No 1 Vertical Lines
No 1 Vertical Lines

Screenprint Suzy Costello, 2018

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Here are some photographs of my work from the Advanced Diploma term 4 2018...two fantastic years of learning about play... loved every minute of it and would recommended it to anyone and everyone!