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  • Writer's pictureSuzy Costello, workbooks

Art Studio Week 13-14 Oct 19-Nov 3

Completing artworks, blog, forms etc ready for Exposure, team meet and curation for Exposure



These are the poems I have written to tie together my art practice and works made during the two semesters of 2020.

They are printed on 80gsm Japanese Sumi-e paper (Kitakata) which is manufactured from gampi fibers. Gampi fibers produce a soft, smooth surface with a natural gloss so the paper has a textural quality to it that is pleasant to the touch (one side roughish and the other smooth) and some transparency. I had hoped to use very thin mulberry paper which has a wonderful sensual touch akin to skin, is highly transparent and the edges frayed but sadly it could not go through the photocopier. I guess if I was going to be true to space and place I would have used flax paper or material made from the pohutukawa but they produce coarse fibres. The font is Abadi Extra Light which I really like, it is delicate and rests lightly on the paper. I may present these poems at Exposure. It's all a matter of space.


The photos are now printed...phew what a job, but so exciting and so much gratitude for Peter's help. The final versions are 1120mm(w)x1830mm(h) and 1425mm(w)x1031mm(h). They are just stunning. I will position them suspended from the ceiling using 2 half round wooden rails, bronze wire and electrical cable joiners. The photos will be next to each other at 135 degree angle to be sensitive to the site, windows and others works. This is a mockup of the photos scaled to the wall of the exhibition room which is16.5m long.

The images reference both The Gaze (human) and The Other (non-human). Exploring the relationship we have with our environment is a fundamental aspect of my art practice and by making the small insects large it brings them into the sphere of humans. The large portrait photo challenges our space, forcing us to engage with the cicada on equal terms, while its position and size also allows us to engage with its moulting process - to step inside the shell and feel the effort required to leave it behind. In the landscape image, it feels as if the cicada faces us with its iridescent eyes and yet it is an empty shell. The detail of macro photography and the exquisite reflection of the gold leaf elevate the cicada into something of value and beauty. Well, that is my hope!


We've had a team meeting to discuss our needs and the usual claiming of space is in full cry - it just makes me sad and want to walk away. I find installation complicated - trying to understand my own aesthetic and the myriad of options to consider. It is also very challenging working as a group, trying to balance others needs with my own and being able to express needs that I don't fully understand yet. I think for me I need to feel the space, empty it, close my eyes and listen to it, see what is asks for, where is it empty? where is it full? then slowly one by one place an object in it, reflect, then another, quietly filling its emptiness till it says enough.

We are going in Monday to clear the space then prep it Tuesday, hanging Wednesday-Monday ready for hand-in on Tuesday.



There are nine of us exhibiting together in 2D04 and we all pitched together to clear the room and paint the walls, floors and T-walls - the place looks stunning. Planning the installation layout was actually fun. Chyna-Lily and I made a scale model of the floor plan, including scaled cutouts of t-walls and our artwork. We then discussed our aesthetics and which other works resonated with our own, then we played around arranging the artworks and t-walls as if it was a dolls house. This was a great device as it allowed us to look at multiple options without committing to any. It was surprising how one small change affected the entire exhibition. We came up with five different options -

Option 1:

Option 2:

Option 3:

Option 4:

Option 5:

We selected option 5. This plan allows room for all works, multiple entry points and opportunity to meander around rather than going straight through the room, there are quiet, intimate spaces and open spaces, the room is filled with light and the artworks activate floor, walls and ceiling. Very pleased with the result.

The room is filling slowly with people's artworks. I have hung the two very large photos that Peter printed on Friday. They look stunning. Just need to set up stamen and cicada audio. There may be another audio tape at the same time which may prove problematic.

Exposure Video
Download ZIP • 4.65MB

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