• Suzy Costello, workbooks

MFA Week 1, 22-26 Feb 2021

Updated: 6 days ago

A new year and the beginning of the MFA at Massey. With 17 students enrolled in first year and another 15 completing 2nd year, there's lots of diversity of practice and more.


We are located in the Old Museum building which was built in the late 1920-30's, making it nearly 100 years old. It stands as a monument to the process of England's colonisation of Aotearoa. This building is sited on Pukeahu (sacred hill), a place where people have settled and lived since the late 13th century - nearly 900 years of human habitation. Angela Kilford, a lecturer from the Design School, took us on a hikoi around Pukeahu to encourage us to understand the history of the site, seek out marks of occupation, and question why statues of memorialisation have omitted any recognition of Maori settlement on the site.

Links: Massey University's Puke Aku Campus Initiative; Puke Ahu gallery; Ministry of Cultural Heritage Pukeahu History ; The Making of a Museum

2. RESPONSE Our first assignment is a Response to one of 7 artworks. It will comprise 3 responses - site, materiality and agency. These are the artworks proposed -

Recalibrating, Bartley & Company Art, Level 2, 22 Garrett St, Wellington

"Recalibrating takes its title from a Brett Graham exhibition Recalibrate which he said was “about readjusting our sights to see differently”" (Bartley & Co Art). This is Bartley & Co's first exhibition in a new premises which "offers fresh perspectives on the way we view history or culture – reminding us of different world views and narratives that have mostly been untold or suppressed."


YES TOMORROW, Kate Newby, 2020, Watercolour,

YES TOMORROW is Kate Newby's artistic response to the multi-leveled, versatile gallery space of Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi which was designed by local architect Sir Ian Athfield. Kate's sculptural practice "entails working with local manufacturers and materials and creating subtle interventions in specific contexts.... that invites close attention and leads to new appreciation of the qualities, uses and meanings of locations and materials" (Adam Art Gallery).

Ben Lysaught, Tree Museum

Tree Museum, Ben Lysaught 2020, Acrylic, Toi Poneke

Tree Museum is a new exhibition of paintings by Pōneke artist Ben Lysaght that "explores peculiarities within the history of botanical gardens and archives" (Toi Poneke) . Using humour and fantastical worlds, Ben exposes the dark underbelly of colonisation that exoticised and institutionalised the flora of the colonies.

Natalie Kittow and Erinn Keith Wax Wane, Grey Matter, Paper Weight, The Physics Room

A thoughtful and delicate set of three small books by local artists Natalie Kittow and Erinn Keith, titled Wax Wane, Grey Matter, and Paper Weight. It is published by The Physics Room in a limited edition of 10 sets of 3.

The Physics Room describes the books as "pulling the passing of time and our relation to space into focus". Subtleties of temporal and biological rhymes are beautifully captured in detailed tonal photographs that focus on two natural objects with a chimerical relation to the book's two word title. Additionally, there is a delicious playfulness with the conventions inherent in the book.

Ethersonic LENS_01, Fringe Festival Blurb from Fringe - "Become immersed in the projected sonics and moving images of Ethersonic’s LENS_01. Part Expanded Cinema part Ambient / Industrial music gig LENS_01 brings together artist films from NZ, UK and Norway along with live music collaboration. Expect multiple screens, multiple layers and a journey for the senses. Ethersonic’s founder has a background in Live Media Art in the UK and Europe as well as in NZ's early Flying Nun post-punk / industrial acts. The LENS_01 event will be the first in a series we anticipate running as an ongoing way to bring artist film, sonic art and spoken word into an integrated live show. We will attempt to stage a very non-cinema event using film and with musicians contributing a very non-gig like show making sounds. Multiple projections will reshape the room and put the audience in the middle of the work. There will be live images, shadows, music, sounds and we hope, some creative collisions. Venue: Meanwhile, 2/99 Willis Street, Te Aro

Maverick Creations, Fringe Festival'-fringe Blurb from Fringe - "Building sites are a feast of constructional creativity... pure theatre! Your city evolves before your eyes, but do you really know what is going on behind the hoardings? We are proud to partner with city makers Willis Bond & LT McGuinness to highlight the work that happens when our cities are being transformed. Do we know the history of the site? What technologies and materials are being used? How many U-bends go into a commercial build? We will provide a free platform for people to watch the action... listen to informed & entertaining commentary... score the plumbers v electricians... watch the cranes & heavy machines do battle... Bring your whanau, friends or just your lunch to this unique public theatre experience. Join our theatrical commentary as we 'call the plays' of these commercial building sites... Crane v crane, trade v trade, mate v mate." Venue: Victoria Lane Apartments, 161 Victoria Street, Te Aro

Ataturk Memorial, Tarakena Bay Wellington

This memorial, built in 1990, honours Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first president of the Republic of Turkey and commander of Ottoman forces at The Dundarelles during the first world war. It is located on a ridge above Tarakena Bay on the south coast of Wellington which bears a likeness to the landscape of the Gallipoli peninsula.

The memorial was designed by Ian Bowman and is constructed in marble that includes a crescent, a bust of Atatürk, inscriptions, and soil from Anzac Cove.

Wreathlaying services are held at the memorial on Anzac Day (25 April), and during August by the Wellington Company of the Wellington and Hawke's Bay Battalion Group to commemorate the Battle for Chunuk Bair.

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