17 December 2008 - 14 June 2009

Give Us a Sign

The wording ‘Give us a sign: a message, a proclamation, a warning, a proposition; a way to make things better’ is intentionally ambiguous and future-focused. Artists / designers have been invited respond to this invitation, through either re-working an existing project or to make new work, which across the spectrum will include both image and text-based responses.While illuminated light boxes have become common currency within art galleries over the last twenty or so years, they have long been familiar in public space as signage most often used for commercial advertising or public service announcements. This is a hard history to shake, and Give us a sign firmly acknowledges this context. This project does not aim to sell products, but rather offers a platform for ideas within a busy retail and entertainment district. Seven artists and/or graphic designers have been invited to each contribute two or three works responding to the call to ‘Give us a sign’.

The Courtenay Place Light Boxes were designed as an integral part of the Courtney Place Urban Park, and were unveiled to Wellingtonians in May 2007. The first suite of sixteen works displayed in the light boxes Flanerie and figments was curated by Simon Bush-King and Andy Palmer and featured eight Wellington artists working with photography. Each exhibition lasts for six months and the second and third cycles in the series will be generated by City Gallery Wellington as part of our off-site programme during the building development and seismic strengthening of our premises (from late October 2008 – September 2009).

Give us a sign will be on display next February when a major international typography conference TYPESHED11 takes place in Wellington (11-15 February 2009). www.typeshed11.co.nz

Artists / designers participating in Give us a sign:

David Bennewith & Joseph Churchward
Gavin Hipkins
Sarah Maxey
Kate Newby
Stanley Nives
Jim Speers