City Gallery City Gallery

Past exhibition

Give Us a Sign

17 December 2008–14 June 2009

ARTISTS David Bennewith, Gavin Hipkins, Sarah Maxey, Kate Newby, Stanley Nives, Jim Speers CURATOR Heather Galbraith PARTNERS Wellington City Council Public Art Fund LOCATION Courtenay Place light boxes

Lightboxes are ubiquitous. They are used for common commercial signage and advertising and as an art medium. As part of the Courtenay Place Urban Park development, eight freestanding double-sided lightboxes are installed in the busy retail and entertainment district, to be used for public-art projects. 

Heather Galbraith curates the second and third shows as part of the Gallery’s off-site programme during the building’s redevelopment. For the second, Give Us a Sign, artists and designers respond to a brief: ‘Give us a sign: a message, a proclamation, a warning, a proposition; a way to make things better.’

David Bennewith’s works are based on typefaces that Joseph Churchwood designed and named for his daughters—Georgina, Lorina, and Maricia. 

In Bible Studies, Gavin Hipkins overlays squares and a circle on reversed out religious illustrations, playing on the religious overtones of Galbraith's title.

Sarah Maxey’s works are hand lettered. One Day All This Will Be Yours is her response to the pressure to write a will. I Did This Instead of Going Out challenges Courtenay Place as ‘party central’.

Kate Newby’s photos of fabric dipped in pigment are given poignant titles: Thursday Evening, Saturday Evening, and Yesterday Evening.

In For Reasons of Affection, Stanley Nives invites us to consider what his ‘reasons’ might be, and who or what is the object of his ‘affection’ is. Too Much Too Soon Too Little Too Late incorporates a found black-and-white photo of a flooded subdivision. (Stanley Nives is Kelvin Soh's pseudonym for this project.)

Jim Speers repeats his photo Big Sea on three lightbox panels—a nod to the dense repetition of ad campaigns.