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City Gallery City Gallery Wellington

Past exhibition

Raewyn Atkinson: Designs on Antarctica

3 February–12 March 2006

OTHER VENUE Objectspace, Auckland, September 2005  

Wellington ceramicist Raewyn Atkinson makes two trips to Antarctica, on the Artists in Antarctica programme in 2000 and on a private trip in 2003. The ceramic works in this show are produced in response.

Atkinson’s cans and mugs are displayed against robust, weathered wood, recalling the shelving in Shackleton’s and Scott’s huts. Their pale, translucent porcelain conveys a sense of fragile beauty while their decoration refers to Antarctic history and scenery.

Atkinson writes: ‘With the work in this exhibition I wanted to show that Antarctica is not a tabula rasa. It is full of remnants of past and present “designs”, including whaling. The distinctions between what is considered rubbish and what are relics worth preserving and “seeing” are also of great interest to me.’

Atkinson simulates the physical and aural experience of walking through snow by inviting viewers to walk over fragments of porcelain in order to enter the gallery. These fragments are remnants of early experiments in making the works for the show.