ARTISTS Chris Clements, Clem Devine, Toshi Endo, Fiona Gillmore, Shay Launder CURATOR Emma Bugden
Safe Places is the third in a series of annual exhibitions showcasing Wellington emerging artists. Bright, optimistic, and bubbly, it explores ‘safe places’ for active play, for artist and audience.
Toshi Endo’s animated web-based work Safeplaces—which provides the title for the show—presents a whimsical utopia. The sun comes out, animals roam, trees grow, as the day passes in a beautiful dream. Endo says he wants to ‘create safeplaces within the web … where people can escape all the rules and have some fun’. We are free to play as we wish, but within the parameters he’s set.
Clem Devine’s lightbox photo The 16th BMW Art Car refers to BMW’s famous art cars. Fifteen race cars, designed by major international artists, created ‘a gateway between art and racing’. Devine imagines his own, the sixteenth, indulging his love of fast cars while inserting himself uninvited into a canon of art stars.
Shay Launder’s installation Forgiveness Will Rise Up offers us nature via the craft store. A larger-than-life felt boulder asks to be stroked. Three plastic crystals nestle beneath it like secret jewels. A young woman mimics a deer, with antlers fashioned from twigs held behind her head.
Chris Clements presents a makeshift wire-and-concrete cave, in which a child might play house. A model of a house, made from wallpaper and anchored by a lead sinker, accompanies a simple silhouette drawing of a house.
Fiona Gillmore is interested in signs and billboards with their instructive slogans. Better Luck Next Time adopts a tone hopeful yet resigned. Propped up on a pile of timber, it resembles a commercial lightbox which has been cast aside.