City Gallery

Past exhibition

Wayne Youle: Fingers Crossed

15 December 2012–10 February 2013

Fingers Crossed is the first exhibition to span City Gallery’s Deane and Hirschfeld Galleries. These spaces have specific mandates: Hirschfeld was established in 1999 as a space for Wellington artists and Deane was added in 2009 to showcase Māori and Pacific artists. They have become contentious silos. By dedicating one space to Māori and Pacific artists, the other is assumed by default to be a predominantly Pākehā space. Wayne Youle asks where his practice fits. In both is his answer. The Porirua-born artist—who is of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whakaeke, and European descent—cuts a window in the wall between the two spaces. He describes the intervention as 'a way of taking away the crypt feeling I got from those spaces, a way of shining a light, the chance to play both fields, be a voyeur and get a sneak peek'. Visitors on either side can look through the window to see a collection of sculptures and paintings that reveal Youle's eclectic approach to culture sampling and art making. One painting in the Deane is a pound of flesh—a pound of flesh-coloured paint—on a canvas. A painting in the Hirschfeld, by contrast, features ten different shades of white. The title: I Can See You Culture from Here.