The Comfort of Things is Edith Amituanai‘s first exhibition with new Wellington dealer Robert Heald and the show consists of photographs that are typically low-key. Sometimes they involve interior shots of starkly lit and sparsely filled living rooms. On first encounter, it’s easy to write them off as banal when, in fact, they are simply quiet and therein lies their charm.
Amituanai takes an interest in the lives of others and uses her camera to better understand those around her. She has staged scenes using members of her own family (Mrs Amituanai, 2005) and documented the experience of Burmese immigrants to Auckland (La Fine Del Mondo, 2009-2010). The show contains a selection of photographs from both series, and others. No grand gestures here, the works are relatively small and convey a quiet confidence. Their domestic scale means they would look equally at home in the family rooms they depict and it’s this slippage between public artwork and private snapshot that makes them so captivating.
Edith Amituanai : The comfort of things, Robert Heald Gallery, 209 Leftbank, Cuba Mall, Wellington, until June 26.
The album cover of Marianne Faithfull’s Broken English is iconic – addiction never looked so good. Earlier this month Dennis Morris, the photographer responsible for the image, released unseen photographs from the Broken English shoot for exhibition at Snap Galleries in London. Unfortunately the photographs are lukewarm. They are certainly interesting historically, but there were reasons why these didn’t make it to the cover after all…
Dennis Morris : Marianne Faithfull, Unseen images from the Broken English session, Snap Galleries, 8 Piccadilly Arcade, London until 31st July 2010
Vicente Todoli has been announced as the judge of this year’s $50,000 Walters Prize. The Tate Director steps down from his position at the end of the month and will visit Auckland Art Gallery to view the work of finalists Dan Arps, Fiona Connor, Saskia Leek and Alex Montieth before the opening of the exhibition on July 24.
The Walters Prize, Auckland Art Gallery, corner Wellesley & Kitchener Streets, 24 July – 31 October 2010.
Of Skins and Heart, Colleen Ahern’s current exhibition at Neon Parc is a slow burner. Earlier oil paintings depicting rock and roll heavyweights like David Bowie, Johnny Winter and Prince have been replaced by enigmatic works on paper. Music provides a starting point here – the artist paints performances by T-Rex, The Clash and The Who, but she concentrates on abstracted TV stills, not money shots. Each painting is rendered in delicate layers of colour that convey a technical sophistication less evident in earlier works. The show trades swagger for subtlety – Ahern is one to watch.
Of Skins and Heart, Neon Parc, 1/53 Bourke Street, Melbourne, until July 3.