Uptown Art Scene

What do reflexology, barbecues, geology and Tui ads have in common?

With information coming at us from all sides, it’s sometimes difficult to make sense of reality, and this is the creative conundrum given to the latest project from Comet Gallery, Auckland’s newest artist-run space. Run by Whitecliffe graduate Bobby Gray, Comet occupies a converted garage at 249 Ponsonby Road, a couple of doors up from Russell Street. ‘A picture says 400 words’ partners with 12 visual artists and 11 spoken word poets to create works in response to each other.

I caught up with artist Teresa Lane who is working with poet Rose Northey on a series of small collage works. Rose had given Teresa four books to cut images from – on foot massage, how to barbecue meats, rock collecting, and Tui billboards. In return, Teresa had given Rose 200 assorted words and quotes from her ‘word collage box’ for Rose to construct prose from.

“Reality is a jumble of information coming at us from all sides, and we use stories to make sense of it,” says Teresa. “Collage upcycles and repurposes materials and information, and that’s the perfect way to construct a new story from these seemingly unrelated books. The random or unexpected relationships I find between images directs the path of each individual artwork, with Dada and Surrealism playing
a significant part, in both the absurdity and humour of representation, and as a way of deconstructing the ‘rational’ and creating alternatives.”

Teresa was also preparing for the opening of her exhibition ‘Oh my, God’ at Sanderson Gallery in Newmarket. In this show she playfully reverses the male gaze, using her Greek ancestry as the framework for dismembering and reassembling the anatomy and gender issues from a cast of classical gods.

‘A picture says 400 words’ opens Saturday 17 August, between 5.30pm and 8pm. Teresa Lane’s current exhibition ‘Oh my, God’ at Sanderson Gallery runs to 18 August. (Evan Woodruffe, Studio Art Supplies)