Kelcy Taratoa - The Grey Space Te Kore-te wiwia
Please join us next Wednesday 6 November to welcome Mt Maunganui artist Kelcy Taratoa (Ngai Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Raukawa) to Bartley + Company Art and to celebrate his first exhibition in the gallery. We are delighted to present a major new body of work marking a significant new direction in his practice.
The fresh and exciting paintings in this exhibition reference tukutuku in Taratoa’s marae on Rangiwaea Island in the Tauranga harbour.
The Grey Space is a place of ambiguity and it has been a defining characteristic of Taratoa’a practice exploring the complexity of identity formation in the 21stcentury. Te Kore-te wiwia translates as a space without boundaries and in moving beyond customary materials and practice into the gallery, Taratoa creates a suspended space for play and experimentation, which allows for customary and non-customary to conceptually coexist, with past and future held in the present.
Thus, in The Grey Space Te Kore-te wiwia, we see Taratoa exploring the intersection of tukutuku, with its deep layers of knowledge and meaning and its great personal significance, with geometric abstraction which he also admires. “I have appropriated geometric configurations characterising tukutuku allowing for artistic iterations, interpretations, abstractions and reconfigurations within the conventions of a Western painting paradigm", he says.
Ambiguity plays out materially as well as conceptually in the work with the vibrantly-coloured, super-flat immaculate surfaces hand painted yet showing no sign of the brush.
Taratoa, who has a Master in Maori Visual Art (1st class honours) from Massey University, has exhibited nationally and internationally and has had several public gallery exhibitions throughout New Zealand. A mid-career survey is on at Tauranga Art Gallery until March and includes work from the past 20 years borrowed from a range of private and public collections as well as his most recent work (drawn from the canvas paintings in our exhibition) painted in a site-specific installation on the gallery’s 7-metre high atrium walls.
Taratoa is a very good bilingual public speaker and we are thrilled that we can offer you this opportunity to hear him talk about the development of this new body of works and the evolution of his practice. As he is only in Wellington for the one night, this will take place during the opening.