Lay in measures is a new exhibition by Ōtepoti Dunedin-based artists Ed Ritchie and Megan Brady. The exhibition considers how architectural composition unconsciously affects bodily experience, through small-scale interventions of sound, subtle sculptural installations and replicated furnishings.
Acting as artist-anthropologists, Ritchie and Brady use the gallery’s entryway and the less visible sites of marking and repair throughout the leased building (from missing bricks and the height of doorway frames, to the patterned ridges of keyholes) to reinvigorate what may first slip from attention. The artists take notice of both forgotten and reinserted markings, offering loving attention to the ways that traces left by people affect the present in tiny and detailed ways.
Taking stock of Enjoy’s 2019 relocation to 211 Left Bank Arcade from its past life up the stairs at 147 Cuba St, Brady and Ritchie investigate the gallery’s relationship to its local surroundings, as well as the audience’s relationship to the new gallery. Their experience starts from the doorway, where artworks ask how design forms intuitive experience by examining how a body might enter and exit through space. The exhibition includes an original score by Megan Brady, which welcomes viewers into a world of subtle affectations. Similarly, the artists explore the reassuringly quiet security systems designed to keep people out as much as protect what lies within.
Usually, gallery staff will scrub away evidence of previous shows between exhibitions, offering a completely clean, blank slate. In Lay in measures, the artists choose to celebrate the failure of total erasure and remain in play with past tenants, considering dust an often-ignored inheritance.
About the aritsts
Based in Ōtepoti Ed Ritchie has a predominantly object-focused practice, working with a range of found materials, often responding to architectural attributes of given space or echoing familiar mechanisms in their assemblage. Ritchie completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Hons) in 2017 through the Dunedin School of Art and has since become a founder and co-facilitator of ARI Favour. Recent exhibitions include: Central heating, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Ōtepoti (2021); Hush Swarms, Hot lunch, Ōtautahi Christchurch (2020); Console Whispers, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Ōtepoti (2019).
Currently working and living in Ōtepoti, Megan Brady is an installation artist working across multidisciplinary fields. She holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts, First Class Honours from the Dunedin School of Art (2017). She exhibited her first solo show A quiet corner where we can talk at Dunedin Public Art Gallery in 2018. Recent exhibitions include The florist sent the flowers was pleased, Favour, Ōtepoti, 2020; we painted the walls with cracks, Play_Station, Pōneke, 2020; Dead Reckoning, The Physics Room, Ōtautahi, 2019.
Image: Ed Ritchie and Megan Brady, Research image, 2021, digital thermal image.