The Auckland Art Fair is a favourite in our bi-annual calendar. It brings the vibrant creative scene of New Zealand together under one roof to showcase works, share ideas and celebrate the arts industry in all its forms. Creative entrepreneurs and up-and-comers mix in with established industry leaders to provide a diverse week of shows, workshops, events, performance and market stalls. All on the stunning waterfront of Auckland’s urban centre.
With more than 45 galleries and 180 artists from nine countries, there was no shortage of creative activities for the art-lovers and collectors to immerse themselves in. If you missed the fair this year, check out our highlights below. And get in touch if you’d like to experience the Auckland Art Fair 2019 on a Culture Scouts tour in May next year.
What better building to house international artists than a work of art itself? The Cloud on the Auckland waterfront by architects Jasmax is home to the Auckland Art Fair. The space is a truly spectacular collaboration of some of New Zealand's best design talent. It’s hard not to be awestruck by the high-gloss faceted, folding feature walls.
Visiting Gibb's Farm you expect (and are blown away by) the incredible sculptures that have made it world famous. The expansive open-air sculpture park is located in the beautiful Kaipara Harbour, north of Auckland on the privately owned property of art collector Alan Gibbs. It features large-scale outdoor artworks and a series of major site-specific commissions by some of the world's most renowned artists such as Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Serra and Anish Kapoor. Keep on the watch for the loveable roaming farm animals too.
From Pillars to Posts: Project Another Country, Auckland Art Gallery
From Pillars to Posts: Project Another Country by artistic husband-and-wife team Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan is a participatory and community based artwork commissioned for Auckland Art Gallery’s Todd Foundation Creative Learning Centre. It explores community, family, relocation and homemaking, and is part of an ongoing series of site-specific projects that use art-making to prompt conversations about what makes a home; all made by local children and gallery visitors. Small sculptural recycled cardboard box homes littered the gallery corridors meandering up walls, forming laneways and islands of constructions, creating an immersive work that triggered stories and a sense of belonging. Culture Scouts happily rolled up their sleeves to sit down and create their dream cardboard house armed with sticky tape and glue.
At the Soapbox Symposium with John Reynolds, Art Fair punters and experts can come and talk, one-to-one with the artist himself. John is one of New Zealand’s most loved senior contemporary artists and chatting to him for 20 minutes, we can see why! All topics and communication styles are welcome, from conjecture, idle talk and maybe even an earful on any topic of your choice. Of course John encourages a cup of coffee from local baristas and roasters Coffee Supreme to “enhance the art making impulse”, proving that Auckland is firmly positioned as a coffee capital! If you would like to view some of John’s stunning paintings wander up to the Auckland Art Gallery!
PAULNACHE Gallery and Parlour Projects
Virginia Leonard’s conceptual multi-stacked clay and resin sculptures were a stand out at the PAULNACHE Gallery booth in the fair. Installed at eye level, the works were both confronting and engaging, chaotically defying gravity, morphing between human, animal and plant. Virginia’s works are self portraits in response to the broken parts of her body. As a sufferer of chronic pain, her works both acknowledge the invisibility of this illness and give it an embodiment, a voice. “The language of my clay is my attempt to rid my body of trauma,” says Virginia. Further into the fair, The Parlour Project booth featured stunning works by Grace Wright. Bright colours applied in thick ribbons to create loose lines that almost pop off the canvas. At only 24 years old, this artist is one to watch.