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May 12, 2008 | by  | in Visual Arts | [ssba]

Visual Arts

A group show titled I like Sex and I’m a Girl opened on 2 May at the DAF 106 Gallery. Exhibition titles can be a little deceiving at times and on this occasion this is the case with the title of the show relating to a small ceramic piece by Mica Still that is hand painted with these words, which has been placed in the front window for display. The posters, I am told, are popular and have been going missing from around town.

The link in the title, one can guess is related to the fact that all the artists are women. The other works on display are by Dra McKay, Alison Jones, Ruby Nekk, Robyn E Kenealy, and Ngaio Simpson. Group shows can have a plethora of artists and art illustrating where each artist has developed and where their concerns lie and this exhibition is no different.


The works by Dra McKay are related to her exhibition earlier at DAF 106 during the Wellington Fringe Festival in which she was voted Best Visual Arts Winner 2008. As the titles of the works suggest ‘Street Art Series’ and ‘What We Walk By Series’ they are a reflection of street art. The titles are literal, presenting photographs of street art/graffiti. McKay uses a 35mm SLR camera to capture works that have been created by street artists using various materials, with or without social commentary. This makes these works quite topical in relation to the anti-graffiti concerns lately.

Alternately, Alison Jones has a large bright glossy oil on board work, which I hear she carried to the exhibition through peak hour traffic from her studio in Vivian St, titled ‘Shock and Oar’ an abstract piece which plays upon the words used by George Bush in his invasion of Iraq. A 2m wooden oar is attached to the painting with a gold chain. The work is playful with a touch of humour.

Whereas, the other two works by Mica Still suggest that she is still continuing with the theme of migration with ‘Take Flight’ and ‘Birds’.

Conversely, Robyn E Kenealy within her two works ‘Intimacy’ and ‘untitled panel 139 from ‘Roddy’s Film Composition’ are stills from her comic books. Check out Kenealy‘s Myspace site or robyn-ekenealy., for other images.

By way of contrast, Ruby Nekk has five works as part of ‘Foto’s from Korea’. Two are of interest and are those associated with dead animals. Three little pigs are in one and a fish in another. Ngaio Simpson, a recent graduate from Massey University has a very nice small painting of work ‘Heaven Beside You’.

What is interesting here is the grass roots level of community art which Aro Valley has an abundance of and which is good to see. The name DAF is named after its owners, Francis and Don, and its address, 106 Aro St.

It is an honest gallery, that runs with its heart on its sleeve. Community galleries can at times be taken for granted, this should not happen for this gallery, when one day someone in a local café says ‘so why is there no community art gallery in Aro Valley’? ‘Oh yes there is‘, should be the reply. The works are reasonably priced ranging from $20 onwards. Pop in for a visit and be sure to be put on their mailing list.


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