Certificate of Design and Visual Arts – Unitec 2009

This category contains 4 posts

My Significant Thing – Metrosideros excelsa

Taking thDorothy de Lautour,   Dominion Rd Herbaria: Metrosideros excelsa, Pohutukawa, 2010e role of a 19th Century botanist, I have collected and catalogued the artificial plants found along Dominion Rd.  Using a variety of findings to create each brooch, this series, Metrosideros excelsa, Pohutukawa, New Zealand Christmas Tree , is displayed in an herbarium style but are meant as a parody of these expeditions to create a commentary on the influences of post-colonialism, consumerism, economic and cultural global exchange, specifically here in Auckland.  Herbaria collections were often displayed in drawers and cabinets, so I have chosen to display the specimens in a jewellery cabinet as a reference to these ‘specimen’ now being wearable items.

From as early as the 16th Century, the practice and production of science depended largely on observational evidence.  Firstly tied in with medicine the study of the plant world began to branch out into its own scientific area which we now refer to as Botany.  A huge emphasis was placed on meticulous rendering of plants, not only the entire form but also complete with details of the roots, stems, leaves, flowers and fruits.

It was also around this time that Herbaria, which are the collections of preserved plants, became increasingly popular.  After 1700, compiling herbaria was considered to be a useful and educational past time where one went out to “Botanise”, exploring and recording one’s natural surroundings.   Toward the end of the 17th Century naturalists wanted to travel abroad to collect and document more exotic flora and fauna, one of the most notable being Sir Joseph Banks, (1743 – 1820).  Banks was a pioneer of modern plant hunting paying his own way onto the Endeavour on its voyage 1768 – 1771.   These early botanical explorers made many discoveries which they painstakingly preserved and catalogued.  Banks is credited with introducing over 7,000 new species into Britain, his herbarium attained national importance and is held at the British Museum of Natural History.  Large collections of plants were taken and introduced to England, observatories an almost obligatory feature of the larger Victorian garden.

It was in this context that I began ‘collecting’ along Dominion Rd, examining the influences that have affected the popularity and abundance of these cheap, often brightly coloured artificial flowers.  Globalisation has given us, the consumer, a far greater choice of cheap goods (particularly from around the Asia-Pacific Region) and here on Dominion Rd the ‘$2, $3 and more’ Shop illustrated this consumerism well.  Chinese lanterns, fake flowers and pacific lei, adorning the shop frontages, all made from cheap massed produced items, the majority of which coming from China.  Other cultural influences come from our closer Pacific neighbours, where the wearing of flowers as head decorations are a part of everyday clothing and a quintessential decorative accessory.

These brooches have been created from cheap mass produced items that are readily available, they have been deconstructed and made into something uniquely handmade, while at the same time giving me an opportunity to experiment with a number of joining techniques useful to my jewellery practice.  The influences of post-modernist contemporary artists Alberto Baraya, Areta Wilkinson, Lisa Walker and Judy Darragh, as well as my own interest in Botanical drawing, have all contributed to the personal relevance of my ‘Significant thing’.

Global Art

Global Art,   where to begin?  As new technologies emerge at an ever increasing rate, travel and migration become easier and cheaper,  the world seems to be becoming a much smaller place and the many, many different countries history, culture, art , ideologies, politics and economies are merging and influencing us all as never before.     This blogsite is just one example of  the new  ‘global mediums’ available to us,  once I have made my posts they will then be available virtually anywhere in the world.

For my assignment I have created a new Category ‘Globalisation’ , the postings here are:-

  • ‘Global Art’ – This introduction
  • ‘Globalisation and Cultural Identity’  an exhibition looking and discussing the effects of globalistaion on cultural identies and traditional art practices.
  • ‘McDonalds – the Global Invasion’  a collection of Youtube clips showing how universal this brand has become.
  • ‘Janet Lilo – Visual Artist’ –  a look at Janet Lio’s work using video, youtube and the internet as her mediums

For further interest and reference there are links within my posts and also a new Link  section ‘Globalisation and Art’.

Lastly, as this medium a public forum I have sent a facebook message to all my ‘friends’ for them to read these postings and leave a comment.  It will be interesting to see how many comments I get and if it leads to new ideas and directions.  The link to facebook is also found in the ‘Globalisation and Art’ Links section.

Globalisation and Cultural Identity

How can you define your cultural identity  when so many of us are now a real fusion of many different cultures?  Even though I identify myself as a New Zealander, I also recognise a connection to my English, Scottish and Irish heritage as well as now having a strong Pacific connection.    A Social Report issued by the Ministry of Social Development states ” Cultural Identity is an important contributor to people’s wellbeing.”  as well as ..” New Zealand -ness may vary from person to person.  A strong national culture or identity, and strength in artistic endeavours, can be a source of ecnomic strength and higher material standards of living.”  http://www.socialreport.msd.govt.nz/2003/cultural-identity/cultural-identity.shtml

So which ethnic group should I identify myself  with ?  Well actually I don’t have to.  One of the best things about being a  New Zealander, or kiwi, is that I have  a sense of belonging  to New Zealand,  but it is OK  to identify with more than one culture and that those connections may even change, become more, or less ,important to me over the course of my life.   That it is one of the things that I feel defines me as a New Zealander in a multi-cultural society and makes me unique.

And what  made me start thinking about these identity issues and how I felt about it ?   Art, of course.

This work was created by Artist and Curator  Ema Tavola , started in 2005 in Auckland and finished in 2008 in Suva, Fiji.

Identity, Complex, Identity'

Identity, Complex, Identity' (An homage to Aotearoa), 2008

The following work is a response to what I see as the cultural influences in my life and what I identify with.


Scottish Kiwi


Island Kiwi


Fijian Kiwi

It was also interesting to note that the importance Cultural Identity plays in Traditional or Indigineous Art.   Globalisation is both good and bad, giving on one hand the freedom to explore contemporary styles and techniques with a traditional flavour, as illustrated by the Red Wave Exhibition of a Collective of Artist from around the Oceania region… http://www.octobergallery.co.uk/exhibitions/2006red/index.shtml

 Epeli Hau’ofa explains  ‘We are not interested in imitating (western art) and asking our artists to perform dances for tourists.  It is time to create things for ourselves, to create established standards of excellence which match those of our ancestors…The development of new art forms that are truly Oceania, transcendent of our national and cultural diversity, is very important in that it allows our creative minds to draw on far larger pools of cultural traits than those of our indiviual national lagoons.  It makes us less insular without being buried in the amorphousness of the global melting pot.”  (Epeli Hau’ofa. James Harvey Gallery, Sydney. September 2000) 


But perhaps the bad is the dilution of the traditional styles and the loss of some unique skills,  although there are many artists that aim to ensure these skills shouldn’t be lost altogether.    

The following except is from anIranian online Art magazine ‘Tavoos’ , http://www.tavoosonline.com/Main/IndexEn.aspx

“The West knows only too well that what it means by “global art” is not an art which has its roots in various cultures, but rather, one that has been formed through the arts and artists of the world, embracing it completely. It also knows that “global art” means taking advantage of the talents of other countries and imposing changes on the styles and tastes of others. Finally, the West understands that “global art” is an art which must take shape within a cultural domain and is one of the methods of cultural colonization.”http://www.tavoosonline.com/Articles/ArticleDetailEn.aspx?src=89&Page=1

The continental shift iran
a Work from ‘The Continental Shift’


If these are a taster of the work coming as the result of Iranian Global Art, then it can’t be all bad surely…

McDonalds the Global Invasion

As one of the most  universally recognised brands in the World,  McDonald’s is a leading global fast  food retailer with more than 31,000 local restaurants serving more than 58 million people in 118 countries each day. http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd.html.   What first got me off down this track was a group of kiwis singing their McDonalds order, it’s very cool.  This clip has had (at time of posting) 389,950 viewings ……

The YouTube that started it all… created right here in New Zealand by Random Acts, the original

Kajung Style

Singing your order in America

Here’s one from Hong Kong

America – McDonalds Big Mac Drive Thru Rap

McDonalds Rap Healthy Version

An outlet in Iraq…



Janet Lilo – Visual artist

I have mentioned to a few of you these very cool YouTubes done by Janet Lilo,  here are a few of them…

‘Let Love You’ & ‘So Sick’ , Janet Lilo

Looking at the social networking site bebo and what people are putting a private image of themselves in a public space..

Dawson Road Mural Project

A new large scale outdoor mural for Ferguson Oaks Park onDawson Road Otara.  Commisioned by Manukau Arts, Libraries and Parks  in partnership with Manukau Beautification Trust.   To find out their ideas forthe mural and what  it should represent a series of interviews have been undertaken with park and library users from the Otara community…

Janet Lilo Sapporo Artist in Residence Vlog5

As artist in residence in Sapporo, Japan… Mall Dancing

Photography Assignment

Photographic Assignment Semester One

The brief here was Memory and Archive  as a record of a selected moment in time, the (documentary) photograph still retains a primary purpose of being a record — a trace of a moment in time to become an archive or memory. 

While delving though my collection of photos and keepsakes I came upon a collection of Richard Carrier cookbooks/magazines.  They were put out in the 1970s and collected by my Grandfather,  who was an enthusiastic cook.  One of the recipes reminded me of a happy time I spent with him creating  a Bavarian Cream and riding home with it hitched onto the back of my bike, much to his amusement.    What I also realised is that I had a wonderful family archive of recipes that had been scrapbooked together,  recipes collected by Mum and passed to me, personal recipes from friends and family, often hand written.   




 A photographic workshop where we were required to compile and arrange images in a response to various artists who use a number of different techniques offering  us alternative views of the ordinary space.

 Looking at the work of Roni Horn we selected a space to take a number of close up, middle and long distance shots and arranged selected images in a square format.

Then we took a panaromic view of a space, dividing it into 4 to 6 and taking a numnber of shots within each division. These images can then be reassembled, as in the work of Daniel Spoerris, providing a visiually interesting view of again a quite ordinary space.  Yves Klein’s work looks at unconnected details of a space, and joins then together.   Lastly, we returned to one of our selected spaces and re photographed it through  mesh and netting, particularly examing the different junctions within the room, influenced here by the work of Christian Milovanoff.


 This image is my response to Daniel Spoerri’s “Chambre no.13 de l’Hotel Carcassone, rue Mouffetard,Paris, 1959-64

the ladies copy


 My response to Roni Horn’s,   “Her,Her,Her and Her” , 2001 -2003. 64 B&W images of a women’s locker room in Reykjavik.

  Here’s a few other photographic artists images that I enjoyed…



Starn Twins, “Attracted to Light 1″, 1996 – 2004,  120″ x 264”,Toned silver print on Thai Mulberry Paper.  The series is a sub series of  “Absorption of Light“.   



Starn Twins, “Guayin”, 2005, 55′ x 55″ , Unique Colour Carbon Prints.

Link to see more of this series is http://www.starnstudio.com/ really worth a look, they do some cool stuff.
  the third streetchenshaoxiong
 Chen Shaoxiang, “Third Street, Gedachutniskirche, Berlin”, 2001,  85 x 130 cm, C-print

  In his series of “Streetscapes” you think you see an ordinary streetview but the maquette influences the sight.


 Chen Shaoxiong, “Cityview 1 & 2”, 2001, C-print



In this workshop we looked at Perspective to create the illusion of depth and space, things in the distance are less defined, lighter (bluer), smaller and foreshortened. We looked at techniques used and a brief history.

   In the Middle Ages overlapping rather perspective was used,


Saints Sergios and Bacchos, Monastry of St.Catherine, Sinai

Later in the work of Italian artist Giotto de Bondone we can see the introduction of volume and depth.
  Giotto di Bondone  
“The Mourning of Christ”, c.1305, Fresco, Capella dell”Arena, Padua   


Guido diPietro copy

 Guido di Pietro, known as Fra Angelico

“The Coronation of the Virgin”, before 1435, Tempera on Wood, 2.09 x 2.06 m, San Domenico, Fiesole (now at the Louvre)

This work is considered to be the culmination of his artistic development from 1420 to 1430 due to both his mastery of persepective and virtuoso arrangemnet of figures.  Fra Angelico was one of the first to understand the importance of Brunelleschi’s and Masaccio’s algebraic /geometric innovations which are in use today.

 While another Italian Master, Pierro della Francesca, is considered one of the most important artists of the 15th century, particularly due to his innovations in perspective geometry and thesis on painting and mathematics. 

 Constucting Perspective 

One Point Perspective has one Vanishing Point and one Horizon.


 Two Point Perspective has Two Vanishing Points and one Horizontal,  there are no other Horizontal lines.  All lines on the same plane or object surface will vanish to the same Vanishing Point.


stsebastian copy 

Contemporary Artists Using Perspective in their Art …..
Bill Krueger "Venice Morning", 2007, Oil on Canvas, 30" x 40"

Bill Krueger "Venice Morning", 2007, Oil on Canvas, 30" x 40"Bill Krueger, "Red Wine", 2007, Oil on Canvas, 30" x 40"

Panya Clark Espinal,  2002



Panya Clark Espinal,  waterjet cut porcelain tiles and terrazzo,  2002

This was a commissioned installation for the Toronto Subway Stations,  using 24 hand drawn images “projected” onto the walls of the sub station.  When seen from the point of projection they seen realistic while become abstract from a different viewing location. 



  This workshop investigated the multitude of ways we can use lines in an image using both digital and hands on methods.  Firtsly we had a morning in the lab playing around with Photoshop,  finding 4 -6 images from the internet to import as a Background Layer, then using the drawing tools (brush, pencil, marquee, erasor, colours) to create a completely different image.

 Here’s a selection of my recreated  images.

Fiji Water

Fiji Water


Freedom For Fiji

Freedom For Fiji

Family Wedding

Family Wedding

Fiji Ever Fiji

Fiji Ever Fiji

Tapa Soliders

Tapa Soliders

 The next set of images were created by hand, using techniques such as tracing, cut outs, voiding areas with paint (white or black), adding lines or  collage.




muslims copy


Exhibition “We Are Fiji”

exhibition banner

” i Viti, o sa tara na yaloqu”
                                      – ah Fiji, you’ve touched my soul.

This exhibition is a personal reflection on my time living in the Fiji Islands.  Fiji is a beautiful and complex country with an extremely rich cultural amalgamation of indigenous Fijian, Indo-fijian and of course British colonial influences.  

Fiji is a real juxtaposition of wealth and poverty, freedom and restrictions both political and cultural.  The images and video clips I have choosen for this exhibition  hope to provide a brief  insight to these uniquely Fijian diversities.


Music Video put together by Daniel Rae Costello in response to the Fiji Sevens World cup 2007.



Man and Woman in Patriarchal Society

 Josaia McNamara Patricarchal society cropped

Josaia McNamara
Man and Woman in Patriarchal Society, 2006
91 x 64 cm
Oil on Canvas

This piece was displayed as part of the Red Wave Collective, which is a group of prominent contemporary artists from the University of the South Pacific, Fiji. It encompasses much about life in Fiji.   The artist uses traditional patterns and vibrant colour that incorporate aspects of the many cultural values within Fijian society, in particular the domance of the Patriarchal society in both the traditional Fijian villages and also the Indian Family structures. 


Fijian Girl at Hindi Wedding 


Meg Campbell-Back, 2007
B&W Digital photograph

 An image from Meg’s personal blogsite,  Meg has been living in Fiji for nearly 4 years on Treasure Island with her family, she has learnt to speak Fijian and has been honing her photographic skills,   I wouldn’t be surprised if she started speaking  Hindi also next time I see her.    The  Hindi wedding ceremony is an incredibly colourful event that we have been priviledge to be invited to.  While  the practice of arranged marriages is still very prevalent,  who knows what the future will hold for this beautiful young girl.


Sunset over the Mamanucas

Sunset over the Mamanacus, 2000
Three Loose Coconuts, Peter Henning and Glen Craig
Colour digital print in Hard back book , “fiji time” , Three Loose Coconuts, 2000

A beautiful image of the Mamanucas Islands, home to the large majority of the Tourist Resorts. This image is typically what springs to mind when we as New Zealanders think of Fiji and where, as a tourist, we would most likely be holidaying.


Only in Fiji

My freinds and I had a saying “only in fiji” that we would use to descibe situations and attitudes that you would only come across in Fiji,  the following excerpt from a friends blogsite sums this up very well…

Natural Ice Cream Shop

 ME:  What time do you close ?

Ice Cream Guy:  9 pm

ME:  Every night ?

ICG:  Yes

Me:  What about tonight ?

ICG:  Tonight ?  8:30

only in fiji !


Freedom of Speech
publisher expelled

freedom of speech
unknown artist, published on Blogsite

This Blog site entitled “mi vida al reves or how two europeans got lost in Fiji” is written by a woman who lives in Suva, she initially setup the blog to keep in touch with family and friends in Europe. The site is full of relevant and inciteful comments as well as links to many fijian based websites.  At the moment, with the press being so heavily censored, the blog site has become  a  valueable source of information.  The images posted refer directly to the interference with the Fijians right to freedom of speech while the second makes reference to the expulsion of the third newspaper editor over the last year. 


Fiji TimeTom & Chris Mana Island 05

Fiji Time on Mana Island
Dorothy de Lautour, 2005
Digital Photograph

An idylic holiday on one the many beautiful islands in the Mamanuca group where parents and kids can really relax,


The Legend of Duacina

The Legend of Duacina

William Bakalevu
The Legend of Duacina, 2006
Oil on Canvas
201 x 177 cm

A contemporary take on a traditional legend, this painting reflects the colours of fiji with its use of  blues and greens, as well as a reference to traditional weaving. The painting seems to have a very Escher like influence with the fish patterns fitting into one another.  The artist is also a member of the Red Wave Collective of Pacific Artists, and was part of the Red Wave exhibition, London, 2006.


 Vonu ni Cakau IVonu ni Cakau I

Maria Rova
Vonu ni Cakau I, 2008
Oil on Barkcloth (masi)
26 x 50 cm

‘Vonu ni Cakau’ is fijian meaning ‘Turtle of the Reef’ .  Turtles are  revered in island legends as symbols of wisdom and blessing, though their numbers are dwindling there are several breeding programs happening within Fiji,  this painting is celebrating their annual return.  Maria is an American who married a local Fijian and has lived in Fiji for the last 10 years,  her images are bold and colorful, drawing inspiration from the colour and diversity of the landscape, seascape, flora and fauna and animals, predominately printed on silk or bark cloth (or masi).  Maria has also been involved in Australian Aid sponsored art workshops for local people looking to produce  a variety of artworks, as well as providong another opportunity of creating income.


Nacula School, Yasawa Islands


nacula school
Meg Campbell-Back, 2007
Colour Digital photograph

A very typical classroom found throughout Fiji,  the resources are pretty minimal and the school caters for a number of villages.  Often these school will have children  boarding from Monday through to Friday.  We have always found the teachers and students very friendly and welcoming,  often tourists that come to visit the schools will also make a donation of some kind.


Gateway to Suva  suvaprison1

Meg Campbell-Back, 2007
Colour Digital photograph

If you drive from Nadi into Suva the first thing to great you is the Suva prison, a relect from the Colonial Past, it is a grim building no matter how it is dressed up with murals. 


Cartoon from The Australian newspaper


Peter Nicholson
The Australian newspaper, 26 May 2000


George Speight lead coup in 2000, which took over Parliment at gunpoint.  This an interesting historical cartoon as only really the players have changed from the Council of Chiefs behind the coup,  now disbanded by current regime, to the Military coup that is in power currently.  It is clear that attitudes and ideas on how to resolve differences of opinion has not been dealt with,  I doubt whether Fiji can get the stability it needs until this basic process can work in reality.


New Zealand Herald Article’s

Fiji compared to Burma as junta tightens its grip

Page 1 of 2 View as a single page 7:41AM Tuesday Apr 14, 2009
By Yvonne Tahana
This article is an example of the reporting that I have found typical of the New Zealand and Australian press.  Sometimes I  wonder whether the journalists have actually been to Fiji and looked at all the issues.  In this article the New Zealand Herald has likened the crisis in Fiji to that of Burma,  I wonder if the journalist is providing balance or looking for a good by-line.

Are you putting off a trip to Fiji?


The treason charges against 10 people arrested in Fiji have been dropped. Ten of 16 people arrested had been … More

This second article refers to the 200o Coup,  and asks us to reconsider travelling to Fiji as this may be seen as supporting an  unlawful Govt with poor human rights, although apparently encouraging trade with China is to be supported and encouraged.  

Tourism Fiji New Zealand Current Advertising Campaign

 Tourism Blackboard Website
May 2009

 While our News leaders advise not to travel to fiji our tourism industry leaders advise us there is no better time to go. 


Adobe After Effects Animation

Finally, after a lot of stuffing around the final After Effects Animation…..

” Flying Tanoas”

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