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Kate Hill: Burnt Archives // Aaron Thompson: Waste Not
September 21, 2013 @ 3:00 pm - October 3, 2013 @ 5:00 pm
Opening in the Main Gallery as part of the Auckland Heritage Festival
Saturday 21 September 3 – 4.30pm
Kate Hill: Burnt Archives is an exhibition of paintings informed by the extensive damage to, and subsequent efforts to conserve, historical documents burnt in the 1952 Hope Gibbons fire in Wellington.
Kate first became aware of the impact of this event on New Zealand’s historical record while researching a post-graduate degree in archaeology in 1996. Many of the Public Works Department files she wished to access had been severely damaged in the fire and were not available for viewing. More recently, an extensive digital photographic record of some of these files has been carried out by Archives New Zealand as part of their conservation strategy. Access to these photographs enabled her to produce this current body of work.
Her paintings are inspired by the resemblance of some parts of the charred files to scorched landscapes. While this is apparent in some works more than others, the images can generally be seen as a metaphor for the destruction of our physical environment and, more literally, as a statement about the urgent need to address the loss of our heritage across all fields and disciplines.
Aaron Thompson: Waste Not is an exhibition of redesigned furniture with an ecocentric conscience.
When a piece of furniture ends up on the unwanted list it has few options left as to its retirement. Much will be burnt, some will be reused but unfortunately most goes to landfill.
But to upcyclers, recyclers, reclaimers and artists, these are materials with a story and character that can be born into a new state of being so the story can continue. Aaron takes furniture from yesteryear and redesigns its detailing and finish to a modern aesthetic. He reuses materials and employs processes that are environmentally sound. Each piece is meticulously crafted and sits well amongst ‘new’ furniture designs.
Having worked in the shop-fitting industry, on super yachts, and with cabinetmakers, Aaron has seen the waste that fills bins day after day. For many, to find new uses for this waste is simply not worth the business time. The pieces Aaron redesigns and upcycles are the interface between the unwanted list and the landfill. Aaron hopes that his work inspires a broadening of the perception of what value really is.