14 October to 11 December 2011. Level 2, North Wing, Puke Ariki
This exhibition between the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT) and Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) is celebrating the coming together of two cities that lie on the same latitude yet are located on opposing sides of New Zealand’s North Island coastline.
It focuses on the geographical distance and marking of place between eastern and western sites of creativity. Dialogue in New Zealand is often framed on an axis of North and South; the opening of this East-West axis is recognition of other and new kinds of creative dialogue and pathways.
Hawkes Bay and Taranaki are two regions bounded by different waters: the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea. While separated by a rugged and mountainous plateau, the tertiary institutions of each region are connected by a shared commitment to fostering the arts. The works in the exhibition dovetail a sense of distance with one of connection.
The East West theme is conceived to work on a number of layers, embracing Māori mythological and spiritual notions of place alongside European ideas of mapping and location. Works in this exhibition explore east west relationships within political, philosophical and psychological arenas. As such participating artists from the two tertiary institutes respond creatively to the theme on a myriad of levels - from concepts underpinning eastern and western religious ideologies to political forces shaping the planet today. The geographical reference also embodies a strong ecological focus, looking at the ways we understand and value our place in a universe that is forever expanding.
Images: (Top) Jill Webster, Postbox (Bottom) Ian Clothier, Blossom