Author Archives: marionwassenaar

The Anatomy of Plants

The Brendel anatomical model collection housed in the Department of Botany at the University of Otago comprises thirty-six specimens. They were procured for the university in the late 1800s by T.J. Parker (1850-97), the first Professor of Biology. The collection is still in use today as a teaching aid in the anatomical and morphological study and classification of plant life. The finely detailed and accurate models are larger than life-size ranging in scale from two times to fifteen hundred times magnification with many of the models modular in order to study their internal botanical structure.

An email request from Janice Lord at the Department of Botany sparked interest in the cataloguing and documentation of the Brendel models housed in the department’s laboratory classrooms. This provided me with the opportunity to not only catalogue but also realise an exhibition outcome to expose the beauty and complexity of the Brendel models to a wider audience through my photographic documentation.

The intricate models are made from papier mâché, with other materials such as wood, cotton, rattan, pulp cane, glass beads, feathers and gelatine. The models are hand painted with oil paint to replicate their natural colours. Their robust nature and ability to withstand damage enables handling in a class setting.

08 111 IMG_1350 salvia

#111 Salvia officinalis, Common Sage

Photographic prints on Moab Slickrock paper plus a catalogue were on display at Inge Doesburg Gallery, Dunedin, 1 – 22 June 2019. A review by James Dignan appeared in the ODT.

Care Ecology Suite

Custom Print Project collaboration with Madison Kelly

The ‘Care Ecology Suite’, 2018 is a series of six screenprints printed on Pescia fine art paper and produced in the Print Laboratory at the Dunedin School of Art. The suite consists of six drawings by Madison reproduced as screenprints using a double exposure on each. Each print is individually titled as: Takahē, Tui, Hoiho, Kōtare, Kea, Kererū.

I approached Dunedin School of Art graduate Madison Kelly in late 2017 regarding a custom print collaboration to help raise funds for the Wildlife Hospital. I knew that Madison was passionate about animals and shared my interest in wildlife preservation and environmental concerns. Madison’s art practice increasingly adopts ephemeral outcomes as temporary wall drawings. I saw this collaboration as an opportunity to document Madison’s drawing style while at the same time offering funding support to a worthy cause.

Over the course of the year, Madison visited the wildlife hospital and several rehabilitation sites in the area. In her visits, she examined textures, equipment, and spaces that defined the patients’ time at each location. Resulting drawings present hypothetical spaces of care, formed using the visual cues of blankets, wiring, tubes, containers, and wild habitats. The drawings aim to suggest an ecology of care in both artificial healing spaces and the original habitats patients are eventually returned to. Madison’s constructed ‘habitats’ were then constructed into positives for screenprinting. The limited edition screenprints incorporate the outlines of six different species, double exposed into each of the six prints in the series. Two prints, Takahē, and Kea, include a second colour in an attempt to acknowledge the level of care and healing undertaken by the vet nursing staff at the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital.

All proceeds from the sale of this print/series go to the Wildlife Hospital.

Our thanks to Otago Polytechnic for funding support for materials.

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Impact 10 Print Conference

ENCUENTRO / ENCOUNTER Impact 10

Santander, Spain,  September 1st to 9th, 2018

It was certainly a wonderful encounter with a beautiful city, a large contingent of passionate print enthusiasts and a host of exciting venues, events, galleries, beaches and Cantabrian sunshine! Thanks to the wonderful organisers at SM Pro Art Circle.

I felt privileged to exhibit my burnt, compacted book, ‘Dreamwork’, at MUPAC, The Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology and I presented a paper on the projects undertaken in the Print Lab. I also submitted a print for the Mini Print Biennial at Centro de Arte Faro Cabo Mayor, the local lighthouse.

 

Estuary Art and Ecology Prize 2018

9 July – 19 August, 2018

I was thrilled to be announced winner of this year’s Estuary Art & Ecology Prize organised by Malcolm Smith Gallery, UXBRIDGE Arts & Culture in Howick, Auckland.

My work Unplugged responded to the Tāmaki Estuary, to underscore the ecological value of this vital waterway and encourage action against its pollution.

Artist statement:

The catalyst for this artwork is a book purchased in a charity shop, ‘Auckland Unplugged, Coping with Critical Infrastructure Failure’.* The book reports on the electricity blackout that disrupted Auckland’s central business district for five weeks over the summer of 1998 revealing a vulnerable city infrastructure requiring detailed risk evaluation in order to maintain efficiency. This crisis highlights our dependence not only on power supply but also town water supply and waste management and exacerbates a future of unsustainable uncertainty. These networks are interconnected with population growth and consumption placing huge demands on this post-industrial oasis. In attempting to create an artwork that conveys the adverse human impact on the environment, while acknowledging the waterways of the Tāmaki estuary and indeed the many contaminated waterways of Aotearoa, New Zealand, the book ‘Auckland Unplugged..’ is ironically reduced to pure carbon to be used as a filtering agent to hypothetically purify (or unblock) our polluted waters.

The artwork comprises the carbon remains of the book stored in a reagent bottle with the book title etched on the glass and photographic evidence of estuary water before and after filtration.

* Newlove, Lindy. Eric Stern, Lina Svedin. Lanham, Md. : Lexington Books, 2003

The judge, Paul Brobbel had this to say of my work:

“A work that stands askew from the other works in the exhibition. Unplugged is, on first consideration, a challenging artwork – intelligent with possibly an element of humour to some. But tilting at the political, the bureaucratic and the pathetic, this work adds a unique element of anger and aggression to the exhibition. Unplugged is still, like all the works here, optimistic, but the artist took a much more visceral ride to get there.”

Above is the original book and the carbon remains following slow pyrolysis. The ‘book’ was then crushed and used in a home made water filter.

Unplugged install

Unplugged, 2018

Unplugged opening

Exhibition opening 7th July, 2018

The Print Laboratory welcomes: The News Network

Invitation_TNNTheNewsNetwork_ForresterGallery

It was fantastic to be a part of The News Network group exhibition at the Forrester Gallery, Oamaru. The exhibition included custom prints produced in the Print Laboratory by Kipp, Maisie and BaT & Emboss as a fundraiser for the Forrester gallery. The prints are a response to the ornamental plaster ceiling rose in the main gallery.

Artists in the exhibition: Alison Alder, Marian Crawford, BaT & Emboss, Neil Emmerson, Richard Harding, Steve Lovett, Trent Walter and Marion Wassenaar.

 

mise en place

Mise en Place invite

mise en place is a joint exhibition with Kiri Mitchell that looks at the roles of women in the kitchen.

The Kitchen Drawer series, 2017
This work pays tribute to my mother for her dedication to provide daily meals on the table. With limited electric gadgets available during that time, this work acknowledges the labour of love involved in food preparation. I hope that, in her old age, she gets the quality of care she deserves. The Kitchen Drawer series is a response to concerns for the care of our aging population in light of decreasing funding and standards of food quality in the public health system.

kd8