glistens with nectar
A collaboration with scientist Janice Lord from Otago University, artist Kiri Mitchell, and Dave Allen & Paula Waby from Blind-Sight.
glistens with nectar, artists’ book publication, 2015, cloth bound, 22 pages, embossing and braille, edition of 5
This project culminated in an exhibition celebrating the Unesco Year of Light 2015 that brings together scientists from the University of Otago and artists through the Dunedin School of Art.The exhibition was held at the Otago Museum’s H D Skinner Annex.
To glisten with nectar conjures an image of moisture laden, seductive abundance like a carpet of winter snow shimmering in sunlight. However, it is not sunlight that informs this project but the hours of darkness on the Subantarctic Islands. Janice’s research looks at night time flower visitors on these islands, in particular the weta, and their prospects as plant pollinators. Early in the project she embarked on a journey to Enderby Island, in the Subantarctic Island archipelego, armed, at our request, with a diary for notes and observations. To our surprise, the diary contained whimsical sketches and delightfully descriptive, poetic notes and analogies of her daily activities. Her diary is a visual response described through her sense of sight, often using colour as if tailored to the visual artist. We thought about how much we take light for granted and how important light and vision are in our lives. This led us to consider producing a tangible work that doesn’t rely on sight to experience it. This, we felt, tied in with Janice’s research on the antics and behaviours of the critters and their tactile, frottage like contact with plant life in the not so dead of night. The decision was made to include braille in an artist book publication. We gratefully acknowledge Dave Allen and Paula Waby from Blind-Sight for their valued assistance.
The text in our publication is taken from selected words used in Janice’s journal article1 modified as Dada poetry. Dada is an artistic and literary avant-garde movement that began in 1916 in Zurich, Switzerland. It arose amid the brutality of World War I, as a protest to a senseless war. Dada art, including poetry, embraces all things nonsensical, experimental and surreal. An online Dada poetry generator created our sampling of Dada poems. These poems appear in braille and embossed text in our artist book publication along with an illustration from Janice’s diary and an illustration of an elephant as interpreted by our blind colleague, Paula.
1JM Lord, L Huggins, LM Little a & VR Tomlinson. Floral biology and flower visitors on subantarctic Campbell Island, New Zealand Journal of Botany, 2013
Exhibition of linocuts and monoprints at Inge Doesburg Gallery, 27th March – 11th April
The monoprints acknowledge three local businesses – two no longer in operation and a third ‘Coffee break’. undergoing reconstruction that restores faith somewhat in Dunedin’s local business economy and security for the many workers employed there.
Inge Doesburg Gallery + Studio provided the perfect setting for the Gasworks series of nine prints and three monoprints.
at Mint Gallery, March 2015