Private Lodgings | I'd rather be both Daegan Wells Connah Podmore
Alongside Daegan Wells’ Private Lodgings in the front space, Connah Podmore presents I'd rather be both in the second space. While each artist presents work unique to their current practice, they are also in conversation with each other using a common thread of memory. This temporary overlap offers dual ideologies, research methods and multiple opportunities for engagement.
Through his archival and sculptural practice, Daegan Wells has been observing researching and collecting artefacts from the Christchurch Residential Red Zone for several years, considering the exploration of this largely unoccupied area to be like a drawing. It was during this process he came across W. A. Sutton’s former home studio, caught in flux between the Earthquake Commission and Heritage New Zealand. While the surrounding neighbourhood has been transformed into an empty grassed landscape, the Sutton House remains, isolated and overgrown—prone to vandalism and in disrepair. Private Lodgings largely focuses on the surrounding garden, a site of memory for many who came and went from Sutton’s studio from 1963 to 1992.
Based in Christchurch, Daegan Wells holds an MFA from the University of Canterbury (2014). Recent exhibitions include: Persistency, The Physics Room Christchurch (2015), Kissing The Wall, North Projects Christchurch (2014) and Naxos, Room Four Chirstchurch (2014).
Wells would like to extend his gratitude to Christchurch Art Gallery in particular Lara Strongman, Tim Jones and Peter Vangioni. In addition Blue Oyster wishes to acknowledge the assistance of Brett McDowell and Maurie and Liz Angelo.
Connah Podmore’s practice presents text as sculptural artefact, crafting words in response to a concept, subject or place. I'd rather be both has been developed in response to Dunedin’s popular but mysterious Tunnel Beach. Using words to demonstrate both the constructive and destructive nature of tunnel building, Podmore’s texts focus on the effort of writing and the sublime act of labour required to create the tunnel in the 1870s.
Based in Wellington, Connah Podmore holds an MFA from Massey University (2014) and a BA from Otago University (2010). Recent exhibitions include: Light Makes Soft, 30 Upstairs Wellington (2016), Writing History, Aratoi Masteron (2015) and In Response with Maria O’Toole, Toi Pōneke Gallery Wellington (2015).