Past Event

BIG FISH LITTLE BOAT Artspace Aotearoa in exchange with Blue Oyster Art Project Space

Tāite 4 -
Rātapu 7

Thursday 4 -
Sunday 7



Video still showing the artist laying on floor with their legs on a bed. They are wearing black boots and a rose and a phone are laying on the bed between their feet.

Jo Bragg, Sudden Passion, 2021, Audio Visual,1:51 minutes. Still courtesy of the artist.

Artspace Aotearoa (Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland) and Blue Oyster Art Project Space (Ōtepoti Dunedin) are excited to partner in an exchange for TENT.

BIG FISH LITTLE BOAT opens a conversation about what it means to be a practicing artist at opposite ends of the country; developing a bond between the two galleries with the goal of future north/south collaboration.

Recently returning to Aotearoa from studying at Monash University, Naarm Melbourne, Jo Bragg will be writing for Artspace Aotearoa’s new artist exhibition, Cruel Optimism. Extending their investment in queer art theory, Bragg grapples with the opacities and obscurities of the term queer, and proposes that its failures and slippages are sites for queer utility. For TENT, Jo Bragg will be presenting a video work available to view 4 - 7 November on our website.

Artist Statement

Making new work during a global plague is weird. I have been watching works by Kenneth Anger and listening to too many Case Files (true crime) podcasts. I had wanted to script an elaborate narrative for *Sudden Passion: to make it some kind of ‘hard camp’ big deal. Set in, like, the year 2100, or something. But contemporary times are proving to be dystopic enough, without escape into future fear or fantasy projection.

Plus, I don’t have the energy, nor the access to company for that kind of ‘hard camp’ right now. So, here we are, trapped inside a whimsy version of ‘Black Mirror’ for a little under two minutes.

*Sudden Passion can be just that - a sad lockdown era work- and it is. Yet, the title and audio pull the weight of its subtle emphasis: the darkness lurking underneath. Addressing my concern for the rise in rates of domestic violence during lockdowns and the lack of significance being placed on this as a co-occurring pandemic. With cases that go undocumented and underreported due to distrust of the legal system and social stigma.

*In the title I refer to Sudden Passion - in legal terms - more commonly known as a ‘Crime of Passion’. I am highlighting insidious laws (including the ‘Gay/Trans Panic Defense’) that intentionally and senselessly leave lives behind, unprotected and end entire legacies of care and support.  

Jo Bragg, Sudden Passion, 2021, Audio Visual, 1:51 minutes.

Ed Ritchie considers architectural features from the facades of buildings that have housed Blue Oyster over the past two decades. Drawn from memories not measurements, Ritchie's work considers the Blue Oyster archive and incorporates copper, a nod to the material interest of Blue Oyster's previous anniversary exhibitions. Video footage of this physical installation, presented in our window at 16 Dowling Street, Ōtepoti, will be available to view 4-7 November from the Artspace Aotearoa website.

Based in Ōtepoti, Ed Ritchie has a predominantly site-specific, installation based practice often responding to architectural attributes of given space or echoing familiar mechanisms through assemblage. Ritchie completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Hons) in 2017 through the Dunedin School of Art and has since become a founder and co-facilitator of ARI Favour. Recent exhibitions include: Central Heating, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Ōtepoti (2021); Lay in Measures, Enjoy Contemporary, Wellington (2021) Hush Swarms, Hot lunch, Ōtautahi Christchurch (2020); Console Whispers, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Ōtepoti (2019).

Jo Bragg

Jo Bragg is an Aotearoa born and based visual artist, writer and researcher making work informed by critical, social, and queer art theory. Bragg is the original co-founder of MEANWHILE Gallery, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. They recently completed an MFA by Research (Hons) at Monash University, Naarm Melbourne, and are currently a Collective Member with RM Gallery in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.