Past Exhibition

Castles from the Back Lot | A Diverse Cast. Becky Richards & Barbara Smith

Tūrei 6 Māehe -
Hātarei 7 Āperira

Tuesday 6 March -
Saturday 7 April


A large piece of wood standing from the ground surrounded by large stones, various piles of stones, native grasses and wood lie around the room

Image: Becky Richards, Castles from the Back Lot, 2012.

Barbara Smith and Becky Richards are both installation artists, though that is perhaps where the obvious similarities end.

On Saturday 3 March the artists will descend on Dunedin - Smith from Hamilton, Richards from Christchurch via Melbourne - and begin to occupy the Upper and Darkside Galleries of the Blue Oyster. The pair will install their work together, but separately. A kind of un-collaboration where the gallery space is yet to be allocated and the artists’ interventions will take them meandering around the space, overlapping each other, figuring out just what they can do as they do it.

Smith’s body of work, A Diverse Cast, will see the installation of a number of objects created in her studio in Hamilton transported down to Dunedin in the back of her car. A road trip of sorts with resin, metal and perspex characters bumping around in the boot. At the final destination they will take up new positions in the gallery, perhaps a little jumbled. When Smith leaves the space it will be almost as if someone has shaken a Boggle box and left the letters lying for the the next willing participant to solve.

Richards will also bring her favoured materials with her, in this case a trailerload of recycled construction materials from the fractured realm of Christchurch, to divide and conquer the space; splitting it into fiefdoms populated by rock fortifications and grasses. If Smith intends on releasing inhabitants into the Blue Oyster, then Richards will attempt to give them gardens and borders. Miniature land art for the masses.

Presented alongside Monique Jansen and Frances Hansen Alongside Project

Becky Richards

Becky Richards is a Christchurch born artist, based in Auckland and is currently undertaking her MFA at Elam School of Fine Arts. Favouring analog, tactile processes and natural materials, Richards seeks to describe and encourage a close and curious engagement with the organic world. She is interested in how such engagement can induce energetic, cognitive and emotional changes of state in humans; focusing on rhythms of weather, seasons, botanical presence, elemental flux, interconnectivity and the liveliness of organic matter.

She looks for simple activities, ways of thinking, and states of being that can help generate balance and well-being, particularly in increasingly screen-oriented, digitally-saturated societies. Richards’ previous exhibitions include; Three Nights in the desert, C3 Contemporary Artspace, 2013 (solo); Temple of shapes, Seventh Gallery, 2013 (group); Domestos, Tinning St Gallery, 2014 (solo); The wee shocial, Christchurch Exchange, 2015 (group).

Barbara Smith

Barbara Smith graduated from Whitecliffe College with an Masters of Fine Arts in 2010.