Past Exhibition

Idle Hands. Zoe Thompson-Moore, Dulce Lamarca & Kate Mitchell

Wenerei 23 Pēpuere -
Hātarei 16 Āperira

Wednesday 23 February -
Saturday 16 April


french knitting laid out on wooden floor

Image: String Theory, Zoe Thompson-Moore. Photo: Dianna Thomson

Idle Hands brings together three projects which use forms of performance to document moments of downtime, waiting, anticipation, rest, and play. 

Idle Hands presents two pieces from Dulce Lamarca’s Tuning Series: video documentation of the artist tuning her cello in constant preparation and without the closure of a formal performance. This new installation of existing work draws on physical elements of Lamarca’s New York studio, including a hammock which invites visitors and gallery staff to recline while viewing the earliest work in the series, Un entre (2017). 

Installed in Blue Oyster’s front window facing out onto Dowling Street, Kate Mitchell’s 24-hour video performance In Time (2015) loops daily. Mitchell’s durational work, where time is as much the material as the action or gesture itself, documents a gruelling 24-hour performance where the artist alternately rests on and clings to the minute hand of a giant clock.


Zoe Thompson-Moore plays with practices and seasonality to gather together her life as an artist, mother and gardener. Her work, titled Pissing While (2022), includes a blue armchair (borrowed from her Waiwhetū, Lower Hutt home-studio for the duration of the exhibition), a length of French knitting which she first began stitching over a decade ago, and a playful drawing by her child Rowan and their friend Sylvie which is displayed on Blue Oyster’s office fridge.

Privileging process as much as outcome, each project records and captures material qualities of time through waiting, rest, patience (or impatience), and anticipation: modes of being which are central to our lives but absolutely counter to the dominant productivity discourse. 

Developed in conversation with Bree Richards.

Kate Mitchell

Kate Mitchell’s practice spans video, objects, image-making, and public interventions. Mitchell’s video works often position her as the central protagonist in absurd, challenging, and amusing situations – teasing out themes related to productivity, labour, success, and failure. The current focus of her practice draws on social uses of magical thinking and New Age practices and their collision and absorption by conventional structures and rational frameworks. Mitchell is interested in the multi-layered outcomes of these experiments that speak to who we are, what we value and how we exist.

Her work is included in leading public and private collections across Australia including: Kadist Foundation, Paris and San Francisco; Michael Buxton Collection, Melbourne; Artbank, Sydney and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. The artist is represented by Chalk Horse Gallery, Sydney.

Dulce Lamarca

Dulce Lamarca is an Argentinian-born interdisciplinary artist and educator currently living and working in New York. She holds a BFA with orientation in Painting and Arts Education from Regina Espacio de Arte (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and a MFA in Fine Arts from SVA School of Visual Arts (New York, NY).

Lamarca’s work has been exhibited in Five Myles (Brooklyn, NY), Tramo (Panama City, Panama), A.I.R. Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), Spring Break Art Show (New York, NY), Satellite Art Show (Miami, FL), Doral Contemporary Art Museum (Doral, Miami, FL), Proyecto Casa Intervenida (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Latin American Theater Experiment & Associates, (New York, NY), Centro Cultural Borges (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Luxun Academy of Fine Art and Lankai Gallery (Anshan, China), among others. 


Zoe Thompson-Moore

Zoe Thompson-Moore (Pākehā - nō Mannin Isle of Man, nō Aerana, nō Ingarangi, nō Kōtarana) lives in Waiwhetū, Te Awakairangi with her family. Her practice plies the edges of art and the everyday. Zoe works with social fabric, focussing on sites and lived experiences of reproductive labour. Recent projects include To feel with the hand (tickling potatoes) with The Dowse Art Museum and The making of bread, etc. with Enjoy Contemporary Art Space.

Zoe seeks to practice in a way which interrogates isolation, scarcity, and the imperatives of the work ethic. She loves inviting others into her practice as a way to strengthen existing relationships as well as develop new ones. Zoe is interested in getting closer and going slower. Valuing idleness, play, maintenance, interpersonal relationships and internal transformation over unquestioned productivity and external outputs.