YHONNIE, LONNIE + JANE
It was an unusual opening Friday night as it coincided with the Ainslie+Gorman Art Centre’s Summer Garden Party. As a result of the clash of licences throughout the centre CCAS forwent its bar to provide drinks for artists and friends in the office. Thus an office party ensued …. At the same time three fantastic shows managed to open including artists from Canberra, Melbourne and Auckland. Jane Barney, once CCAS director and also very talented artist, showed colourful animated assemblages in digital frames. These entertaining works appropriated from family photos, travel snaps and 60s magazines celebrate relationships between individual memory and the media of popular culture. Kiwi legend Lonnie Hutchinson was given the right royal run around by DHL as her work arrived only a couple of hours before the opening. Ever the trooper … Lonnie came to the party with a selection of works that reference her family’s Maori and Samoan heritage and the practice of black birding – kidnapping people from the Pacific Islands for purposes of servitude and sexual slavery. (This is a colonial issue that Australia has scarcely recognised!) And the incredible Yhonnie Scarce with many variations on her ubiquitous glass yam, has produced a disturbing clinical installation based on the medico-scientific eugenic practices of the early 1900s, particularly those performed by the Australian anthropologist and ethnologist Norman Tindale, including on Scarce’s own family members. Three great shows with lots of issues to end what has been the craziest of years – courtesy of the former federal Minister for the Arts. Not sorry to see the end of it if the truth is known. But despite all the lead up problems everyone had a great time both in the office and at the Summer Garden Party. Troopers all really. Weak in colour but strong in blood, Yhonnie Scarce, I will never fade away from you, Lonnie Hutchinson, and Out of the Corner of your eye, Jane Barney at CCAS Gorman Art Centre 4-19 December 2015, 19 January – 13 February 2016. Please note that CCAS will be closed for Christmas New Year holidays from 21 December reopening 19 January.