Art Place installment inspired by the properties of Atea in relation to The San Fran Bathhouse, Cuba Street. Painting. Izzy Hey. August 2016.
My work book for Art Place studio.
My best studio , 2016, Izzy Hey
The studio in which I made my best artwork was in the art place studio based on the concept of Atea. In te reo, Atea is both a stative, a noun and a location. Where as, Atea can be defined as the open area in front of the wharenui that is used for welcomes and debating issues, the word also desribes the mythological location, a void, below the horizon where Maatariki dissapears at the end of the Maori year. But, in the word’s stative form, Atea means to be clear or free from obstruction.
My final work reflected the sense of Atea given by the Wellington location of the San Fran bath house. San Fran, as one of Wellington’s most well known intimate venues for live music preformance, had a stage and thus a place to preform, be clear and free of obstructions. My work is inspired by music, it’s sounds, it’s personalities, all it is, and how music is able to be used by artists to raise issues etc. I worked for a long time trying to make my paint sing. Black and white were used to compose my piece and link the many panels with a flow that could either be read as water of a bathhouse or a road (cuba street). What began as a random bunch of ply wood cut offs, triangles, shelves possibly, were complied to make something, anything, just a canvas for paint that was bigger than myself. Originally, The wood had been stacked to stretch up tall over my reach, and I lot of the final piece was painted with the wood stacked like that. But this was a collage that I decided in its “squat” form seemed to expand like the length of a stage, the stage was the atea, that was the focus. I’d best describe the piece as a collection of things, people, songs, sounds and time.
I always think there’s nothing like being commended for painting you made with your shoe. Like wise is the feeling when the watercolor scribblings that became “vingettes”are considered a darling success, and you begin to question whether maybe you have been wrong and all this time there has been a brain , up there, in my head.
The only rotten thing about taking art place, was the fact I had to wander about what a happy year I would have had if I’d been doing only this subject. Whereas, my initial plan to do a Visual Communications major appealed to me as it was a new path I’d never pursued, I think the fine arts route is one i’ve been walking my whole life. This year I’d been walking round with a sort of denial of the person I actually was. I completed the Art Place Studio, presented my work, received my grade, and after sitting down for a long chat with none other than my mother, I decided to change my degree to a BFA.
There was an issue, it had been debated. I’d sunk below the horizon, and had reappeared ready to welcome the decision I had made.
“How did you consider gender and/ or indignity and/or the interactions between the two in your work? Why should you be thinking about this at all?”
San Fran Bathhouse was established with an open music policy. There is no discrimination to certain genres of music, neither is an artist considered based on how established they are in the music industry. The stage is open as much as it can be. I love the personalities in music. Over the years I have been inspired as much by the lyrics or rhythms of a song as by the stories told about the artists themselves. It’d be a god awful world if all women sung pop and all men sung rock , and if there were only women and male artists. Anyone can listen to music, anyone can make music, I don’t want to get into politics of it because we all know it’s been (sorry but) fucked in the past. However, I am a female in the art world. My high school art history teacher told my class how sorry he was for art history is a sexist thing. The fact is that I can’t do anything but make art. So, I am not afraid that I am a woman in the art world, that’d be sexist for me to possess that fear, would it? I guess in my work I didn’t paint people, I didn’t imagine physical appears (femine or masculine if you really want me to admit to that). I imagined the way people dance, really dance. People stop being people when they dance, they are shakes and wobbles, nods, bounds and ripples of sound. That, to me, seemed a far more human thing to paint.