Post-Graffiti Pacific is not just another graffiti exhibition. It’s a statement and a definition – a bold assertion of language, history, culture, expression and the significance of place in art making. Curator Olivia Laita and her line-up of seven leading Post-Graffiti Pacific artists are proposing, with conviction, the dawn of a new movement in art.
Post-Graffiti Pacific seeks to clarify the way we discuss urban contemporary art. Today’s urban contemporary artists have evolved to straddle the divide between public and studio practice and terms like ‘graffiti’ and ‘street art’ have become insufficient to describe their activities and motivations. ‘Post-Graffiti’ is now a recognised term, used to describe the work of artists whose backgrounds in graffiti inform their professional artistic practice.
aMBUSH Gallery’s director Bill Dimas says, “The way the flourishing urban contemporary art movement permeates geographical borders in order to both unify and distinguish cultures and modes of expression has been one of aMBUSH’s driving motivators since the day we launched.
“It is exciting to be working with Olivia and the Post-Graffiti Pacific artists in bringing their perspectives and skills before a Sydney audience so we can continue to explore the potential of urban contemporary art and its future as a movement.”
In embracing the concept of Post-Graffiti, the seven Post-Graffiti Pacific artists will use their work to emphasise their cultural backgrounds as New Zealanders. Through Post-Graffiti Pacific, they intend to platform themselves as representatives of Post-Graffiti artists who hail from the greater Pacific region.
Curator Olivia Laita says, “Post-Graffiti Pacific is the vehicle for [the artists] to explore the complexity of issues relating to a region that accounts for around a third of the planet and 40% of global trade. Human migration in both the ancient and modern and the pre and post-colonial context provides the basis for the artists to cover a multitude of subjects that encompass everything from ancient exploration, mythology, identity, economics and environmental issues.”
The Post-Graffiti Pacific movement is being pioneered by Auckland-based artists Askew One, Benjamin Work, Berst, Elliot Francis Stewart, Gary Silipa, Misery and Route52, with Laita at the helm. The multidisciplinary exhibition will feature paintings, drawings, photography and sculpture, and New Zealand digital composer Max Wehi will be performing his musical interpretation of the works on the opening night.
Post-Graffiti Pacific launches at aMBUSH Gallery, Central Park, Chippendale on Thursday 16 July from 6-9pm. The exhibition continues daily until Sunday 19 August from 12-8pm.