Saturday, July 9 2022 11.00 AM 
Sunday, August 14, 2022   3:00 PM

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Whakaaturanga Exhibition Gallery
Suss: figuring the impact of social order 

Darcell Apelu
Donna Dinsdale
Heidi Martin Douglas
Lynette Fisher
Nicol Sanders O’Shea  
Anne Shirley  

It is said that sustainability is about meeting our own needs without compromising the future generations to meet their own needs. This visual investigation plays with the notions of social imperatives within an intergenerational context. The work crosses multi-disciplinary lines to illuminate the way in which we address systemic issues surrounding social order. 

Born and raised in Mount Maunganui, Tauranga, of Niuean and Pakeha descent, Darcell Apelu’s practice explores perceptions of the Pacific body through identification within the social climate of New Zealand and the Pacific. This project presents the unsolicited commentary of the artists body from a range of men the artist engaged in dating. From the Apelu’s experience contemporary dating is fraught with superficial and failed ‘talking stages’ where nothing eventuates beyond physical attraction. The overt statements made by these men reflect assumptions, desires and fantasies placed on women and in particular plus-sized women.  

Donna Dinsdale is an educator and practitioner specialising in fashion design. Her practice is driven by an interest in exploring how her individual bi-cultural sensibility can be expressed through textiles as cultural artefacts. Selecting ideas drawn from diverse cultural paradigms, there are numerous layers of exploration within her practice such as sustainability, personal identity, artistic authenticity and discussions around disruptive gender and social constructs. 

Originally from California, Heidi Douglas moved to New Zealand in 2004 and settled in Mount Maunganui in 2005. This project is an ongoing photographic reportage of her relationship with the land. This iteration of the project looks explicitly at the reparation of the indigenous environments on Mauao/Mount Maunganui. It explores how lens-based images can establish a deeper reflective relationship between humans and the maunga, thereby facilitating the decolonising processes in relation to the land.  

Lynette Fisher’s dark, emotional work describes childhood scenes, investigating the hierarchies and societal behaviours constructed within the socio-cultural group of the family. Elements of existing imagery are taken and recontextualised - citing contemporary themes of adoption, ownership, guardianship and appropriation.  

Anne Shirley’s visual practice is concerned with power and legitimacy, shifting between the illumination of family photographs within light-box containers and the disruption of contextual data. Specific photographs present as authorial: they are redrawn with physical contexts partially removed. The work is bound in intimacy through a performative gesture rather than the indexical sign, pushing between the social redundancy of photographic material and the ontology of personal affection. 

Nicol Sanders-O’Shea presents a print installation of screen-printed artworks using current found imagery and outdated resources found in girls and boys annuals, health & safety manuals and how to guides. The appropriated imagery mixed with patterns and structures create a sense of disorder and disruption. Past and present found imagery are used to reference socio economic issues in Aotearoa New Zealand.  


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