View a new commission by Pōneke-based, Govett-Brewster Artist ‘In Residence’ Sorawit Songsataya, in the Open Window Gallery on Queen Street, New Plymouth.
The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre Artist Residency Programme 2020 supports three artists to undertake month-long residencies in their own homes and studios.
Outcomes of these residencies will be presented on digital platforms by the Gallery over the next six months. The programme is supported by Creative New Zealand and NPDC.
Follow @govettbrewster on Instagram to see the development of Songsataya’s project.
Rumours (Mermaid) is the outcome of Songsataya’s residency, which has focused on researching the local ecological and geographic histories of Ngāmotu, and in particular Paritutu Rock and the Sugar Loaf Islands.
The exhibition considers the distance and difference humans construct between themselves and the natural world, and how this sits in contrast with our desire to reconnect with the environment.
The ocean, as a key geographic and cultural context in Aotearoa, is a space where these tensions are regularly played out, often reflecting key differences in the practices and values of various communities.
This concern with humanity’s relationship with the natural world is reflected in the exhibition’s title, Rumours (Mermaid), and its subject, which gesture toward the potential of becoming with (rather than against) nature.
Sorawit Songsataya’s practice explores the many tangents that connect and redefine our understandings of subjectivity and ecology. Songsataya often employs moving image and sculpture within installation environments, incorporating both digital and tactile media to engage with world-making in imaginative and tangible ways.
Winner of the Molly Morpeth Canaday Award 3D (2020) and National Contemporary Art Award (2016), Songsataya has held artist residencies with Enjoy Contemporary Art Space, Wellington; McCahon House, Auckland; and the International Artists Studio Program, Stockholm.
Recent exhibitions include The Interior, Auckland Art Gallery (2019); Offspring of Rain, Enjoy Contemporary Art Space (2019); Jupiter, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery (2019); Soon Enough: Art in Action, Tensta Konsthall (2018).