15 Dec 2020
'Germinal centre' is the outcome of Meg Porteous’ digital residency with the Govett-Brewster, which has had a focus on two key photographic genres: the family photograph and the stock image.
Drawing on an archive of more than 30 years’ worth of negatives taken by her mother, Porteous examines the relationships – and tensions – between the dynamics of family, the family photo album, and the conventions (and hyper-proliferation) of stock photography.
Porteous engages with this archive of photographs by re-presenting and re-staging them, displaying both archival and reconstructed images from her childhood. Exhibited on posters and billboards around New Plymouth, Germinal centre troubles distinctions between the personal and the public; the private and the commercial; the advertisement and the artwork to examine how identity is constructed through the images we produce of ourselves.
Germinal centre can be viewed on billboards at the corner of Devon and Liardet Streets, New Plymouth Central and at 600 Devon Street East, Fitzroy; and on posters on St Aubyn Street, King Street, Brougham Street and Liardet Street.
Exhibition curator Hanahiva Rose says: “It’s exciting to bring Meg Porteous’ artworks into public spaces around New Plymouth. Germinal centre draws on an archive of family photos by Meg’s mother – many of them originally taken here in New Plymouth, where Meg was raised – and so it is appropriate that this is the first place this new series of work is shown.”
“Porteous’ images are often intentionally cropped, out of focus or blurred: qualities which put them at odds with the images we are used to seeing in these public modes of display. Presented at large-scale, they invoke at once a sense of intimacy and the feeling that something is being withheld. This ambiguity is elaborated on in a newly commissioned text by Porteous’ brother, Fergus Porteous, which will be made available online.”
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 by the Gallery over 2020 and 2021. The programme is supported by Creative New Zealand and NPDC.
Gallery fast facts:
The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery was founded on a visionary and collection policy by Monica Brewster.
It’s owned and operated by New Plymouth District Council.
Focus has been on contemporary art and links with Len Lye date back to 1977 and display of his kinetic art.
The Gallery defines itself as a ‘contemporary art museum’ of the Pacific.
The Len Lye Centre wing of the Govett-Brewster is the only gallery in New Zealand dedicated to one artist.
The Len Lye Centre opened in July 2015 as part of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery contemporary art museum and is a joint initiative by NPDC, GBAG and the Len Lye Foundation.
The Gallery is the New Plymouth District’s cultural hub featuring galleries, a 60-seat cinema, a shop and Monica’s Eatery café.
The artist and exhibition curator are available for media interviews.
There will be an exhibition talk at the Govett-Brewster between Meg Porteous and Hanahiva Rose on Saturday 23 January.
For more information or to make direct media inquiries please contact:
Marketing and Communications Advisor
6 December 2020 –
31 January 2021