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Insuffragable: Kirsten Smith, Linda Gair and Jacqui Kay
November 24, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - December 12, 2018 @ 3:30 pm
Opening Event: Saturday 24 November 2 – 3.30pm
This exhibition celebrates 125 years of New Zealand women’s fight to vote. Kirsten Smith, Linda Gair and Jacqui Kay, art teachers at Pinehurst School in Albany, each bring to their work, a personal interpretation of suffrage and women’s rights challenging the viewer to acknowledge that women have strived for centuries to gain equality.
The origins of women’s rights have long been fraught, with free-thinking women witch-hunted and persecuted for their desire to be seen and treated as equals. Inadequacies ranged from unfair pay and poor working conditions to the outright abuse of power and the use of old, entrenched, archaic laws to silence the female voice.
“This is no longer a man’s world, and ‘Insuffragable’ for these three artists, is a long-awaited visual platform pioneered 125 years ago in New Zealand by a movement heralding in a new wave of women. Here in New Zealand we can now freely express our views and opinions of the struggle and oppression of women through our art. Honourably standing, counted and adding our mark to the women’s movement, amongst those women of the now and yesteryear.” Linda Gair
Kirsten’s work explores the theme through the medium of animation, using moving image to portray the way women were being liberated from the constraints their dresses. She uses hand painted animation to kinetically describe the juxtaposition of the softness of the female form and the strength and structure of the surrounding architecture.
Linda’s thought-provoking work has been influenced through her exposure to the political life of her father, George Gair, a prominent and highly principled National Party politician from 1966 – 1990. She uses a combination of mixed media that directly relates to and symbolises women’s ‘role’ as perceived by men. She uses political dialogue, incorporating text and original New Zealand political propaganda to promote both recognition of our female forebear and to remind each generation of the significance of free-thinking diplomacy.
Jacqui’s work combines philosophies from feminist movements across borders and time. She consolidates them into pieces that reflect the many layered and faceted concepts behind women’s rights. Using resin to separate the elements of the image she asks the viewer to look at each complicated aspect in more manageable ‘servings.’
Together as artists and teachers we can draw from history to inform our future learners and pave the way for free thinking and equal rights to have a voice in every classroom, gallery and on any surface.
‘Insuffragable’ runs alongside ‘Ephemera’, a celebration of George and Fay Gair (Insuffragable artist Linda Gair’s parents).
Opening Event for Ephemera and Insuffragable: Saturday 24 November 2 – 3.30pm