Curator of Depot Artspace's upcoming collaborative project x>1 Richard Penn was recently interviewed by the Creative Matters Podcast.
- Could you briefly explain the rationale behind the exhibition title “What if?” for audiences?
To invite people to imagine an urban/suburban environment that included wild creatures- and in New Zealand that would be the birds. New Zealand is thought of as the sea bird capital of the world
- This exhibition advocates for nature & wildlife. What are some personal experiences/events in your life to spur on a passion for this?
Our trips to Miranda to photograph the godwits, knots, stilts, oystercatchers. Watching the flocks of birds preparing for their long flight north is breath taking. I grew up in an environment in which there were so many creatures- insects, birds and mammals and we are losing them to our detriment
- What’s your usual art making process/inspiration/how do you work?
I take photographs of landscapes and birds. Once I have an idea I draw from them; in this instance I would first choose the birds then decide on a suitable habitat, I do many drawings from these photographs so that I understand the proportions of each species and how they move. Then I experiment with different compositional ideas. I use thin washes of oil almost like water colour. In this instance it is to reference pre-colonial painting.
- What was a challenging time & a time of highlight in your journey as an artist?
Never having the time to fully realize an idea when I was teaching.
- Which 3 artists (dead/alive) that you would like to have dinner with?
I would love to spend an evening with Joseph Banks to learn what New Zealand was like, Ralph Hotere and Fred Williams. I love the richness of Pierre Bonnard’s colours and his oblique viewpoints. Actually I would like to have dinner with Buller and serve him an incapacitating concoction.
- From your experience teaching art in high schools, what advice would you give to a younger artist starting out in the creative industry?
Find people who inspire and challenge you and build a community that sustains your development
- What are 5 most important items/tools in your creative practice?
Camera, phone, very fine brushes, dark wash pencil, fine smooth canvas
- You previously held a solo photographic exhibition at the Depot; what visual mediums do you use in your art practice and what is your relationship with each one?
In the solo exhibition I did multiple black and white film exposure so there was an element of serendipity. However I prefer the control of paint and painting is a lovely way to spend the day.
Wendy’s exhibition “What If?” will be showing at Depot Artspace 20th March – 7th April.
See link for full details: depotartspace.co.nz/event/wendy-petterson