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Toss Woollastonjj

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Toss Woollaston (b. 1910, d. 1998) is a key figure in New Zealand’s history of 20th century art and has been lauded as the Cezanne of the Pacific.

Before discovering painting, Woollaston’s early ambition was to write poetry. Beginning in 1928 he laboured as a horticultural worker in Nelson, prior to moving to Christchurch to study briefly at Canterbury College School of Art, and then to Dunedin School of Art in Otago, before eventually settling in Mapua. Woollaston was actively involved in critical and intellectual debates, notably regard-ing the artist’s role in the context of fascism.

While most recognised for his landscape paintings, Woollaston was also equally inspired by the human form and created many portraits, treating each subject with the same intensity in an attempt to capture a sense of truth and an immediacy of experience.

John Walshjj

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John Walsh grew up in Tolaga Bay (b.1954). He now lives on the south coast of Wellington, where the sea continues to draw him back to the canvas. Walsh melds histories of migration and colonialism with contemporary narratives and mythologies in a vibrant and fluid application of paint. His works depict ethereal landscapes populated by a cast of anthropomorphic creatures, contemporary characters, and obscure figures.

The New Zealand Portrait Gallery, Dowse Art Museum, and Pataka Art + Museum have all held significant survey exhibitions of Walsh’s work. The artist travels extensively, including visits to China on different residency programmes, and to Antarctica as a Creative New Zealand /Antarctica New Zealand’s artist-in-residence. In 2015 Walsh travelled to Gallipoli alongside a number of other New Zealand and Australian artists to produce work for the touring exhibition Your Friend the Enemy. His paintings from this time are potent with ghosts and shadowy figures, recalling the lives and spirits of fallen soldiers who now linger in far flung lands, forever linking us with these landscapes.

In his most recent body of work figures convene with spirits or messengers. Brides roam unearthly looking coastlines, their dresses trailing and merging with the landscape, searching for their betrothed or perhaps a means of escape. Boats drift gently across the surface of the water or above the land, as if propelled by unseen forces. Some works are heavy with allegory or appear as harbingers foretelling the destruction of our natural environment. Others hint at ominous events and mysterious ceremonial practices, all imbued with the artist’s wry and playful humour.

Jasmine Togo-Brisbyjj

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Jasmine Togo-Brisby (b.1982) delves into the cultural memory and shared histories of plantation colonisation across the Pacific, with her practice encompassing painting, early photographic techniques and processes, and sculpture.

Togo-Brisby is a fourth-generation Australian South Sea Islander, whose great-great-grandparents were taken from Vanuatu as children and put to work on an Australian sugarcane plantation. Togo-Brisby’s research examines the historical practice of ‘blackbirding’, a romanticised colloquialism for the Pacific slave trade, and its contemporary legacy and impact upon those who trace their roots to New Zealand and Australia through the slave-diaspora. Her portraiture images regularly span three generations, with mother, daughter and grand-daughter all appearing against archival images or posed with colonial props or objects.

She has a Fine Arts degree from Massey University, Wellington and Griffith University, Brisbane. Togo-Brisby has exhibited widely throughout Australia and New Zealand. Her work is held by several public collections including Auckland Art Gallery and Wellington City Council. She is the recipient of the Tautai | Otago Polytechnic 2019 Dunedin School of Art – Artist in Residence, and will spend twelve weeks researching the Don Juan, an ex-slave ship whose wreckage lies just beneath the surface of the water in Deborah Bay, Port Chalmers.

Shafiq Noordinjj

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(b. 1989, Malaysia) Shafiq Nordin have been most uncompromising and hard hitting in his works. Instead of producing paintings about the victims and casualties of geo political games like many unimaginative and lesser painters, Shafiq goes straight for the jugular, launching his scathing attacks on the victimizers. An assortment of chimeras, usually skinless muscle-bounded beasts that represents certain nefarious forces, especially those behind the many manufactured conflicts and naked transgressions around the globe carried out to serve their capitalistic agendas, are depicted in various unflattering situations, further augmenting the freakishness of their monstrous nature that are driven by imperialist ambitions, insatiable greed and all that is inhumanely base. To Shafiq, the utter absurdity of it all are the effects of pure lunacy and the polka dot patterns on parts of his many cretinous beasts as comical effects, underscores the ludicrousness of the whole farcical situation. Citing the works of Yayoi Kusama, Takashi Murakami and Yuko Shumizu as inspirations, Shafiq’s works are noted for the strong imagery expressing his indignation and for his stylistic approach, where thick coarse outlines of his subject matters, usually placed in front of repeated patterns and forms which supports the wicked notions of the situation depicted, are painted to slightly resemble woodcut prints, the common medium used in proletarian political art. By doing so, it somehow provides Shafiq’s well composed satire some sort of link to the political art of the past, especially the prints of German Expressionists.

Jerome Ngan-Keejj

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Tim Webbyjj

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Teghan Burtjj

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Morts Reportsjj

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Morts Reports is a pseudonym employed by painter Roger Mortimer to present his digital practice. Operating in a space between the real and the fictional, the images have their genesis in surf cam images that constantly monitor wave and weather conditions at popular surf beaches around New Zealand. Mort, the lifelong keen surfer, regularly checks these webcams. Mort, the artist, is called to play with the imagery reviewed almost daily. Screenshots, complete with their download dates, are put through a series of translations using various mobile phone applications including OCR (Optical Character Recognition,) Google Translate and a Font app. New visual forms created by the confused aps, not designed to interpret raw visual data, are then imposed by Mort back into the original seascape. The aps also provide the texts that become the titles of the works – random, poetic, prescient and sometimes with a cultural specificity that reflects the language chosen to read the scene. The results are of our world and not; they present a virtual reality at once sublime, enigmatic, alien and strangely cinematic. Shown first on Instagram, they have more recently been printed for exhibition.

Zulfirman Syahjj

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b. 1978, Padang – Indonesia

Graduated from Indonesian Institute of Art, Yogyakarta Indonesia, Painting Department Major in 2006. For Zulfirman Syah, creating art is an expression of his soul, born from his aesthetic experience. With each new work, he strives to use his technique and vision to make an impact on the evolution of art.


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b. 1982, Palembang – Indonesia

Graduated from LPK Modern School of Design, Painting Major in 2001, Yogyakarta Indonesia. Lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Uswarman’s art is a form of self-contemplation. His work is spontaneous in processing materials and visual elements to create surprising sensations and delivers sublime feels. Departing from personal issues and the environment around that can be affecting and raising his artistic taste. Formalism and expressionism are become the tendency of his artworks.