Posted on August 13, 2019
Image: Ayesha Green, Pouarri Tanner, 2018. Pen and watercolor on paper. Collection of Pouarri Tanner.
Dunedin-based artist Ayesha Green, of Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Kahungunu was selected by the host for our 2019 Auckland Curatorial Intensive, Remco de Blaaij, to catalyze current ideas and issues that arts communities in Auckland are addressing today. For each Curatorial Intensive ICI invites the hosting curator to put us in conversation with an artist in the region. ICI, in turn, requests the loan of an artwork from the artist to present in our New York space—a material touchstone for our local community to consider how these contemporary concerns do and do not resonate in our home city. Pouarii Tanner (2018) hangs in our New York space for the fall of 2019.
Ayesha Green (Kai Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu) is an artist based in Ōtepoti Dunedin, Aotearoa New Zealand, she was recently awarded the prestigious Aotearoa New Zealand National Contemporary Art Award in August 2019. She graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from Elam in 2013 and completed a Graduate Diploma in Museums and Cultural Heritage in 2016. Recent exhibitions include: Elizabeth the First, Millers O’Brien (2019); Living Portraits: Mata Raurangi, Auckland Art Gallery (2019); Two Oceans at Once, ST Paul St Gallery (2019); Māori Girl, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, (2018), EAST 2018, Hastings City Art Gallery (2018), (Un)Conditional, The Melbourne Art Fair, The Physics Room and The Suter Gallery (2018).
“Pouarii Tanner (2018) is part of a long-standing series of what seems to be simple portraits of friends and family of Ayesha Green. However, beyond this simplicity lies a complex understanding of indigenous whakawhanaungatanga and whakapapa; the shaping of relationships, connections and networks between people. Sharing her own record and adventure of tracing her Māori identity, Green offers a contemporary visual insight that is able to counter the representative nature of portraiture, instead advocating for the research potential her paintings provide for maker and viewer to learn about contemporary indigenous life in Aotearoa New Zealand. Pouarii Tanner, depicted in this portrait is a creative instigator who co-organises Te Arerenga Project, a residency project in Rarotonga that stimulates creative thinking and production in the Pacific. Ayesha Green stayed there in July 2017.”
—Remco de Blaaij, , Director of Artspace Aorteara