Ayesha Green, Cushla Donaldson, Eve Armstrong, Gabby O'Connor, & Rob Hood

(Un)con—ditional II

18 Mar — 27 May

(Un)conditional II is co-curated by Sarah McClintock and opens in Nelson at The Suter Art Gallery, Saturday 17 March, 5pm and features work by Ayesha Green, Cushla Donaldson, Eve Armstrong, Gabby O'Connor, and Rob Hood.

Associated text:
(Un)conditional II, 2017, Jamie Hanton
Text is available for download below.

This year, The Physics Room is changing the way it operates. Eschewing a relatively static model, we are partnering with a number of public galleries across Te Waipounamu, the South Island to create collaborative exhibitions. By doing this we hope to draw on shared strengths and resources and embrace the flexibility and urgency that comes from working alongside, and within, other institutions and contexts.

The (Un)conditional series of exhibitions has been developed alongside this operational shift. Most simply, the idea of something being unconditional can be thought of in the context of love; of the unrestricted and unlimited gesture of giving affection without expectation. Outside of this particular—and relatively rare—occurrence, a myriad of overlapping conditions dictate how and why we give and receive on a day-to-day basis. The (Un)conditional series explores the concepts of hosting, being a guest, trade, exchange, reciprocity, utu and manaakitanga. The artists involved examine the conditions that shape cultural, legal, commercial, familial, and educational relationships, whether these are explicit, implicit, above board or sub rosa.

Public programming:

Sunday 18 March, 2pm: Join the artists and curators of the exhibition (Un)conditional II for a discussion about their work and collaboration.

Saturday 17 - Sunday 18 March, 12–4.30pm: Eve Armstrong will present her ongoing project Trading Table. Trading Table involves the artist setting up a table in a public place and inviting people to trade with her for something on the table. Trading Table deals in multiple currencies including ideas, information, skills, services and items. Most participants encounter the table unexpectedly and work with the artist and her assistants to devise a trade on the spot. These trades are simply written on fluorescent card and displayed on the table.


Ayesha Green (Ngāti Kahungunu, Kai Tahu) is an artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau. 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 Alma Venus, Corbans Estate Art Centre (2018), Summa Pete, Papakura Art Gallery (2017), 2. Spirit of the Thing Given (Māori), RM Gallery (2017), Biographies of Transition, To Busy to Think, ARTSPACE (2017).

Cushla Donaldson is an artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau. Her practice seeks to identify, expose, and act upon schisms in the heated environment of late capitalism. Her writing has come to include fiction alongside essays on art, politics and film theory. She graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts before gaining her MFA from Goldsmiths College, University of London, as a recipient of the Anne Reid Scholarship. She has exhibited in New Zealand, Europe and Japan. She has participated in residencies in Estonia and in the Manawatū, New Zealand and has taught Art and Film Theory at Auckland University and Unitech, Auckland.

Eve Armstrong holds a BFA from Elam School of Fine Arts (2003), and in 2006 was an inaugural recipient of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand New Generation Award. In 2017 Armstrong was the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Visiting Artist. She has exhibited widely throughout NZ including major solo exhibitions at Dunedin Public Art Gallery (2017),The Physics Room, Christchurch (2010), City Gallery Wellington (2007) and Artspace, Auckland (2005-6). She has also presented solo projects in international exhibitions including: The woods that see and hear, NL (2010), 3rd Auckland Triennial (2007), Busan Biennale (2006) and SCAPE (2006). Her ongoing project Trading Table (2003 -) was presented at Spring 1883, Sydney (2017) and at the Auckland Art Fair (2016). Armstrong is represented by Michael Lett, Auckland.

Gabby O’Connor is an artist, interdisciplinary researcher, Antarctican, science communicator, and educator based in Wellington. Her practice operates across multiple disciplines and audiences – between contemporary art, science communication and community action and looks at the different entry point to conversations around our changing climate. O’Connor studied sculpture in Melbourne at the Victorian College of the Arts, has a Masters in Fine arts at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales in Sydney and is currently a PhD candidate at Auckland University supported by the Sustainable Seas NZ National Science Challenge.

Rob Hood lives and works in Christchurch, New Zealand. He graduated with a BFA in Sculpture (1999) and an MFA (2011) from Ilam School of Fine Arts, Canterbury University. Exhibitions include: Precarious Balance, COCA, NZ, 2016; Tricksters, Christchurch Art Gallery, NZ, 2012; Prospect Contemporary Art Now, Wellington City Art Gallery, 2011; From a City Forsaken by its Gods, First Draft Gallery, Sydney, 2011; Last Ride in a Hot Air Balloon, Auckland Triennial, Auckland Art Gallery, 2010. Hood was the Olivia Spencer Bower fellow in 2007. His work is held in the collections of Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tāmaki, Christchurch Art Gallery, Te Puna o Waiwhetū, and the University of Canterbury.

(Un)conditional II, catalogue & essay (pdf)