Pauline Rhodes

“the quick whispery breathing of the newly born idea”

The sound of new life down a telephone line, the quick whispery breathing of a newly born soul – this was what interrupted Pauline Rhodes as she contemplated the notion of Idea.

Rhodes has been making installation art consistently throughout her career, and with a twinkle in her eye loves to tell of her first naughty, opportunist project – dropping a huge, soft, white ball onto the black bonnet of a police car, snapping a picture of the 4 bewildered faces behind the ball, and running off with her ball down the road. GROUNDPLATES, steel plates with the above text welded into them by Connetics, are lying quietly around Christchurch during January and February of 2004. The text is perhaps more pertinent to this time of year, when we start to welcome in the new ideas and say goodnight to the Christmas and New Year hangover. But it is also pertinent to the street, to the passing foot traffic, to the dusty footprint planted on GROUNDPLATES. She is wanting people to think about Idea, about the notion of it firstly, but also the life of it. What happens to a newly born idea? What happens to quick contemplation? What happens to GROUNDPLATES? They can all be ignored, flogged, forgotten, and enjoyed. Rhodes is setting up a discourse, a conundrum: the excitement of a new idea, the “quick whispery breathing”, placed underfoot in a functional, menial disguise.

As people go about their daily lives, Rhodes is inviting a reconsideration of these small interactions with our environment, and with our imaginations.

GROUNDPLATES are in 6 locations around the city at present, and will be shifted around the central city during January / February 04.

Pauline Rhodes and Gridlocked are very grateful to Connetics for their support in the production of GROUNDPLATES. Once the project has been completed, GROUNDPLATES will be returned to Connetics and the wild, taking back the role they were originally meant for.

Thankyou Nan Russell and Peter Stretch.

The sites are:

  • Rolleston Ave, near the entrance to the North Quad of the Arts Centre, chained to a stormwater drain. - moved to Rolleston Ave, chained to seat outside the Museum
  • Cashel Mall, outside Stella Gregg. [disappeared]
  • Gloucester St, outside The Press, near the tram line. - moved to Bedford Row, chained to a parking meter
  • Manchester Street, between Cashel St and Bedford Row. [disappeared]
  • Cn High St and Tuam St, chained to the seat outside Alices.
  • Oxford Tce, near the corner of Hereford. - moved to Hereford St, chained to a bike stand near Easts, opposite side to BNZ House
Further writings about the work of Pauline Rhodes can be found at:

Tony Green - Placing the Art of Pauline Rhodes

Adam Art Gallery
CONDUITS & CONTAINERS: Leakage from the Text