June 3 -
July 5, 2003
Lonnie Hutchinson & Veronica
Curated by Stephanie Oberg, this exhibition
runs in conjunction with the Pacific
Art Historians Association conference to be held in Christchurch
(23-26 June 2003).
Lonnie Hutchinson (Ngai Tahu / Samoan) and Veronica
Zealand born Cook Island) are both Auckland born multimedia artists.
From our earliest Colonial times New Zealand has been marketed
as a natural wonderland, a clean green Pacific paradise. To Pacific
people who have migrated here, the Pacific translates as home;
home in the islands, home in Auckland, Tokoroa, Porirua, Wellington
but not so easily home in this pale winter cornerstone that is
Otautahi Christchurch. Here, “getting down with the brown” can
be as comfortable as year round sea swimming. Experiences of Polynesian
heart, art, identity and culture rarely spill out into the everyday
life of the mainstream but manifest as guest appearances, performances
adding ‘colour’ to formal and official occasions. In
this exhibition artists Loni Hutchinson and Veronica Vaevae make
light-hearted reference to the British comedy show the Two Ronnies
and invite you, the viewer, to contemplate the Pacific.
In this exhibition themes of migration, tourism, consumerism,
globalisation, religion, changing forms of cultural currency and
representational economy relates the Pacific environment as naturally
fragile but culturally robust. Roni’s projected imagery portrays
the fragility of our natural environment so easily affected by
human presence. In these works traditional symbols and Pacific
icons become abstracted, reinterpreted, recycled and layered with
new meanings. Loni’s lei (made of recycled coke cans), references
hospitality and suitable holiday attire but also America’s
economic and cultural Imperialism within the Pacific, (this includes
nuclear testing in Micronesia on Bikini Atoll, 1954 as part of
an early cold war imperative).
Now we have the problem of jelly fish babies. These babies
are born like jelly fish. They have no eyes. They have no heads.
have no arms. They have no legs. They do not shape like human beings
at all. But they are born on the labour table. The most colourful,
ugly things that you have ever seen. Some of them have hairs on
them and they breathe. (Darlene Keju-Johnson, Pacific Women Speak
Out for Independence and De Nuclearisaton, Zohl de Ishtar, Raven
Press 1998 p17)
Pacific people continue to draw creatively from their environment
and while their cultures are shaped as much through migrations,
sinking atolls and dwindling populations as by growing tourist
industries, the Loni and Roni show reveals the Pacific as a technologically
enhanced, media influenced consumer experience, where television
culture and screen related sensations are not just representative
of the Pacific but part of its new reality. In this Pacific, the
pleasures of paradise are marked by symbols of leisure and consumer
privilege, which enable new forms of cultural economy and creative
Ngai Tahu / Samoan / multi-media and performance artist.
Spatial consideration and the formal qualities of materials are
primary to Lonnie’s practise as a performance and conceptual
artist. In this she consciously guides the propeoceptive experience
of the viewer as a means of addressing issues in her work. Since
moving to Christchurch Lonnie has been inspired by the local landscape
and the way it relates to her dual heritage and sense of spiritual
belonging. This interest has been carried over with her investigation
of star mounds in Samoa which she visited last year.
Cook Island / sound and digital manipulation.
Most of the work in this show has been a development of work made
during her time in Rarotonga as artist in residence. Her work is
primarily a response to the environment taking images of everyday
objects and altering them in a way that kinaesthetically informs
the viewer. Subsequently Roni’s early works reflect her interest
in street culture and translating the pace of city rhythms and
hip-hop. As a boogie boarder Roni is much inspired by the sensation
of surf and sea and attempts to relate this physical experience.
Her interest in representing the physical sensation through a digitised
visual medium has seen her explore the marriage of words and poetry
to still digitised imagery.
Loni and Roni Show catalogue
Published June 2003
28 page catalogue, 11 colour plates
Order your copy today from The
Physics Room !
View order form
Reviews, Essays & Articles
The Package June 11, 2003
Pacific Roundup - Art of the Pacific
Presto, July, 2003
The Loni and Roni Show
RDU with Cult v(a)ult presents....
The Exhibitionist: Chatting to the Curators
interview with curator Stephanie Oberg (6' 30")
Originally broadcats on RDU 98.5fm
MP3 (6.1Mb) ~ Real Audio (1.6Mb)
The Loni & Roni Show
Essay by Megan Tamati-Quennell
in The Physics Room Annual 2003
The Loni and Roni Show Catalogue