Owen Connors, Laura Duffy, and Aliyah Winter

For the feral splendour

29 Jan — 06 Mar

Image: Owen Connors, Autotomy (detail), 2022. Egg tempera on board, pigmented shellacked macrocarpa frame with oxidised silver beech detail, 600 x 700mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett.
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Image: Owen Connors, Autotomy (detail), 2022. Egg tempera on board, pigmented shellacked macrocarpa frame with oxidised silver beech detail, 600 x 700mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Image: For the feral splendour (installation view), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.
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Image: For the feral splendour (installation view), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.

Image: For the feral splendour (installation view of Invocation by Aliyah Winter and Fluffy by Laura Duffy, middle), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.
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Image: For the feral splendour (installation view of Invocation by Aliyah Winter and Fluffy by Laura Duffy, middle), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.

Image: Aliyah Winter, Invocation (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.
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Image: Aliyah Winter, Invocation (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.

Image: Aliyah Winter, Invocation (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.
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Image: Aliyah Winter, Invocation (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.

Image: Aliyah Winter, Invocation (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.
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Image: Aliyah Winter, Invocation (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.

Image: Aliyah Winter, Invocation (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.
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Image: Aliyah Winter, Invocation (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.

Image: Aliyah Winter, Invocation (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.
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Image: Aliyah Winter, Invocation (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.

Image: Aliyah Winter, Invocation (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.
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Image: Aliyah Winter, Invocation (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.

Image: For the feral splendour (installation view with Invocation by Aliyah Winter on the left and Autotomy by Owen Connors on the right), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.
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Image: For the feral splendour (installation view with Invocation by Aliyah Winter on the left and Autotomy by Owen Connors on the right), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.

Image: Owen Connors, Autotomy, 2022. Photo: Sam Hartnett.
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Image: Owen Connors, Autotomy, 2022. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Image: Owen Connors, Autotomy (detail), 2022. Photo: Sam Hartnett.
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Image: Owen Connors, Autotomy (detail), 2022. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Image: Owen Connors, Autotomy (detail), 2022. Photo: Sam Hartnett.
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Image: Owen Connors, Autotomy (detail), 2022. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Image: For the feral splendour (installation view), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.
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Image: For the feral splendour (installation view), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.

Image: Laura Duffy, Fluffy (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.
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Image: Laura Duffy, Fluffy (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.

Image: Laura Duffy, Fluffy (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.
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Image: Laura Duffy, Fluffy (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.

Image: Laura Duffy, Fluffy (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.
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Image: Laura Duffy, Fluffy (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.

Image: Laura Duffy, Fluffy (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.
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Image: Laura Duffy, Fluffy (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.

Image: Laura Duffy, Fluffy (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.
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Image: Laura Duffy, Fluffy (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.

Image: For the feral splendour (installation view with Die Zerstückelung by Owen Connors in the middle and Fluffy by Laura Duffy on the right), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.
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Image: For the feral splendour (installation view with Die Zerstückelung by Owen Connors in the middle and Fluffy by Laura Duffy on the right), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.

Image: Owen Connors, Die Zerstückelung, 2022. Photo: Sam Hartnett.
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Image: Owen Connors, Die Zerstückelung, 2022. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Image: Owen Connors, Die Zerstückelung (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.
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Image: Owen Connors, Die Zerstückelung (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.

Image: Owen Connors, Die Zerstückelung (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.
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Image: Owen Connors, Die Zerstückelung (detail), 2022. Photo: Janneth Gil.

For the feral splendour
Owen Connors, Laura Duffy, and Aliyah Winter

Please note that we have decided to cancel the public opening in light of the development of the Omicron outbreak. The exhibition will open to the public on Saturday 29 January and the artist talk will be broadcast on Art, Not Science, our radio show with Plains FM on Friday 18 February at 8pm.

Exhibition runs: 29 January – 6 March 2022

‘For the feral splendour’ suggests the motivation for doing something: making a sacrifice, stating an intention, offering a justification. It’s an incantation, or the response to a strange question. In this exhibition works by Owen Connors, Laura Duffy, and Aliyah Winter engage with ideas about that which is natural, unnatural, supernatural, and the transformative potential of queer narratives that connect these things. The project is informed by thinking about mysticism, healing, and stories which are at once fear-inducing and liberating.

Connors’ paintings are made with egg tempera on board, built up slowly layer by layer. The work returns to an apocryphal story from Connors’ childhood, where his dad recounted balancing on a felled log and having to leap over a swung axe in a feat of bravado. Amplifying and bending this remembered story with its elements of rural gothic, the painting includes multiple self-portraits of the artist. In the accompanying work a scarred ankle and foot is haloed by a sun flare, maybe a transcendent incarnation of the earlier story. Winter’s textile banners, suspended from the gallery ceiling, are also drawn from images of the artist’s face and hands, alongside those of starlings’ wings, a Latin text which translates: “Do not speak of god without a light”, and other icons including a crystal, a star, a luminous alien. They fall from the ceiling, or, ascend from the ground. Duffy’s steel sculptures are bodies of metal—steel, resin, wire, strip lighting—that stoop and crouch as if in rapid motion, or, like the slower movements of ageing or transmutation. Some hold translucent plates of plant matter including gorse, thyme, dandelion, and gay flower, along with raspberry and dirt and spit.

These works are made by three artists who are friends, developed separately but in conversation. Although the practices and media are different, the works share an unruly and often acutely beautiful relationship to states of transformation, ecstasy, queer bliss. Near the end of CAConrad’s poem from which this exhibition takes its name it reads: in a future life / would we like to / fall in love with the / world as it is. Does this imply a kind of resignation to the world in its state of unwellness, ecocide, and extreme inequality? Or does it mean something else, like, a kind of ‘falling’ where love informs all our actions, a relationship to the world as it is—feral, splendid—rather than for what we can extract from it?

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Owen Connors is based in Tāmaki Makaurau. Past exhibitions include Incubations, Robert Heald Gallery, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, 2021; For Future Breeders, Parasite, Tāmaki Makaurau, 2021; DUIRVIUS (with Laura Duffy), Blue Oyster Project Space, Ōtepoti, 2020; and SISSYMANCY!, play_station, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, 2019.

Laura Duffy is from Turanganui-a-Kiwa and has been living and working in Te Whanganui-a-Tara for the past decade. She works between video, sculpture, and installation. Duffy is interested in exploring queer pleasure or joy derived from failure, error, and disgust. Recent exhibitions include Spawn, ACMI, Melbourne, 2021; Maybe Someone is Starting to Bloom, Parasite, Tāmaki Makaurau, 2021; Candy-Coated, The Dowse Art Museum, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, 2021; DUIRVIUS (with Owen Connors), Blue Oyster Project Space, Ōtepoti, 2020; and Thinking about Thinking about the Future (with Aliyah Winter), Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau, 2020.

Aliyah Winter lives and works in Tāmaki Makaurau. Her research based practice extends across photography, video, and performance, and often draws on historical material, with a particular focus on language, voice, and the queer body. Recent exhibitions include HYPNO.MATRIX, Parasite, Tāmaki Makaurau, 2020; Queer Algorithms, Gus Fisher Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau, 2020; An affinity of hammers, HOBIENNALE, Nipaluna Hobart, 2019; Puawānanga, with Angela Kilford, WAITHUI Billboard Project; and Hardening, Enjoy Contemporary Art Space, both Te Whanganui-a-Tara, 2018. Her work can also be viewed online at CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa.

 

Related reading:

For the feral splendour that remains by CAConrad

ECODEVIANCE: (soma)tics for the Future Wilderness by CAConrad

#88: SECURITY CAMERAS AND FLOWERS DREAMING THE ELEVATION ALLEGIANCE by CAConrad

Mt Monadnock Transmissions by CAConrad

My words to Victor Frankenstein above the village of Chamounix: Performing transgender rage by Susan Stryker

FUCKING PANSIES: Queer Poetics, Plant Reproduction, Plant Poetics, Queer Reproduction by Caspar Heinemann

Trans Aminisms by Abram J. Lewis

The Faggots & Their Friends Between Revolutions by Larry Mitchell

Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire by Jack Halberstam

cauldron by Gregory Kan and Matilda Fraser (essay accompanying Aliyah Winter’s Enjoy 2018 show Hardening)

Speaking of by Simon Gennard (text accompanying Aliyah Winter’s work, An Affinity of Hammers at HOBIENNALE 2019)

Of quilts, queers and collaboration by Rebecca Fox (article accompanying Owen Connors and Laura Duffy's 2019 Blue Oyster show DUIRVIAS)

Viral Tondos: In conversation with Owen Connors by Becky Hemus (interview on Owen Connors' 2021 Robert Heald exhibition Incubations)

Owen Connors at Parasite by Cameron Ah-Loo Matamua 

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Free Downloads:
For the feral splendour roomsheet (pdf) To eat a flower: or, going to seed. A response to For the feral splendour by Jane Wallace (pdf)