Elam School of Fine Arts show

On the weekend I visited the showing of 4th Year and masters students exhibition and the Elam School at Auckland University. My general impressions…overall, indifference is the adjectve that comes to mind. I suppose 'fine arts' is a take it or leave it kind of thing versus creating ideas for a market. I felt the exhibition lacked any kind of unifying cohesion - the work was displayed in the rambling studio complex throughout two buildings. Some effort at signage or information architecture would have been helpful, as would a gogent system of identifying who the artists responible for the work were - both next to their exhibits or as a catalogue of the event.

My impressions of the works themselves? There were some interesting pieces. Nothing breathtaking. I like painting but there were few examples of painterly craft. Came away feeling rather flat and uninspired. In other years I have wanted to buy some of the works but I didn't this year.

Mind you, I struggled to feel very excited by the graduation show for Massey University's Design School (where I have taught for three years). Nothing that absolutely took my breath away. Bear in mind I teach the dry papers like marketing Communications and Design Research Methods - so I was seeing much of the work for the first time. I think I'll have to go back today for a second look without the crowds of proud parents…standby for some pictures. I do have to wonder about the value of teaching kids to render supercars in the Transport Design paper when a) New Zealand doesn't have a car manufacturing industry of any kind and b) the issues around sustainability seem more pressing than fantasy vehicles. Lets invent some transport ideas and technologies that the world will want to license...

Off to Auckland University of Technology's Design show opening at the Aotea Centre this evening. Fingers crossed.


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