Art Associates Aotearoa

Karen Greenslade Susanne van Tuinen Lee HarperMark Soltero Viv Kepes Sarah Anderson Stephanie McEwin Nicloa Thorne Mi Kyung Jang Janneth Gil

Showing 8th May 2024 - 25th May 2024

Exhibition Information

Art Associates Aotearoa - Karen Greenslade Susanne van Tuinen Lee HarperMark Soltero Viv Kepes Sarah Anderson Stephanie McEwin Nicloa Thorne Mi Kyung Jang Janneth Gil

Art Associates Aotearoa
8th – 25th May 2024
Art Associates Aotearoa is a collective of artists living and working in Waitaha, Canterbury
who meet regularly to share knowledge and engage in critiques. The collective works are
across a variety of fine art disciplines and the artists have exhibited together regularly
since 2018.
In Percipience, the essence of home, the nuances of memory, the intricacies of the
environment, and contemplations of the present intertwine to initiate subtle dialogues
across space and time. Each artwork resonates with materiality, ranging from
contemporary photographic practices to meticulously crafted ceramics and sculptures
made of recycled aluminium.

Sarah Anderson works with the concept of memento mori, translated as remember you will
die, a motif in C16th & C17th paintings in which food was often employed as a metaphor
to describe this state.

Janneth Gil’s series Invisible explores Susan Sontag’s concept of dual citizenship each of
us has in the kingdoms of the well and of the sick.

Karen Greenslade’s work draws inspiration from natural environments. Drift is a
composition representing the fluid transitions of estuaries in its materiality; a metaphor for
endless possibility and change.

In Lee Harper’s work colour brings joy, space brings doubt and the line, connectiveness.
There exists an unknown, a silent insight which can enable the ability to see and
understand things clearly.

Viv Kepes celebrates the regeneration of nature, portraying the delicate beauty of
endangered Carmichaelia Corrugata in her paintings.

Stephanie McEwin’s figures are painted in oils over modernist retro landscapes, a
reference to upcycling in which discarded objects have another life.

Mark Soltero pulls analogue and digital source images apart and separates them into
layers of light and dark. The use of these mediums embraces and connects the past and
present, bridging past and present realities.

Nicola Thorne captures the vastness and remoteness of the landscape, immersed in the
hues of dawn and the rugged contours of Muehlenbeckia.

Mi Kyung Jang delves into the intricate relationship between humanity and the natural
world, shedding light on the global challenges posed by unchecked human desires.

Susanne van Tuinen’s creations evoke a sense of fluidity and harmony, reminiscent of
life’s cyclical nature.
Through diverse perspectives and mediums Percipience invites viewers to explore the
intersection of individual perception and collective consciousness.

Exhibiting Artists
Sarah Anderson, Janneth Gil, Karen Greenslade, Lee Harper, Mi Kyung Jang, Viv Kepes,
Stephanie McEwin, Mark Soltero, Nicola Thorne and Susanne van Tuinen.

Art Associates Aotearoa Exhibition History
2023 May Lyrical, Chambers Art Gallery, Christchurch
2022-2023 Dec–Jan Snapshot, Amuri Community Arts, Hanmer Springs
2022 June Place,Art on the Quay, Kaiapoi
2021 Nov-Dec Related to and Arises From, The Colombo, Christchurch

(Curated by Warren Feeney)

2021 Apr–Jun A Stone to Strike and a Rock to Stumble Over, Ashburton
Art Gallery (Curated by Warren Feeney, Catalogue)
2018-2019 Dec–Jan Associated, Centre of Contemporary Art, Christchurch


Karen Greenslade

Artist Statement 

‘Drift’ is from Karen Greenslade’s most recent body of work ‘Night Estuary’. Estuaries, where lands and seas meet, are governed by deep currents, thermal updrifts, jet streams and distant stellar interplays. The materiality of these works represents these complex interactions. Washes of inks, some hand made, are combined with a linocut print of floating seaweed to represent a time of still and quietness, sometimes loss; the turn of the tide, those brief fleeting moments when the waters quiet to still. Estuaries are transitional and fluid, places of endless change and hence, in no small part, an estuary can be seen as a metaphor for possibility. Rivers gather from the land and their offerings intermingle with the sea borne. These offerings seep inwards and outwards, and sometimes rush in turmoil. There is always a ceaseless tidal constancy but on days of quiet down at the estuary, on the turn of the tide, an opportunity to drift; to contemplate possibilities of gentle change.


Susanne van Tuinen

Artist Statement
In these works, I use the circle as the primary shape from which to evolve structure. The resulting soft
curves convey a pleasing and sensual quality of form. The vertical line in “Reveal” adds a feeling of
strength and stability. In “Graceful Curve” the use of the painted abstract shape evokes a sense of
spontaneity. Asymmetrical balance gives the work an almost undulating movement. In many cultures,
the circle is often associated with unity, harmony, and life cycles.


Lee Harper

Artist Statement
Sometimes, we know what not we do. Our perceptive mechanism can deliver creative outcomes
which can demonstrate connectiveness, doubt and joy amongst others. Colour brings joy, space
brings doubt and the line, connectiveness. In these works, exists an unknown, a silent insight which
can enable the ability to see and understand things clearly.


Mark Soltero

Artist Statement 

Some Positions in Space and Time is a series of paintings exploring my experience with typographic forms aligned with specific locations; street names and neighbourhoods. In Western Neighbourhoods I pull analogue and digital source images apart and segment them into layers of light and dark. The use of these mediums embraces and connects the old and new; past and present. Layers are printed and traced before being hand-cut with a small blade, creating intricate and enigmatic stencils. The final forms exist in a tension between figure and ground.


Viv Kepes

Artist Statement 

Here Viv Kepes focuses on Carmichaelia corrugata, a tiny indigenous broom once common in Canterbury, and named by William Colenso in 1883. Today, identified as ‘Threatened-Nationally Vulnerable’, it was assumed extinct on Banks Peninsula until it was rediscovered in 2020 by Christchurch ecologist Dr Melissa Hutchinson growing on a Mt Herbert ridge overlooking Lyttleton Harbour. The discovery is telling for Kepes whose Great-grandmother was born in Akaroa in 1877. Her family arrived in Aotearoa from Lithuania in 1875 and established a dairy farm in Le Bons Bay. Kepes reflects on her ancestors creating a new life for themselves here, and on the native bush and biodiversity of the land they would have first come across. ‘When I consider the land my ancestors encountered arriving in Canterbury nearly 150 years ago, I cannot help but reflect on the impact they, and many since, have had on this beautiful environment. My ancestors were one of the many early settler families who would have cleared native forests during the establishment their farm. Today a mere one percent of these original native forests remain on Banks Peninsula.’ Kepes’ painting celebrates the subtleties of the colour and beauty of Carmichaelia corrugata as a small, precious, plant. The work is about regeneration. Bringing the invisible back into being. Her feeling-filled painterly work presents an expressive glimpse of this rare aspect of our native flora, opening this little plant’s world to welcome in the viewer.


Sarah Anderson

Artist Statement 

The concept of memento mori – roughly translated as remember you will die, was a familiar motif in C16th & C17th paintings and food was often employed as a metaphor to describe this state. Growing up under the tutelage of my father I discovered early in life an affinity for growing vegetables. I have combined my gardening heritage with my creative career. These drawings of fruits and vegetables are grown in my own garden. I observe the journey these take as they gradually dehydrate/decompose/disintegrate – sometimes all three. Often intervening during the process to either photograph or draw, I then reference this archive of images to create my work. I am not a scientist, so therefore not constrained by the need for strict empirical data and accurate analysis. In my position as an artist I can create hypotheses and use my imagination to guide my research – this allows me to observe my environment through the lens of my practice. I use drawing as a starting point for recording, observing and exploring ideas as a platform for further development – in whatever direction best serves the project.


Stephanie McEwin

Artist Statement
This work depicts figures in other than their usual surroundings. The figures are painted in oils over
old Retro Paintings from early to mid last Century and reference "upcycling", which means giving
discarded objects another life. This life suggests calmness as the figures are Geisha girls from Japan
and a Russian bather. Asian influence in art has been common for over 100 years and my own
influence began with, a screen I have, depicting a part of the " Quin Ming Shanghe Tu" panoramic
scroll from the 10th Century. A Chinese masterpiece using hyper figurality depicting a version of daily
life beside the Bian River in Springtime.


Nicola Thorne

Artist Statement 

Kaitōrete Spit

Photographing near Birdlings Flat recently, I was drawn to the landscape of Kaitōrete Spit. I was captivated by the vastness of the land,  the colours of the vegetation in the early morning light and the windswept humps of Muehlenbeckia. There is feeling of remoteness about the place, like something out of Wuthering Heights, but this is a little piece of Canterbury, in all its natural beauty.

Kaitōrete Spit was formed abut 7000 years ago by gravel being swept down the Rakaia River and pushed into place by the Pacific Ocean, resulting in a 25km low-lying barrier. The Spit is of ecological significance, containing threatened plants, rare species of insects, reptiles and birds.

Ngāi Tahu has ancestral associations with the area. Not only was it their main trail between Banks Peninsula and further south, it was a place of seasonal food gathering. Kaitōrete Spit has one of the largest concentrations of Māori archaeological sites in New Zealand. 

While the land use of the spit has been predominately farming in recent decades, there have been other interests. In 1963, the University of Canterbury carried out a series of suborbital rocket launches for NASA. During 2021 a 1000ha block of Kaitōrete Spit was sold to a joint venture between the NZ Government and two local rūnanga. Named Project Tāwhaki the partnership aims to protect and rejuvenate the ecosystem and develop aerospace research facilities, including a rocket launch site.  

What heartens me is that DOC has created a reserve, to protect the history and ecology of this special little piece of Canterbury.


Mi Kyung Jang

Artist Statement 

Mi Kyung Jang’s art explores into the intricate connection between humanity and the natural world, highlighting the global challenges stemming from unchecked human desires, such as wars, pollution, inequality, and rare diseases. Her childhood in the Korean countryside cultivated a strong bond with nature, revealing the inseparable link between humans and their environment. In her creative process, Jang finds mental clarity, resulting in intuitive artworks that mirror her interconnected worldview. She sees the unity of all living creatures, drawing parallels between the human body’s cells and the potential for catastrophe from a single abnormal one. Jang advocates nurturing nature with love, a philosophy reflected in her art’s earthy tones and organic shapes, inviting viewers to reflect on the complexities of human existence.


Janneth Gil

Artist Statement 

The photographs titled “Acantholysis” and “The Gift” from Janneth Gil’s series “Invisible”  explores Susan Sontag’s concept of dual citizenship each of us has in the kingdoms of the well and of the sick. Rather than be bound by the borders of one or the other, Gil searches for the spaces in between wellbeing and sickness. Her photography documents the numerous medical procedures she undergoes as someone with rare and life-threatening conditions. Without romanticizing, Gil makes the invisible facets of this experience visible through abstractions of her own body’s dissection juxtaposed against the human form. Invisible forms a body of work that signals Gil’s creative adaptation to a new normal, fosters resilience, transforms healing into a journey of growth and celebration of our bodies as idiosyncratic and beautifully imperfect, and amplifies the voices of the ill.

Full Exhibition Works

Art Associates Aotearoa - Karen Greenslade Susanne van Tuinen Lee HarperMark Soltero Viv Kepes Sarah Anderson Stephanie McEwin Nicloa Thorne Mi Kyung Jang Janneth Gil

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