Forget Netflix, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū is giving people the chance to get their art fix at home with an online video series featuring the work of a dozen Kiwi artists.
Called Spheres: An Online Video Project, the programme will run on the Gallery’s website for six months starting next Tuesday, with a moving image work by a different artist released on each of the first 12 days. They will be available to watch here.
The line-up of New Zealand creators includes Ronnie van Hout, Xin Cheng, Nova Paul, Matavai Taulangau and Christchurch cinematographer John Chrisstoffels, whose 2018 digital video work Ritornello is pictured (above).
It’s the first time Christchurch Art Gallery has launched an online only exhibition. Five of the works have been created specifically for this series, and have not been seen publicly before.
The Gallery is closed under COVID-19 restrictions and will not reopen under Alert Level 3, but Director Blair Jackson says his team is busy finding innovative ways for people to keep engaging with art even when they’re not able to physically step inside a gallery.
The new series also provides a venue for artists’ work and allows them to connect with an audience.
“Moving image works are a really accessible way for people to experience art at home. We don’t want people to feel cut off from the creative, imaginative world, because this is probably a time when people need it most.
“These videos are a commentary on and response to the strange situation we find ourselves in, with social distancing and being more enclosed in the domestic or personal environment.”
The name Spheres is a reference to the upsurge in use of the word ‘bubble’ during the lockdown, Mr Jackson says.
Artists were asked to share something of their ‘spheres’, the ideas and places they live with and around. “The artists have tapped into issues that matter to all of us – the environment, consumerism and the importance of preserving cultural knowledge.”
Ronnie van Hout offers his take on the 1980s film The Breakfast Club, Sione Monu explores issues around identity and Janet Lilo captures daily making activities during lockdown.