4 July – 23 July 2017
Sanderson Contemporary Art
Tatala (to open) represents Vaimaila Urale’s exploration of painting on canvas with small and large scale works. This new body of work reiterates her commitment to the use of symbols which strongly identifies her practice. Urale uses four universal keyboard symbols < > / \ to create the template for her artworks. These symbols have two defined cultural references; Firstly, they represent Samoan symbols used in pre-colonial art forms such as tapa(bark cloth), tatau(tattooing) and lapita pottery. Secondly, they reference ASCII art also known as text based visual art which transpired as an early form of computer image making.
The symbols used sparingly and en mass in intricate combinations become visual markers which tell a story where each marker is a character. Collectively these characters speak about negotiating space and relative distance with characters touching, overlapping and standing alone. In the past Urale has embedded her methodical use of symbols using a diverse range of formats such as digital prints, ceramics, unique screenprints, murals and tattoos. Adapting to painting by hand on canvas brings a material shift requiring a new articulation. Tatala opens the space for new translations and conversations.
Artist Vaimaila Urale will mark the opening of her solo exhibition Tatala at Sanderson Contemporary, in a unique collaboration featuring hand poke tattooist Julia Mage’au. Drawing on traditional Samoan symbols and her use of digital mark making, Urale has designed a tattoo which will be translated and inscribed by Mage’au on to a volunteer. Mage’au will utilise a traditional hand poke tatu(tattoo) method from her homeland of Papua New Guinea.
Image credit: Vaimaila Urale, Lepo, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 3000mm x 1820mm
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Newmarket / Auckland / NZ
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