Ask Where I’m Local

 Author Taiye Selasi’s TED talk is the inspiration behind the theme for Watch This Space Coromandel’s upcoming visual art exhibition “Ask Where I’m Local” at Hauraki House Gallery.     


Selasi’s talk, titled; “Don’t ask where I’m From, ask where I’m Local” explores the notion of place and belonging, referring to The 3 R’s; Rituals, Relationships and Restrictions as key indicators of how we experience our locality.     Sally Tennent-Brown is the exhibition co-curator with John Eaglen, both of whom feature work in the exhibition.


Along with fellow Coromandel artists, they were inspired by the TED Talk, considering it an interesting subject, ripe for deeper exploration through art.     “It’s such an unusual theme, yet relates to everyone’s experience,” said Sally.  “As Selasi says; ‘We are all multi-local now’.  Yet this is something we try and minimise.”       


Using the TED Talk as a springboard, the artists workshopped the idea of what it means to be local.  Since the theme was announced, it has been a constant source of discussion amongst the artists and their wider networks.     Coromandel and The Peninsula is represented in many of the artworks. Some artists have explored it in a more internal, personal level and others have taken a global perspective.  Sally said in light of the Christchurch mosque attacks on Friday 15th March, the theme felt relevant.     


“I found it a real catalyst to redefine where we are and how we fit in the grander - or not so grander - scheme of things,” said Sally.     


Ask Where I’m Local is the fourth annual exhibition by shared studios initiative; Watch This Space Coromandel.  Visitors can expect surprises when they view this exhibition.  It is hoped the artworks will provoke a broad spectrum of responses, and serve as an invitation to relate to the theme on a personal level.  The exhibition features a wide variety of media, including painting, sculpture, wood, mixed media, ceramics and textile.     Sally said the theme has been well received by the artists, who have expressed positive feedback about the intellectual challenge and the emotional commitment required to create the work.     


The exhibition at Hauraki House Gallery will begin with an official opening and refreshments at 5.30 pm, Friday May 10, 2019. Anyone is welcome to come along, meet the artists and enjoy the art.  Ask Where I’m Local will then be open daily from 10 am – 4 pm until Sunday 26 May.      

View the TED Talk by Taiye Selasi here:   Don’t ask where I’m From, ask where I’m Local              

Contact info:

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