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Objectspace is now closed for redevelopment

Objectspace temporary offices
Ground Floor 34-38 Drake St
Auckland Central
Auckland | New Zealand

Open Mon to Fri 10am-4pm
P +64 9 376 6216
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Main Gallery

  • Three Hei tiki 2003

    Maker: Rangi Kipa
    Materials: resin
    Courtesy Ellis Whanau Collections
  • Blunted Vases with Loops, Wands and Daggers 1980 to 1998

    Maker: Peter Hawkesby
    Materials: multi-fired and salt-glazed Oripu swamp clay and Stoke on Trent porcelain
    Courtesy Private Collection
  • Four pieces from the installation Lift 2002

    Maker: Katharina Jaeger
    Materials: found objects and lycra
    Courtesy Private Collection
  • Two Bowls 1996 and 2004

    Maker: Gwyn Hanssen Pigott
    Materials: porcelain
    Courtesy Private Collection
  • 1925-26 New Zealand and South Seas International Exhibition Souvenir Cloth 1925

    Maker: Unknown Designer/Maker
    Materials: cotton
    Courtesy Private Collection
  • Primary Mirror for a 12 Inch Cassegrain Telescope 1995 to 1998

    Maker: A.A.M.Bos
    Materials: plate glass
    Courtesy Private Collection
  • Lokki 1961

    Maker: Maija Isola
    Materials: cotton
    Courtesy of Piece Ltd

Talking About

26 October 2004 - 27 November 2004

‘Putting objects into play in the culture’ is the vision of Objectspace. Talking About is an important project in which a group of experienced ‘players’ engage objects of their choice in some serious and strong play and in doing so creates a new opportunity for critical writing, and reading, about the handmade object. What is principally on show at Talking About is the writing. In a rather neat reversal to the more usual exhibition, the objects are here to illuminate the writing rather than the writing illuminating the object. And as writing is to the fore in Talking About we encourage visitors to read as much as they look.

Talking About foregrounds the necessary and powerful role of discourse and critical thought around the production and consumption of objects. One of the unique features of the cultural/ creative sector is the moment and place of ‘reception’, that stage in the overall cultural production/consumption chain where works are received into a culture. This is the moment of ‘talking about’ where works are discussed and meanings ascribed. Critically, taking the time to ‘talk about’ strengthens a whole sector and creates new possibilities and platforms for future cultural productions.

The original concept for Talking About was developed by Damian Skinner and Moyra Elliott and from this initial discussion Talking About has taken shape. We were delighted that Damian agreed to act as curator/editor for the project and it has been a great pleasure, as the project’s coordinator, to work with him. The idea for Talking About was to ask a number of contributors to select an object, or group of related objects, and to write about them in some depth drawing in some way upon the discourses of craft and design. When we drew up a list of possible contributors we looked first at people with a track record in writing about objects, regardless of the disciplines in which they have been trained. Our thanks go to the Talking About contributors; Don Bassett, Moyra Elliott, Ngarino Ellis, Richard Fahey, Bronwyn Fletcher, Louis Le Valliant & Rigel Sorzano, Sean Mallon, Anna Miles, Cushla Parekowhai, Elizabeth Rankin and Grant Thompson who responded to the opportunity with alacrity and whose writings so richly engage and stimulate the reader in relation to the cultural, historical, social and technological dimensions of their chosen objects.  

The contributions mirror the diversity of Aotearoa, and range from the anecdotal to the art historical. These essays reveal that it is impossible, and probably undesirable, to suggest that object discourse in Aotearoa has any set features, or must necessarily assume certain rhetorical or genre forms.  Talking About reveals the seriousness with which many writers approach objects, and the importance that craft and design can assume when thinking through contemporary critical issues.