Edith Amituanai: Double Take

Edith Amituanai: Double Take

Adam Art Gallery at Victoria University of Wellington

Edith Amitutanai, Snow White battles for Siren King, 2018. Pigment inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist and Anna Miles Gallery, Auckland.

June 26, 2019
Edith Amituanai: Double Take
May 11–July 14, 2019
Adam Art Gallery at Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600
Gate 3, Kelburn Parade
Wellington 6140
New Zealand
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm

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Curated by Ane Tonga

Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi is pleased to present Edith Amituanai: Double Take, the first exhibition to survey artist Edith Amituanai’s practice in its entirety. Presenting over 60 photographs, it provides insights into the various bodies of work she has produced since 2003 which draw attention to the experiences of Pacific people as well as other diasporic communities both within New Zealand and further afield.

Curator Ane Tonga describes a double take as “both an action and a reaction that is entwined with the act of looking. As if to hit the pause button, a double take suspends us in a moment from which we can only move on by taking a second glance.” Throughout her career, Amituanai has created imagery with diaristic intent, depicting people and places at the constant interface between interiors and exteriors, some connected through narratives of diaspora and migration. Focusing on works in which manifold themes of memory, reflection and performance act as narrative devices across different bodies of work, the exhibition Double Take invites us to reconsider these works for the critical insights they reveal of the artist’s use of and belief in the photographic medium.

Imaging people and domestic spaces in her immediate neighbourhood of Ranui in West Auckland and extending to Samoa, the USA and beyond, she provides a lens on what she describes as a “third-wave migration” driven by diverse economic and social forces that propel the movement of Pacific Island communities from their homelands.

The exhibition is accompanied by a substantial illustrated catalogue featuring a lead essay by Ane Tonga, a transcribed conversation between artist Edith Amituanai and gallerist Anna Miles, and additional essays by photographer Haruhiku Samashima, cultural anthropologist Niko Besnier, and curator and art historian Christina Barton. The publication is designed by DDMMYY, Auckland. Double Take is also supported by a substantial public programme developed by Herbert Bartley in close conversation with the artist and curator and with support of the College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Wellington.

Edith Amituanai was born in 1980 in Auckland, New Zealand. In 2005 she completed a Bachelor of Design (majoring in photography) at Unitec Institute of Technology, before completing a Master of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland in 2009. In 2007, Amituanai was the first recipient of the Art Foundation’s Marti Friendlander Photographic Award. The following year she was nominated for the Walters Prize at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Amituanai undertook the Taipei Artist Village Residency in 2014 and was the inaugural artist-in-residence at the Hastings City Art Gallery in 2017. She has exhibited extensively in galleries and museums across Aotearoa and internationally in Australia, Austria, Taiwan, Germany and France. Her artwork is held in national collections including Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. In 2019 Amituanai was named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to photography and community. Amituanai is represented by Anna Miles Gallery, Auckland.

Edith Amituanai: Double Take has received substantial support from Creative New Zealand and Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust.

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Adam Art Gallery at Victoria University of Wellington
June 26, 2019

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