Graffiti Lounge was a Group Show at Paul Nache, Gisborne, New Zealand with Evan Woodruffe, Kimberley Anna, Glen Hayward, Virginia Leonard, Richard Darbyshire, Teresa HR Lane, Eloise Cato, Sue Dickson, and myself in February 2016.
Graffiti turns private into public: it places an individual’s expression onto a privately-owned space to display to the communitytheir contest of space. Graffiti is a reaction against the visual occupation of public space by companies’ and individual’s use of advertising billboards and Brutalist architecture; it’s a direct action in the contest of public space ownership.
With each exhibition, the white walls of a gallery are ‘tagged’ by a succession of artists’ works. However, rather than a contest of space between artist and gallery, it is a collaboration to contest the visual space of our culture. Gallery and artists work together to present and represent their ideal supremacy over the visual pollution that invades our everyday. Like graffiti, the exhibition is transient and fluid, with each one applied over the last, jostling for space and asserting ownership: graffiti and exhibitions grow in palimpsest.
Though serious in its challenge, the curation of this exhibition lounges; Gisborne in the height of summer is ground-zero for sauntering, and Graffiti Lounge reclines with a relaxed, confident attitude. It is not a clean, formal show, as it instigates a variety of aesthetics that reflect the chaotic nature of graffiti. Evan Woodruffe and Kimberley Annan have approached it with the method of graffiti crews, producing works separately and collaboratively, and inviting a diverse group of artists to join them in a show that contests the ownership of our visual space. Welcome to the Graffiti Lounge.