Chockablock wall to wall art from New Zealand and Australia, Auckland art fair was the place to see what’s contemporary.

Here is just a taste of what my highlights were.
Images used may vary from what was present at the fair. Some artists maybe represented by more than just one gallery. 

Octavia Cook – Anna Miles Gallery Auckland

Im not a wearer of much Bling, and really only wear a handful of  NZ jewellery of which most are brooches.

A Gallery staff member was wearing a stunning piece similar to the one below left, My favourite are Cooks new range of murder weapons.

                             Octavia Cook Parrot Came, Skull Cameo. 2003 Photo Haru Sameshima
                                                    Anna Miles Gallery Auckland

                                          girly gun brooch

Venerable Heirlooms from the Cook & Co Coffers, 2007

“I see myself as a jeweller because all my work is jewellery or relates to ideas about jewellery.  I’m interested in the perception of value – both monetary and sentimental – and how interchanging the real with the fake and the precious with the inconsequential can alter that.”
Octavia Cook, 2007


            L Motion, Gouache and Pencil on Paper, 700 x 500mm

Taking on the role of 'artist as anthropologist', Kushana Bush makes paintings that are erotic, amusing, disturbing and beautiful, but ultimately their content remains absolutely mysterious. Virginia Were 

Kushana Bush explores the unresolved tensions between pleasure and logic, and public and private identities through imagery of bedroom interiors of couples acting out, or seeking to realise sexual pleasures while trapped by anxieties and apprehension. Bush's work draws upon contemporary cinema, expressionist traditions of painting, feminist painting and politics. It also maintains a critical acceptance of these conventions just as it seems to dissect and reveal the personalities of those individuals that inhabit the picture plane.

On the same stand was an Etching and aquatint by Paula Rego called 'Fame'.

Her paintings and pastel drawings are fantastic and didn't immediately recognise this work as one of hers. I havent I have seen any of her work up close before so I was delighted

Paula Rego 1994, pastel on canvas 120 x 160cm
Inspired by a story a friend had written for her, Paula Rego draws her Dog Woman in pastels, referencing the raw physicality of Degas’ drawings. “To be a dog woman is not necessarily to be downtrodden; that has very little to do with it,” She explained, “In these pictures every woman's a dog woman, not downtrodden, but powerful. To be bestial is good. It's physical. Eating, snarling, all activities to do with sensation are positive. To picture a woman as a dog is utterly believable."

Patrick Hartigan - Darren Knight Gallery
The work 'Untitled' below by Hartigan certainly stood out and hung amongst what was my favourite stand in terms of display.

                                                                        untitled (woman on cliff) 2010 oil on linen 645 x 485mm

I could have quite happily moved my couch in. The framing of the works were spot on and the monochromatic works by artists represented worked amazingly well, we all agreed.

Patrick Hartigan, 'Untitled (man holding cat)', oil on card, 2009
"It's a strange relationship I've got in my head. My interest is more a psychological one. I have a fascination with the way we humans go about, at times obsessively, trying to understand and live in the world."
taken from an interview with Hartigan, in the  Otago Daily Times

Sally Smart – Greenaway Art Gallery
Sally Smart, perform #1, 2011 mixed media on paper 760 x 560 mm image courtesy of  the artist and Greenaway Art Gallery 

                                                 SALLY SMART - Decoy NestInstallation 

Australian artist Sally Smart is known for her large-scale collage installations applied directly to the gallery wall. She works with a range of media, including painted felt cut-outs, painted canvas, photographic elements, and printed fabric. The pins and joins that connect her work remain exposed to the viewer, emphasizing the performative process Smart undergoes in the collection, cutting, drawing, assembly, and installation of her work. The complexity and detail of each formal element engage the viewer in a search for recognizable elements and meaning.

Heather Straka Page Blackie Gallery

                                                   (Life) Still no. 13, 2008

Cornelia Parker Two Rooms

Two rooms weren't showing any of Parkers work, but I wanted to share the video below of the work doubtful sound, at the BALTIC in Gateshead one of my all time favourite galleries.

Mark Rodda

In Mark Rodda's works no two pictures are painted using the same rules. The application of any dogmatic or systematic framework is avoided. However, among these allegorical works and uncouth abstracts are hints of recurrent themes. Romantic landscapes, oversaturated colour schemes and fantastical creatures are uniting factors within these works: where dark but comforting worlds are evoked. Rodda’s diverse interests and abilities as an artist are evidenced across his painting, film, animation and photographic works. With his painting, he shifts effortlessly between precise geometric works to loose, figurative pictorial planes.



Josephine Cachemaille - Sanderson Contemporary Art
Last but by no means least as I turned the corner on the last stand of the show it was great to see Nelson artist Josephine Cachemaille. 
Cachemaille lives down the road from me and seeing her installation makes for  some reason getting representation by a dealer gallery a wee bit more obtainable. 

Across her diverse art practice, Josephine Cachemaille uses ruminations on insecurity, anxiety and personal psychology to describe collective shared conditions and experiences. Whether through figurative painting or three-dimensional work, she remains interested in the tensions between the personal and the universal, the individual and the collective. 

I can change mixed media

Josephine Cachemaille 

"I come from a family who make things all the time. If you want to make something, you work out a way to do it using whatever skills and materials you have. This is how I work. I like the challenge of taking an idea and turning it into something. I don't always want to be masterful, I want there to be evidence of the process, the mistakes, the successes."


Many more artist had the most fantastic work be sure to view the Art Fair Website