Darcell Apelu

"Darcell Apelu is a mixed medium artist of New Zealand European and Niuean decent and was raised in Mount Maunganui.

She completed her Master of Art and Design from Auckland University of Technology in 2013 and more recently completing a diploma of teaching in 2014. Darcell exhibits frequently while also currently teaching within the certificate of art and design and the bachelor of creative industries at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.

Darcell’s art practice involves mediums such as moving image, sound, performance and installation. Her practice is informed by her experiences as an afakasi female. The body plays an important role as she explores perceptions of the Pacific body, identity and of ‘being other’ within the social climate of New Zealand. She explores the duality of the pacific community with a populace-autobiographical perspective within the western masculine framework.

In the performance New Zealand Axemen's Association: Women’s Sub Committee President (2014) Darcell enters the space with an axe on her shoulder, draped around her is a multicoloured cloak woven out of ribbons which looks Polynesian. In the middle of the gallery floor is a piece of wood encased in a metal framework. Darcell walks around the perimeter of the space out lined in red tape before taking off her cloak to reveal simple black athlete attire with NZ printed on the back of her singlet. She takes off her axe blades cover and walks towards the piece of wood in the centre of the space, positions herself on the wood and with a few breaths later she begins to chop. She is not an amateur; it’s obvious that she is highly experienced in the field of chopping. Due to the authenticity, it doesn't feel like the artist is performing but rather participating in an action that is as natural to her as putting shoes on her feet. With every strike she makes against the wood Darcell smashes stereotypes about her perceived pacific identity." - http://www.tautai.org

Selected Exhibitions

lai-pā, ST PAUL St Gallery, Auckland

Passionate Instincts, Physics Room, Christchurch
All Lines Converge, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth
Share/Cheat/Unite, Te Tuhi, Auckland

Pane per poveri (Bread for the poor), Lungomare Gabrielle DAnnunzio, Venice
A Jester’s Whisper: John Fries Award 2015 Finalist Exhibition (Untitled performance).  Curator Oliver Watts. UNSW Galleries, Sydney, Australia
A’oga Hutt (Performance), Common Ground Hutt Public Art Festival. Lower Hutt, Wellington

Such a damn Jam, The engine Room, Massey University, Wellington
To and Fro, Artspace, Auckland
NZ Film Archive Presents Siapo Cinema

Close to Home, St Paul’s Street Gallery, Auckland
Same story Different Colour, gallery three, St Paul’s Street Gallery
Off stage 5, Artspace, Auckland
Return to sender, Papakura Gallery, Auckland
More than we know - performance series, Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland

Silk and Lace: 13th Anniversary Gifts, Blue Oyster Gallery, Dunedin

Anatomy of Paradise, Art Station, Auckland
Finding Neitherland, St Paul’s Street Gallery, Auckland
Volume Pilot Show, St Paul’s Street Gallery Three, Auckland
Parallel’s, Mangere Arts Centre, Auckland