Showing as part of AURA Festival of Artist Moving Images, In the Shadow of Wellywood features three installations extracting maximum use from commercial castoffs. Each was originally presented as part of the one-day video art trail Home Movies on 28 September 2019, which presented works in shops, businesses and cultural spaces in the Wellington suburb of Newtown. This installation extends the public life of these three installations by a week, and is open from 12-6pm each day.
Artists and works
In the Shadow of Wellywood (2019) Mike Heynes
Glory (2019) Max Fleury and Anna Brimer
Simple Pleasures (2019) Pippy McClenaghan
Mike Heynes’ installation In the Shadow of Wellywood lends the show its title. In Heynes' work the viewer is invited to watch an animated movie studio tour and audition led by celebrity action figures recovered from Newtown op shops and bargain stores. The construction of a micro-cinema environment acknowledges Heynes’ love-hate relationship with Hollywood and Wellywood’s marketing, merchandising and special effects.
In Glory, Max Fleury and Anna Brimer also reuse material drawn from local charity shops, playfully critiquing industrial production through an absurdist re-purposing of bread boards, mini weights, a plastic bin and a Newtown tap. One of three performance works in Home Movies commissioned as a response to Newtown itself, Glory extracts its own making from Newtown’s streets, shops and public amenities.
The final video is ironically presented in the former Rinnai plumbing showroom, amidst a series of "found" office plants left in the room. Pippy McClenaghan's Simple Pleasures features three sculptural works inspired by hand-painted advertising from the pre-digital age. Sitting at the intersection of craft and commerce, the three works are inflated beyond scale, in acknowledgement of their function as signs for shoppers. Presented in the context of Home Movies, they sit somewhere between a lament for the loss of small shops, the hand made and an odd example of folk art. Many Newtown locals may recognise the sandwich as an iconic local image.