Tif­fany makes new rules at the gallery

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS LEE

There are no vel­vet ropes or glass cases in sight at the Auck­land Art Gallery’s Cre­ative Learn­ing Cen­tre as Tif­fany Singh con­tin­ues to push the bound­aries of what is con­sid­ered art.

The Mt Al­bert artist’s lat­est par­tic­i­pa­tory ex­hi­bi­tion May the Rain­bow Al­ways Touch Your Shoul­der is show­ing un­til the end of this year and will give gallery vis­i­tors a chance to get hands-on with the work’s cre­ative process.

Her form of ‘‘coau­thor­ship’’ al­lows for the works to take on a life of their own, she says.

Nat­u­ral ob­jects cast in beeswax, flow­ers, spices and rib­bons all have a place in the in­stal­la­tion which is the sec­ond to oc­cupy the space since the re­de­vel­oped gallery opened in 2011.

Over the course of the year-long in­stal­la­tion the room it­self will be­come part of the work as its painted walls are trans­formed with a dif­fer­ent colour ev­ery two months.

Ms Singh says she is un­sure how peo­ple will re­spond to the prospect of in­ter­act­ing with an ex­hi­bi­tion in such a for­mal en­vi­ron­ment.

‘‘Peo­ple have been taught that you don’t en­gage with art­works in gal­leries,’’ she says.

‘‘So there will be a kind of re-ed­u­ca­tion that you can pick it up, you can touch it, you can smell it, you can make it make a sound.’’

The 33-year-old, who is of Euro­pean, Maori, Pa­cific Is­land and In­dian de­scent, says the un­der­ly­ing con­cept be­hind her work is com­mu­nity and heal­ing.

‘‘I miss the East and the way the sa­cred per­me­ates ev­ery­thing,’’ she says.

‘‘Back there the spir­i­tual is a part of daily life whereas here it’s very sep­a­rate and you have to go some­where to en­ter that space.’’

Gallery pro­gramme man­ager Roger Taberner says Ms Singh uses dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als and icons in her work to pro­mote cul­tural in­clu­siv­ity and un­der­stand­ing.

‘‘This art­work will en­cour­age vis­i­tors to share their views and gain a new ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the world around them,’’ he says.

Go to auck­land­c­i­ty­har­bour news.co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion for a video of Tif­fany Singh’s re­cent ex­hi­bi­tion in Syd­ney.

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