NOT AFRAID Simon Attwooll Review by James Dignan Printed in the ODT 8/9/11

In “Not afraid”, Simon Attwooll presents a series of bright, energetic pieces on paper. His mixed media works, created from the cultural ephemera of newspaper, magazine, and internet images, are intended, in the artist’s words, to “encourage us to explore our current contemporary psyche through [ … ] the reproduced images it consumes and is consumed by.” While this bold intention may or may not hit its mark, the resulting chaotic melange it creates is certainly both strong and vibrant, and the juxtapositions of images and thoughts within the works does lend them depth. By using what the artist refers to as the “outmoded technology” of painting and screen-printing, he has created pieces which the viewer can explore at will. The mind of the artist is – to use the title of one of the works – finding a mess and making it pretty, or more to the point, making it significant. The addition of black glitter as a reflective material in the works enhances the effect of organised chaos. Its dazzle causes repeated deliberate interruptions to the viewing process and a constant shifting of the light over the works. The result is that the viewer is forced to repeatedly reassess the created images.


KLUSTERFUCK Review in the ODT By Franky Strachan 18/8/11

Kluster****. Sam Ovens, Nathan Forbes and Ant Scarer. 

Hope, comfort, and censorship; just three ideas that Ovens, Forbes and Scarer willingly stomp upon.

This is commendable, however, since these astute Dunedin artists demonstrate insight and wit rather than prosaic discontent disguised as rebellion.

Ovens uses the pop aesthetic to express socio-political commentaries. The audacious, commercial colours deliberately demoralise his subject-matter, while the gestures, text and humour keep us fixated.

We Are Devoid is a sprightly print which appropriates the “Energy Dome” trademark of subversive band Devo with the parliamentary Beehive, so as to (somehow charmingly) debase our ostensibly “devolving” politicians.

Forbes, a second-year art student, uses clarity of form and immaculate brushwork to describe Lynchian horror scenes.

His narrative compositions cleanly describe an immensely disturbing part of human potential; the threat of brutal, instinctual violence from the minds of superficially prototypical children. Chucky meets The Shining in these challenging, yet disconcertingly appealing pieces.

Screaming inaudibly in the corner, Scarer has disgorged the mind of a graphic artist on multiple pieces of A4 paper. Fearsome and comical, these images of corpses, skulls, vamps and cars engage the eye with quick, descriptive lines which, when accumulated, form masses of animated details.

Rambunctious and original, the artist’s forceful “ramblings” lash the room with cheeky quips.

EYE OF THE NIGHT film screening at a gallery 7/7/11 (koha entry)

“The Eye of Night” & “The Stink Magnetic One-Man-Band Show”

Two music documentaries that honour and celebrate Alan Robert Cameron, also known as ALC5, producer of the alt hip hop group Coco Solid, member of The Hi-Tone Destroyers and initiator of the living room venue “The Eye of Night”.


“The Eye of Night” (2011) by D.Thomas Herkes

The live music venue run by ALC5 and Clare McNamara in the living room of their flat above the shops on the main street of Whanganui, a small town in the North Island of New Zealand. Over 80 performances of local, national and international bands occurred under the radar of most but firmly in the sights of many simply powered by one 3-pin outlet in the wall of a conventional living room and the inspiration of a few like minds. Featuring live performances by Die Die Die, Delaney Davison and his 9 piece Ghost Orchestra, The Show is the Rainbow, Sets, The Wrongdoings and featuring over 30 interviews with musicians and people that visited the venue from all over New Zealand.

 “The Stink Magnetic One-Man-Band Show” (2007) by ALC5

A documentary by ALC5 following a fairly unconventional travelling one-man-band show around the South Island of New Zealand in the middle of winter. From the opening performances of The Mysterious Tape Man, Boss Christ and Bad Evil at 9am on the interislander to the much anticipated visit to the whiskey museum in Gore, be spell-bound by the occasional sprinkling of actual music-playing, in between other more important road-trip related stuff. Made entirely by one man, Mr ALC5, complete with cameras and microphones fitted in a van as the 4 friends drive from Picton toDunedinand back again.

“The Eye of Night” & “The Stink Magnetic One-Man-Band Show” show at:

The ARC Theatre, Whanganui, July 1st, 8pm, koha

a gallery,Dunedin, July 7, 7pm, koha

The NZ Film Archive,Wellington, July 28, 7pm, $6/$8

The Audio Foundation,Auckland, July 29, 7pm, koha