wears the black singlet in 2010? Have we cleaned up our act since
1954 when Godfrey and Ivan Bowen wore our New Zealand outfit when
meeting the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh?
work is a daggy play on our ideals of the 1950's heydays alongside
our progressive, domestic lives of today.
my Black Singlet series, I use the icon of our singlet and work
it so it can be seen from either a male or female perspective. In
each piece of work, I take the same approach: after deciding what
I want to "say in my art", I then select appropriate materials,
draw designs, shape and work the metal/s (or other media) to get
the feel I want and I then make my final mark on the piece - letter
punches, anvil and hammer in hand. Be they seen as decoration, just
plain quirky, or as a strong statements of where we have come from
and / or where we are going in New Zealand, each work stands on
main materials I use are:
a reference to the old coppers of pre Gentle Annie's days.
a stalwart of New Zealand kitchens, reminiscent to me of our "Blokes
and Sheila culture", each with their own black attire (singlets
/ L.B.D.; made up women with heels and apron on ready with a hot
meal on the table!
iron to signify the more masculine part of the domestic scene. Tin
shacks, a roof over our head made of galv - we would be lost with
out it I feel.
items that I use often include:
safety pin as an icon, to suggest home comforts, security, temporary
measures, a quick repair, or a nostalgia trip. Wearing a chain made
of safety pins, or a sink plug chain has a certain aesthetic appeal,
but could also be seen as a mark of strength - fine delicate gold
chains, replaced with chunky, bold "costume styled" jewellery. On
the other hand pink, white or blue tipped safety pins may be statements
on our stereotyping (nurtured from birth) of male and female roles,
on growing up, and equality.
Shepherds' whistles, taken out of context
Baby letter beads spelling out my quirky statements (often about
New Zealand culture) make an appearance in my work at times.