Monday, April 26, 2010

Space, the final frontier

The artist’s studio has undergone many radical changes over the years from bustling workshops full of apprentices to cold water rat traps at the top of dilapidated buildings. In New Zealand we have seen the artist studio move from the front room of a villa or flat to the hard-to-rent space to, in some cases, the bespoke architect-designed version exemplified by the McCahon House Residency

For some artists though the studio is simply wherever they happen to be at the time. Just as Bruce Nauman discovered that anything he did, including mundane tasks like digging a fence post hole, could be art, so they accept their everyday physical environment as their studio. That’s how we found ourselves in one of Campbell Patterson’s studios: the parking basement of the building he lives in. Looking across the space we could see familiar props from some of his recent video works, parked cars, dumper bins, concrete floors. Patterson has just exhibited in the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art and is included in Unnerved: the New Zealand Project that looks at New Zealand work in the collection of the Queensland Art Gallery.
Images: One of Campbell Patterson's 'studios'