Dunedin School of Art: Seminar Programme Term 3, 2023

The weekly public seminar programme is generously supported by Fred Staub Open Art.

ART Public Seminars Term 3 2023


27 July 23 –
21 September 23


Dunedin School of Art, P152 Lecture Room
19 Reigo Street
Dunedin, Otago 1910,
New Zealand

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The Thursday lunchtime Seminar Programme Term takes place weekly in room P152 at 12.00 – 1.00 pm, lecture theatre P152*

*Seminars can also be accessed online via the link at the bottom of this post.

Thursday 27 July
Susan Klein | The Exuberant Life: Finding Meaning Through Making

Susan will discuss her interdisciplinary practice, focusing on how the symbolic and abstract language of painting can be expressed through different media. Susan Klein (b. 1979, Morristown, NJ) is an artist living in Charleston, SC. Recent exhibitions include Couplets, a solo show at the Gibbes Museum of Art (Charleston), Call/Response, a two-person show at the University of South Carolina, and group shows at Asya Geisberg Gallery (NYC) and Frontviews (Berlin). Klein is an Associate Professor of Art at the College of Charleston, where she is Area Head of Painting.

Thursday 3 August
Wesley John Fourie | How To Find Art In Everything

Wesley John Fourie (b.1995, Amanzimtoti, South Africa) is a multi-award-winning artist and curator based in Aotearoa New Zealand. Their work processes experiences of love, loss and queer sexuality in relation to the natural environment. Wesley’s multi-faceted art practice extends across textiles, sculpture, installation, drawing, poetry, painting and video. Their “soft sculpture” installations are 1/1 scale models of mountains, or 1/100 scale models of rivers, rendered in finger knitting. Their embroidered works are deeply personal expressions of their lived experience as a queer person, exploring facets of the human condition through the use of poetry. Wesley’s work has been presented in public institutions and artist-run spaces across Aotearoa New Zealand, Asia, and Europe. Wesley is a board member at RM Gallery and Project Space (Aotearoa’s longest running artist-run initiative) and at the beginning of 2023 opened artist-run gallery, The Heat. This seminar will focus on developments within Wesley’s practice over the last eight years.

Thursday 10 August
Philip Madill | The Unreal Estate: A practice-based analysis of nineteenth century and contemporary immersive arts

The seminar will examine the use of practice-based research to explore the evolution from pre-cinema to contemporary mixed-reality entertainment. Mixed reality in this context refers to the coexistence of overlapping virtual and physical spaces achieved by creating and experiencing immersive environments. It will also look at the historical role pre-cinema played, as a form of instructive entertainment, in the promotion and colonisation of New Zealand during the Nineteenth Century. The artistic phenomenon not only served to inform prospective immigrants but propagate ideas of “otherness” through the selective use of imagery and the layout of the exhibition spaces. The discussion will conclude with a critical analysis of contemporary artists, such as Zoe Belloff and William Kentridge, and their use of digital animation to explore the historical impact of pre-cinema entertainment. Philip Madill has been a practicing artist since graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Dunedin School of Art. His studio practice focuses on the proliferation of digital technology and its impact on the role of contemporary drawing as a form of mediation. In 2014 he completed a Master’s in Fine Arts with Distinction. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Otago. Madill is working towards a Doctor of Philosophy in Art and Design at the Auckland University of Technology.

Thursday 17 August
Joe Batt | Excavating the Narrative In this presentation

Joe will share his inspiration and strategies for telling stories in clay. Joe will talk about his journey with figurative ceramics and how his work has evolved thematically. He will show examples of fabrication methods and mixed media surfaces. Finally, he will touch on various ways of presenting narrative clay works, from small-scale figurines on pedestals to large-scale, multimedia installation work. Joe Batt is originally from South Dakota in the U.S. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of South Dakota and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Montana. Currently, Joe is full time art faculty at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, Washington. He has also taught at California State University, Chico, California; the University of Montana, in Missoula, Montana; Lower Columbia College in Longview, Washington; and Metchosin Summer School of the Arts in Victoria, B.C. Recent work includes narrative clay figures, installation and mixed media pieces which feature hares and children as the main characters. These works are part of an ongoing exploration of innocence, endurance and our relationship with technology and the natural world. For a list of selected exhibitions see joebattceramics.com. Joe has been a McKnight Artist in Residence at the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has also done residencies at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, Maine, and at Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, Montana.

Thursday 24 August
Emily Hartley-Skudder Still Lifes in the bathroom

An overview of how my practice has developed in the ten years since art school — from photographing and painting miniatures to staging large-scale installations, my obsession with bathroom ceramics and colourful 'feminine hygiene' tools, and my increasing storage problems. Emily Hartley-Skudder (b. 1988, Tāmaki Makaurau) is the current Frances Hodgekins Fellow, which brought her to Ōtepoti after many years living in Te Whanganui-a-tara. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (First Class Honours) from Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury in 2012. Hartley-Skudder has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout Aotearoa and internationally, including at Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Gus Fisher Gallery, The Dowse Art Museum, Hastings City Art Gallery, The Suter Art Gallery, and a solo project with Christchurch Art Gallery’s Outer Spaces in 2013. She has also exhibited in Australia, Japan, China, and multiple exhibitions in New York City, USA. She is represented by Jonathan Smart Gallery, Ōtautahi Christchurch. Thursday 31 August Kelly McDonald Bodies and things This presentation will discuss aspects of Kelly’s recent practice, where jewellery re-contextualisations draw on the previous function of objects from industrial and utilitarian realms, traversing tense territories between people, bodies and things. Kelly McDonald completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts in the late 1990s and a Master of Fine Art at Massey University in 2019. Growing up in a rural valley amidst seven power stations and the largest brown coal deposit in the southern hemisphere, McDonald developed an industrial aesthetic and colour palette. Her material choices still link back to power, its processes of production and the industrial geography of the Latrobe Valley, Australia. Collecting continually, her work often draws on the histories and functions of the materials she uses. By deconstructing and transforming traditionally masculine and utilitarian objects, her work aims to create a visual language that talks around jewellery, yet speaks directly to the relationship between people and things.

Thursday 7 September
Gregory Minissale | Forms of Abstraction and Mind Wandering in Artistic Practice

The art historian Rosalind Krauss wrote: “to say that works of art are intentional objects is to say that each bit of them is separately intended.” Krauss was an important critic of the cognitive mastery of high modernism and its pretensions to being “the display of reason, of the rationalized, the coded, the abstracted, the law,” which she believed led to an increasingly positivist art history. Too much ‘cognitive mastery’—what can be termed as techné— smothers matter with premeditated forms and can produce artificiality and didacticism. Cultivating an openness to mind wandering, along with a rhythmic and tactile contact with materials, particularly in automatist creative practice, brings us closer to physis shared by the brain, body, and earth. This presentation examines various automatist artistic practices, and my own experiments in automatist image-making, suggesting that physis can emerge within the anthropomorphic techné of artistic practice. I will argue how physis is not only to be defined as chance, chaotic configurations and spontaneity but that these are the very properties of matter, nature and the earth beyond human horizons, and that this encounter has ethical implications. Gregory Minissale is Professor of Art History, specialising in global modern and contemporary art and critical theory at the University of Auckland. His research interests are in the psychology of art, mental health, multicultural phenomenologies, and queer theory. His books: Rhythm in Art, Psychology and New Materialism (2021) and The Psychology of Contemporary Art (2013, paperback, 2015) are both published by Cambridge University Press.

Thursday 14 September
Kim Lowe | Is it Appropriate?

Kim will lead a discussion on issues around cultural appropriation and context through her painting and prints. Kim Lowe is a senior Lecturer, Art and Design at Ara, Te Pūkenga, Ōtautahi Christchurch, and leads Visual Arts in the Bachelor of Design. She completed a Masters of Fine Arts (Printmaking) from Ilam School of Fine Arts, Canterbury University after completing her undergraduate degree in Printmaking at the Dunedin School of Art. Kim is of Chinese and European descent from Murihiku Southland, and her creative process through painting and print often explores hybrid aspects of culture in Aotearoa.

Thursday 21 September
Simon Swale | Critical Walking as Post-Studio Methodology: A Jewellery Practice of the Streets

Following the notion of “post-studio” art, as discussed by artist Daniel Buren in 1971, this presentation considers a range of contemporary jewellery examples: exhibitions, makers and events that relocate the practice of contemporary jewellery from the studio to the street. This presentation will discuss the concept of critical walking as a means of engaging with the urban environment, as a methodology for art practice and mode of phenomenological enquiry. Beside the projection of new and innovative practices and artefacts, I will also discuss the role writing can play as an important supplement to practice and a potential practice in its own right. I will conclude with an overview of a recent workshop I facilitated at Objectspace gallery that utilised a critical walking approach to explore and consider contemporary urban life. Simon Swale is an artist, designer and educator based in Ōtepoti Dunedin, whose explorations in body adornment extend across fashion, jewellery and the wider fields of art practice. Simon completed an MFA focusing on contemporary jewellery at the Dunedin School of Art in 2020 and is currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Design, Otago Polytechnic.


*Seminars can also be accessed online via this link:

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