Raw Material

Raw Material

Fiona Clark

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
42 Queen Street, New Plymouth

10 August — 17 November 2019

Opening event Saturday 10 August 6:00 - 8.00pm

Artist talk - Fiona Clark: Saturday 16 November 11:00am - 12:00pm

Exhibition talk - Fiona Clark and guests: Saturday 7 Sep 2:00 - 3:00pm

Fiona Clark   Pan Pacific Womens' Body Building Championship posing, Auckland 1981  1981. Cropped image. Courtesy the artist and Michael Lett

Fiona Clark Pan Pacific Womens' Body Building Championship posing, Auckland 1981 1981. Cropped image. Courtesy the artist and Michael Lett

The title Raw Material hints at untreated or unedited material, and makes reference to the exhibition’s focus on a careful selection of elements from Fiona Clark’s extensive archive. Interwoven with personal commentary and texts, Raw Material offers a side to this important artist that normally remains unseen.

Taranaki artist Fiona Clark is a leading figure of New Zealand photography. Owing much to a social documentary tradition, Clark is known for her intimate, arresting photographs that explore issues around the representation of marginalised and under-represented communities.

Presenting a selection of materials from the artist’s extensive archive, Raw Material situates Clark’s work in a complex web of interrelationships. The possible starting points are manifold – from her performance and film works, to photographs of the artist’s family, dancers Valerie Deakin and Da Katipa, Opunake bodybuilder Quentin Smith, as well as Arnold Schwarznegger and New Zealand bodybuilding champion Karen Gadsby (formerly Burns). Accompanied by personal commentary and texts, Raw Materialreveals connections and continuities between Clark’s childhood dance training, her work produced at the Sculpture Department at Elam School of Fine Arts, and her fascination with bodybuilding and other performing, posing bodies.

Curated by Sarah Wall.