Skylight, three-channel moving-image installation on wall-mounted 24″ LCD televisions, 2018.
Artists: Wendy Leach, Sue Paterson, Karen Sewell, Roma Anderson, Lara Thomas, Lily Worrall, Ethan Coombridge.
Exhibition Coverage courtesy of:
Officially, light is the agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible. It is responsible for the illumination of our world, but also our minds. Humanity’s innate fascination with light continues to inform our creative thought, and in our increasingly digital lives, light has become an everyday means of communication.
Across Tamaki-makau-rau Auckland is a web of glowing attractions, broadcasting the cities significant cultural events, milestones, and celebrations. Our stunning view of the Sky Tower anchors us to the heart of this network. Bathed in light and colour, the Sky Tower, this week, stands as a pillar for New Zealand Breast Cancer Awareness. Last month, along-side Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, it beamed in celebration of Suffrage 125. Each illumination is a communication of what our city stands for.
‘City Lights’ can mean something different to everyone. Whether it be a formal protest against marginalisation, a supporting beacon, or merely a bustling of activity amidst illuminated windows.
Skylight is the manifestation of light, abstracted and separated into three spectrums of understanding – the past, present, and future of the Tamaki river. The processing of the analogue imagery entails, and therefore speaks to, a greater entropy. Digital decay parallels the environmental and colonial decay caused by the violence that has historically plagued this river and its surrounds.
The shifting images act as portals to the soul of the river. Writhing across the screens, which act as frameworks to restrain the river within history, or as boundaries to be broken and eclipsed by the rivers agency, vitality, and power.
Anderson’s own perspective is integral to this work, having grown up and resided at several different points along the waterway, she has become a conduit for the agency of this environment. Her deconstruction of how the Tamaki River is framed and valued, both aesthetically and politically, is an active protest of the marginalisation of New Zealand’s waterways.
Roma Anderson is a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours student at the Elam School of Fine Art in Auckland, New Zealand. She is a Pakeha artist originating from and residing in New Zealand, and was born and raised in Auckland.
Roma is an avid contemporary analogue and digital alternative method artist, who never does things quite in the way they are conventionally done. She is a collector of antique analogue cameras and equipment, and embraces the unpredictability of film as a medium, especially its ability to capture the spiritual resonance of a place, object, or person. She aims to act as a conduit for the agency of environments and deconstruct how they are framed and valued, both aesthetically and politically. Inhabiting the liminal spaces between divisions and oppositions, working to generate, by processing analogically and digitally, abstract and confronting works to protest the marginalization of the waterways.
Currently, Roma is documenting the Tamaki estuary, along which she grew up and has resided by at several different points along the waterway. She aims to provide a space where the river can have a voice and be heard as an equal. Creating both striking imagery that writhes across the screen and cannot be ignored, and softer documentations that allow a glimpse into the complexity and beauty of the space.
Roma is also a photogram practitioner, exploring the politics of female representation in cinema, and the roles of spectator, voyeur, auteur and character in film. She is interested in the moments between the frames of a film, and their spiritual substance; using alternative methods to capture the soul of a film and discern what it is that strikes us emotionally. Her photograms also explore the relationship between the positive and negative of a film, providing extremely abstract and high-contrast images that deny the viewer context and references, confronting them with the truth, the body and soul of the moving-image.
Roma Anderson’s Skylight, featured in our upcoming ARTWEEK show City Lights, investigates the power of reanimating still images as a form of documentary practice, and the method’s ability to translate the spirit of nostalgia and being, attached to the artists experience of position and temporarily.
Skylight is the manifestation of light, abstracted and separated into three spectrum’s of understanding, representative of the past, present and future of the Tamaki river. The processing of the analogue imagery entails and therefore speaks to a greater entropy. A process of digital decay that parallels the environmental and colonial decay, caused by the violence that has historically plagued the Tamaki river and its surrounds at the hands of settlers, encroaching urbanisation, and pollution. The shifting images act as portals to the soul of the river, they are frameworks to restrain the river within history, or boundaries to be broken and eclipsed by its agency, vitality, and power.
Anderson’s own perspective is integral to this work, having grown up and resided at several different points along the waterway, she has become a conduit for the agency of this environment. Her deconstruction of how the Tamaki River is framed and valued, both aesthetically and politically, is an active protest of the marginalisation of New Zealand’s waterways. By creating striking imagery that writhes across the screen, Anderson has developed a complex devotion to an issue that cannot be ignored.
How did you establish your style and how would you describe it?
I have really established my style through getting involved and invested in a process of heavy making in my photography and moving-image practice. In this way, working back-to-back, a lot of failed experiments and alternative methods ending up informing what I do next. I think a large part of my style is a recognizably alternative approach, breaking down conventions and bringing things together that don’t necessarily sit easily side-by-side; technology and the environment, the digital and the analogue, entropy and birth. My favorite ways to describe my style and practice lately is the idea of a ‘post-internet mudland’ (Shu Lea Cheang) and a ‘wood wide web’ (Robert Macfarlane).
Who or what are your biggest influences?
A lot of my influences come from theories of other minds and intelligences that are beyond human. I am interested in how the relationship between nature and humans is structured, aesthetically and experientially, and how I can subvert and play with these ideas and agencies. Some of my favorite practitioners include Pipalotti Rist, Janine Rawson, Kathleen Velo, and Joyce Campbell.
What is the one instrument indispensable to your creative process? What couldn’t you work/live without?
An instrument indispensable to my creative process is definitely film, I love how tactile and unpredictable it can be and how there is an intermediary space between the image you take, and what actually develops.
How have you incorporated light into your creative process? Can you describe what that component aims to reveal or say about your work?
Light is integral to my creative process, I see it as a vibration that connects things and travels across space. I like to think of light as an exchange of sympathetic vibrations, and that my work is a medium to channel these through, a bridge between nature and human. I love playing with spectrums of light and how these can affect the experience of a place, the hyper-reality of the future, the recognizable present, and the memory of the past.
What does an illuminated Auckland mean to you?
An illuminated Auckland means an Auckland that is vibrant, alive and aware of its position in the world and what it means. It has a consciousness, and uses its lights inclusively to convey something greater to the world.
Alicia Taylor interviewing Roma Anderson.