The Slow Flow Show

31 January - 28 February 2010
67 Guyton St, Whanganui, New Zealand

Slow Flow 2010
The 2010 Slow Flow residency on the Whanganui river
with a mailbox.

Julian Priest (standing) has just read out a
text by Andy Slater about his "Postcard from Nowhere" project.

"Our societies are increasingly structured around the bipolar opposition of the Net and the Self" wrote socologist Manuel Castells.
The artists in the SLOW FLOW SHOW on until Feb 28th were, in a sense pushed from the self to the 'Net' of a micro-society while paddling, cycling and walking together down the Whanganui river, over six days.
This artist residency was not just one literally on the move, it required us to work together and even keep in time if we were to navigate the rapids, or enter a marae.

Overview of the exhibition

The works in the exhibition, in keeping with the 'slow-flow' spirit, are the results of a full year's reflection on those experiences and the conversations we had.

The Scottish painter, Andy Slater, sent 'A postcard from the Bridge to Nowhere' for the show. The participants in the 2010 Slow Flow journey installed a post-card dispenser containing Slater's postcards at the Bridge, deep in the Whanganui National park surprising jet-boat tourists and canoeists. In taking a postcard home they continued the flow into their worlds.

Bridge to Nowhere, Whanganui River, 2010  

Bridge to Nowhere, Whanganui River, 2010
"Postcard from the Bridge to Nowhere"
by the Bridge to Nowhere, Whanganui river.

Overview of the exhibition

Left to Right: One of the photographic images
of a performance by
Julian Priest (N.Z.),
River Traces, video by Dhyana Beaumont (N.Z.),
Photographs by Tom Ang + Wendy Gray (U.K.) and
UpRiver Blues, HD video by Brit Bunkley (N.Z.) .

Installation by Sonja van Kerkhoff + Sen McGlinn
Heart of the Land by Sen McGlinn + Sonja van Kerkhoff
4 min HD video.

Whanganui artist, Brit Bunkley, contributes a video that seems to freeze the flow and make it go inward. The footage from the Ahu Ahu Ohu forest and hills focuses on the moment. As you watch and wait, strange things happen. The earth changes to mud, to water, to earth, and you wonder whether your eyes have been playing tricks. The juxtapostionings seem intended to make us stand still, perhaps to step out of the flow?

Our video, Heart of the Land, on the other hand, is all about the flow, while Stella Brennan's video seems to be about modes of the flow - modes of story telling and meaning.

Bridge to Nowhere, Whanganui River, 2010
Photograph by Wendy Gray, U.K.

Bridge to Nowhere, Whanganui River, 2010  
Photograph by Tom Ang, U.K.

Glass by Sue James, Whanganui.
Hopes and Dreams,
glass + Whanganui river water,
by Sue James, Whanganui.

Installation by Sonja van Kerkhoff + Sen McGlinn
Foreground: Glass bowls by Sue James,
By window: Waka Huia, suspended object by
Sen McGlinn + Sonja van Kerkhoff

London photographer Tom Ang sent a series of photographs capturing the lines and movement of the bush. Wendy Gray's photographs were from the time spent at Tieke marae with tangata whenua (local people). Her flow was people-oriented. Because the whole journey involved tangata whenua as participants we flowed not only with pakeha but also with maori life-worlds.

Whanganui glass artist Sue James, also wove the theme of life-worlds into her work. She took small glass boat-forms with her on the 2009 journey, leaving them at 9 signicant places we visited. Her project created a flow between the human and the natural worlds. For the slow flow show, she has contributed a map of this 'flow' and one of these glass boats as well as two glass works she made later in response to the experience.

Sen and I also contributed a boat-form for the show, but ours was as light as a feather. Our 'Waka Huia' was hung to reflect and refract the flow of light.

See for opening hours and directions.

Installation by Sonja van Kerkhoff + Sen McGlinn
Waka Huia by Sen McGlinn + Sonja van Kerkhoff
Above at the back: a glass boat-form by Sue James in the background.

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