'Offerings to the Happiness Gods'
Aaron Scythe, Georgia Barber, Tsubaki Scythe
19 November - 23 December
Aaron is a ceramicist of international standing. Originally from Auckland, Aaron moved to Japan to study Shino in 1995. He studied under professor Koie Ryoiji working in the Mino style. In 1997 Aaron rented a studio in Mashiko and began working in porcelain, oribe, kizeto and practicing Hikidashi techniques. After 16 years in Japan and 60 exhibitions, Aaron returned to New Zealand with his Japanese family in 2011. The Fukushima meltdown had meant staying in their Japanese village was too unsafe. Aaron now lives in Whanganui and exhibits throughout New Zealand and internationally.
'I have always been concerned mostly with beauty and tradition. Yet wanting to move that tradition into the modern era, both with my ceramics and my prints. Generally on my nights off i have a few beers and do the print work images. Obviously they come from ukiyoue prints both old and modern. I really have no in-depth thoughts on why I do them, its the same with ceramics. I want to make so I do. Many famous prints have been used as inspiration for next generation artists. How to use that work as a base yet how to make it your own and expand on that beauty. Working in a box and finding the freedom that is available to be had in that box.'
'For the past year and some previous, I have been experimenting with Japanese paper both hand and digitally printing my pattern designs onto washi and concocting them mostly into Ikebana style arrangements with wonky vases and fantasy flora. When I see Aaron’s mahi I feel a certain kinship with his stunning and also wonky vessels as well as his appreciation for Japanese art and design. The work holds such joyful humour and grace, they fill my soul.
This mahi was created between November 2020 and August 2021 in Seattle. The underbelly of this body lies in the art of gathering - pre ‘you know what’ gathering, how we presently gather and how our ancestors gathered, how to practice connection in a disconnected world, the returning, education and importance of whenua stewardship to the hands of indigenous populations whose knowledge we should more than ever be taking on board, colonisation, identity, hope, what we hold within, self care and the maintenance of one’s own good sweet vibration... I believe the arts are the most powerful healing tools we humanoids have on tap. This exhibition is for my friends and whanau who I hope will get the chance to see this - my virtual hug to you. These are our ‘Offerings to the Happiness Gods’. Please step on in and roll around in the love'.
I was born in Japan on the 14th of November, 2002 and I moved to New Zealand in April 2011. I graduated from Whanganui Girls’ College, and I did distance learning through Massey University for one year. I have done printmaking at high school for two years. During high school, I endorsed NCEA Level 2 and 3 with excellence in printmaking. I also got an NCEA Top Arts and a subject scholarship on my NCEA level 3 printmaking portfolio. Additionally, I won the Fine Arts Wanganui Young Scholarship Award in 2019, which allowed me to do a solo exhibition, and my artwork was in the 2021 Pattillo Whanganui Arts Review exhibition. I do drypoint prints. I enjoy doing black and white realism in drypoint, especially printmaking animals. I am influenced by New Zealand and Japanese culture, two of my cultural backgrounds. The themes I am doing for this exhibition are Japanese mythology and combining New Zealand and Japanese motifs.