• Milli Jannides
  • Zhu Ohmu
  • John Reynolds and Karl Maughan
  • Christina Pataialii
McLeavey Gallery Aotearoa Art Fair

Milli Jannides
Milli Jannides (b.1986 Sydney) spent her childhood in Aotearoa and graduated from Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts in 2009. She has studied at Glasgow School of Art (2007), Kunstakademie Dusseldorf (2010), and in 2013 completed her MFA at Royal College of the Arts in London. After graduating from the Royal College she was based Europe, and completed two residencies in Mexico City in 2014 and 2015. Milli has recently moved back to Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Recent solo exhibitions include Hothouse, Coastal Signs, Auckland (2023), Slow Meteorite, McLeavey Gallery, Wellington (2022), Far Flung, Coastal Signs, Auckland (2021) and Winter, Winter, Spring, McLeavey Gallery, Wellington (2021)

Zhu Ohmu
Zhu Ohmu is a contemporary artist based in Melbourne working primarily with ceramics. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland, New Zealand in 2011. Her work investigates the resurgence of the handmade and the ethics of slowness in an age of mass production. Zhu Ohmu's work explores the conversation between nature, traditional crafts and new technologies.

Her recent works focus on coiled ceramic vessels with the initial concept for this body of work being a response to the rise in popularity of 3D printed ceramics. Responding to biomimicry - the human-made processes imitating systems of nature- Zhu Ohmu sought to copy the method of 3D printed coils mounted on top of each other through handcrafting this technique.

Built through stacking, folding, pressing, and pulling, these vessels are often dictated by the weight of moist clay with forms emerging intuitively, often pushed to their structural limits. By spending time with the physical matter through play and observation, the insight into plasticity and workability allows an intimate manipulation of the material.

Throughout creation, the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi - the acceptance of transience and imperfection, is embraced. In the absence of firmware or a mechanical process, no two works can be the same. This becomes a celebration of the artist's hand in the age of automation.

John Reynolds and Karl Maughan
McLeavey Gallery presents at the Fair, a collaboration between John Reynolds and Karl Maughan. This collaboration follows John and Karl’s first collaboration together titled EXTRA FLORAL which they exhibited at McLeavey Gallery in 2023.

EXTRA FLORAL brought together the distinctive style of two artists onto one shared canvas - floral arrangements in bright, luscious colours - azure blue, soft lavender, hot pink mixed with abstract forms and fireworks.

John is based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa (Auckland, New Zealand) and has been represented by McLeavey Gallery since 1981.

Karl is based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Aotearoa (Wellington, New Zealand) and is represented by Page Galleries, Gow Langsford, The Central Art Gallery and Milford Galleries.

Christina Pataialii
Christina Pataialii (born 1988, Auckland) is one of New Zealand’s most exciting, young artists. Her bold, expressive paintings are alive with movement, colour and a sense of immediacy. Celebrated for her distinctive approach that mixes high and low materials – acrylic, house paint, spray paint and charcoal – and her eye for colour, her work exudes a sense of dynamic energy.

Often working directly onto drop sheet canvas – a material that allows her to work on a large scale – Pataialii enjoys breaking with convention and experimenting with medium. The seam of the drop cloth becomes a compositional tool. The weave of the fabric creates texture against which paint is expertly manipulated. The notorious flatness of house paint plays with perceptions of space, depth and distance.

Pataialii has a personal relationship with drop cloth and house paint. The daughter of a house painter, she grew up in a Samoan/Pakeha family in West Auckland, often tagging along on jobs with her father. The memory of observing him work and the physicality of house painting is something that echoes through her practice.

Drawing on personal and collective history, Pataialii’s paintings operate in a liminal space between abstraction and representation. Deliberately ambiguous they feature familiar suburban motifs such as picket fences, rugby boots and knobbly knees set against lush, evocatively realised landscapes. Forms are built up, merge into their surroundings and are obscured.

Using these motifs and tapping into shared ideas of cultural and national identity, Pataialii explores questions of belonging and heritage.

Pataialii graduated with a Masters of Fine Art from Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design in 2018 and the day after graduation she opened a major exhibition Solid Gold at Te Tuhi, Auckland. Prior to that she was awarded the 2017 Iris Fisher Scholarship. In 2019 she held solo exhibitions in Auckland (On the Lam, Tim Melville Gallery) and Wellington (Wouldn’t it be Nice, McLeavey Gallery). The same year, 2019, she was awarded the Rydal Art Prize and the prestigious Gasworks Residency in London.

For the 2024 Aotearoa Art Fair, McLeavey Gallery, Wellington, continues its more than 50 year legacy of exhibiting work by era defining New Zealand artists. Featuring work by some of the country’s most highly-regarded senior artists, Dame Robin White, Richard Killeen and Yvonne Todd, alongside exciting young artist, Christina Pataialii – a recent graduate of Whitecliffe and the inaugural winner of the Rydal Prize (2019) – the exhibition offers a snapshot of important New Zealand artists at different points in their career.

Spanning painting, photography, printmaking and digital image manipulation, the exhibited works demonstrate a diversity of practice, yet the selection emphasises the classic imagery and iconography for which each artist is best known. Todd’s ultra-constructed portraits of female characters sit alongside Killeen’s abstracted geometric shapes and images of bugs and animals. White’s realist still lifes (a rare nod to her early regionalist roots) mix with Pataialii’s gestural and freely depicted images of landscapes, legs and rugby boots.

McLeavey Gallery, located upstairs at 147 Cuba Street, Wellington, was established in 1968. Over the course of its history it has played a crucial role in fostering support and appreciation for truly leading – and distinctly New Zealand – contemporary art.