What does the future of craft look like? There is no black or white answer when it comes to what constitutes contemporary craft, no rulebook or right answer. Testing Ground is an exhibition that features eight contemporary craft practitioners from New Zealand at the forefront of experimentation—pushing their practices in new and exciting directions.
These makers are Thomas Carroll (Ngāti Maru, Hauraki), Olivia Edginton, Areez Katki, Maia McDonald (Ngaati Mutunga, Urenui Marae; Te Ati Awa, Parihaka), Zhu Ohmu, Ben Pyne, Moniek Schrijer and Ted Synnott. Testing Ground highlights their practices, providing a new curatorial context to view their work together.
Testing Ground, then, looks to a new generation of makers—how they approach their practice and how they use craft to express contemporary concerns through the act of making. Whether this constitutes new ways of working, adopting new technologies, or thinking about traditional materials and methodologies from a new angle. Making is, after all, about testing out ideas.
This exhibition was made possible with the support of the Blumhardt Foundation and Creative New Zealand.
READ: Thinking Out Loud with Milly Mitchel-Anyon
Curator Milly Mitchell-Anyon discusses the influences that guided the show, many that might sit outside of the traditional art world - from basketball blogs to food television to country music.