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Quest Art Space
58 Bank Street, Whangārei, Aotearoa | New Zealand
curated by Sonja van Kerkhoff

The Unshackled Image | Te whakaahua whakawātea

13 Nov - 17 Dec 2023
open: Mondays - Fridays: 8am-5pm, Sat & Sun: 9am-4pm
Gallery contact: Lenny at
Artworks that break the mould. Images and ideas that release. On alternative ways of telling stories. 
opening performances | PR, social media links | @sonjavank

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within, without / a roto, a waho, 2023
Repurposed birdcage, photographs on aluminium

The installation references The Great Pause (Covid lockdowns) and the disconnect we experienced globally - on an intrapersonal and an interpersonal level. For some, the lockdowns felt restrictive and frustrating; for others, the pause in pace unexpectedly brought a deeper sense of freedom and appreciation for simplicity, personal space, and slowness. The more we went ‘without’, the greater the shifts ‘within.’

Disabled 1 + 2
Photographs on aluminum

2020: A time when all our familiar 'systems' became disabled/shut down - isolation, inconvenience, and the adjustment to a slower, different pace, became an uncertain norm. These barriers have always been (and continue to be) the norm, for people living with disabilities. 

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Postcards from the Other Side, 2021 - 2023, Ursula Christel

Repurposed birdcage, 5 digital images on metal

A collaborative project with image contributions by:

Nawruz Paguidopon, Manila, The Philippines

Shaeron Caton Rose, North Yorkshire, U.K

Emma Papadopoulos, Athens, Greece

Aodhán Floyd, Co. Cork, Ireland

Xiaojie Zheng, San Francisco, USA

Postcards from the Other Side is a collaborative work that developed as an ancillary project for Take Care / E Tiaki, 2021.  It features the work of 6 artists. Five metal ‘postcards’ capture images taken in January 2021 - from Ireland, the Philippines, Greece, the UK and San Francisco. Collated by Ursula Christel (as a follow-on from her work ‘Essential Services/ Postcard Rack’, 2020), the artists first connected via zoom, sharing their experiences of life in lockdown – isolation, deprivation, loss, and radical lifestyle changes they were made.

Traditionally, postcards are positive pictorial reminders of exciting sea and air travel, tourists, destinations, holidays and postal communication. But in the Covid-era, the travel sector became severely restricted and, in many places, totally halted. Instead, Covid-19 and its variants became the tourists - continuing to ‘travel’ while abruptly changing the social environment of all our familiar landscapes, wherever it landed. These solemn postcard images remind us how much changed during the global pandemic, and how much we all took for granted.

With the pandemic now behind us, this will be the final showing of this installation. In December 2023, it will become 'unshackled'. Each metal postcard will be posted back to the artist who originally captured these memorable images.      

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