It becomes apparent rather quickly for emerging artists, be that straight out of art school or otherwise, that it is difficult to find suitable exhibitions spaces. Preferably a controlled space with white walls, a respectful environment where your work will be handled safely and maintained in your absence.  A venue that will not only welcome the audience you bring with you but also educate others outside of that. And, sometimes if it all works and comes together there are opportunities for engaging conversations, collaborations and creative exchange. This is something we strive for at 30 Upstairs and what we respect in the artist run space Snake Pit, Auckland.

Snake Pit has been on our radar for a while now and comfortably sits in our ‘must see’ list whenever we venture north.   Sadly its time to say good-bye to their current site as demolition started Monday but we are hopeful (post pool party) that it will continue on elsewhere. Their regular exhibitions have offered some of New Zealands most conceptual and experimental emerging artists. As an artist run gallery and production space they engage with many disciplines and forms of interaction.

In one of their final window installations was work by Andrew Kennedy as part of the recent show Functionary. The double sided work displays two different inkjet images, both share palette and precision but with separate intentions. They are joined by one frame with hooks that allow the work to be displayed like a sign. Surface 1 and Surface 2 encompass a long running dialogue in Kennedy’s photography practice that investigates postmodern contemporary photography. His work challenges our ideas of the reality of the image under the umbrella of postmodernism.

‘The challenge lies in presenting an image that is not just a window through the apparatus to a meditation of the world, but an image that exists in the viewer’s present while also acknowledging the conditions of its making.’ AK

Andrew Kennedy currently lives in Auckland where he is completing a MFA at Elam. 30 Upstairs looks forward to see more of his work in the new year but for now we are happy to enjoy this…


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  1. Pingback: DENYS WATKINS / SAM THOMAS, ‘FAIRWAYS & BUNKER’ | 30Upstairs

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