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Christina REad: Being a person

10 June - 6 August 2023

Christina Read’s work is bright, playful, and deeply vulnerable. The UK-born Tāmaki-based artist’s practice spans drawing, painting, collage, textiles, and sculpture, all created with a distinctly ‘handmade’ sensibility that reveals the vulnerabilities of being an artist – and a person. Oscillating between fiction and autobiography, Read’s work explores the construction of selfhood, giving language and form to the complexities of living.

Read acknowledges that being a person is hard. Her new commission for Tauranga Art Gallery’s atrium provides a space of goodwill and solace. Sink into the artist’s Cosy Corner beneath the stairs to stop and smell the flowers. Reflect (literally) on what it means to be a person in a new suite of Mirrors and consider the nature of Support Structures in a series of zimmer frame-like hanging mechanisms that physically uplift Read’s work.

The artist’s use of text provides an additional layer, encompassing wordplay and hinting at the pressures of conventional milestones (like marriage, family, children…).  Her sculpture A life half lived frankly acknowledges the artist’s age whilst also questioning whether we are living our lives to the fullest.  But what does that really look like?  As an audience, we bring our own experiences to the work. On a good day, Read’s work is uplifting. On a not-so-good day it cuts deeper…

Principal Funder

Annual Strategic Partners