Adrienne Millwood graduated with an Honours degree (first class) in Fine Arts from The University of Canterbury in 2012. Focusing on ideas around time and consciousness through the intersection between different mediums, primarily photography and painting, Millwood is the winner of a number of awards including the Canterbury Arts & Heritage Trust Travel Award for 2014-15 and the University of Canterbury Ethel Susan Jones Fine Arts Travelling Scholarship in 2014 and 2015.
She has exhibited in New Zealand, Australia and Japan, with her work held in private and public collections, including the University of Canterbury and James Wallace Trust Collection. Recent exhibitions include Making Space at CoCA in Christchurch and Mayfield Residence at the Ashburton Art Gallery both with The Social Collective. She relocated to Wellington in 2016.
Shared Lines: Pūtahitanga 2020
There is something inherently generous and open handed about the process of making art for Shared Lines. This time around due to the fact my work is literally one part of a greater whole it spoke more than ever to me about sharing the lines of art making with others. How this collaborative approach can help to grow and strengthen our communities and ourselves. Making this work came at the return of lockdown #2 for me in Tamaki Makaurau. The parameters of my coordinates were welcomed as was the space and time to make this work.
Shared Lines: Kaikōura 2019
Transmission, It is not this, it is not that & Narcissus (2018) photographic print on archival paper, 290x320mm
Shared Lines: Wellington 2017
Staring at the Sun (2017) Mixed media on canvas, 320x290mm.
These paintings continue to explore the use of collage and mixed media in my work and demonstrate recent experimentation with magazine pages. Time and chance play an important role in this process.
Shared Lines: Christchurch / Sendai 2012 - 2013
Baby (2011) Oil and pencil on photo-releases on canvas, 610x608mm
I came to Christchurch to live for a year and am still here 12 years later. It is home. Prior to my current art study and practice I was a teacher, both at primary and high school level. I finished my BFA, majoring in painting last year and am currently doing my Honours year of postgraduate study at the University of Canterbury. I work in a variety of medium but predominantly my practice is driven by painting.
My process involves the transformation of an object through erasure whilst being a playful investigation of medium and memory. Using found images in combination with paint, I re-examine the object in terms of its formal nature and explore how perception and meaning can be altered when elements of original narrative and identity are concealed. I am interested in translation, in the way a familiar, highly nostalgic and sentimental object, such as the family snapshot can be reworked and redefined in an artwork.
There is a fusion generated through exploiting the photograph and combining this with paint, reworking the ghosts of both photography and painting as well as notions of the universal and personal. I enjoy finding and revealing the relationships that exist between images, between shapes and form, and between content and subject.
I take a procedural aspect of printmaking in order to make paintings and by utilising a transferring process this allows me to set up the situation whereby I am able to control and draw upon the chance elements of the materials and work with ideas around the mistake.
In the same way that memory, imagination and consciousness itself are stitched, quilted and pastiched together, the combinations of different media allows me to consider formal and philosophical configurations within my work. The transient, blurring and shifting nature of memory itself is explored as separate images operate on a single plane and permits me to literally and metaphorically examine what lies beneath the surface.
The earthquakes in Christchurch were life-changing, it brought a collective anxiety to the city and the ongoing and stressful struggle continues for many having to deal with loss of family, friends, and homes as well as the demolition and rebuild. For many artists this has also manifested as a loss of space (both for studios and exhibitions).
As an emerging artist still studying at the University, the limited space available for us to exhibit has presented challenges as well as opportunities. With the University Campus Gallery having to provide space for the closed SOFA gallery in the city, this has presented less opportunity for students to exhibit than in previous years. However this has meant alternatives have been created both on and off site. The Casting Room, operating from the Sculpture department at the University has provided a small weekly space for students to show. A student, Tim Middleton opened his home as a gallery for a run of curated shows during 2011 and this year a spare studio at the university has been converted into a project space for showing Post Graduate work. Also providing space for students to show in the city, has been the ever-changing, ever inspiring Gap Filler initiative.
Alongside this has been the lack of shows and exhibitions to go to in Christchurch, particularly with the closure of the main Art Gallery. However, because of this lack of options, this has brought with it the opportunity for an increased exposure to students' work because of a greater audience to shows held at the campus. For those of us that have stayed in Christchurch, it has shown that is up to the individual at a grass roots level to instigate projects which create such opportunity and optimism.
The Sendai/Christchurch Art Exchange is one such project to arise out of this situation. When I was approached to be involved, I was excited by the possibility to exhibit internationally alongside established artists from Christchurch as well as the chance to establish a relationship with artists from Japan from various backgrounds working in a range of medium.
It is an honour to be involved in a project that is not only about acknowledgment of tragedy but also about the achievements and possibilities that continue on despite this.