Audrey Baldwin

SLC Key Collaborator

 

Control Series, 2009, Series of digital photographs

b. 1987, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, New Zealander

2010 Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) University of Canterbury

Audrey Baldwin is a Zimbabwean born, Ōtautahi based  artist and curator. She graduated from Ilam School of Fine Arts in 2009 and has exhibited nationally as well as in Australia, Japan, India, The Netherlands and Zimbabwe. 

 

Her practice incorporates live performance, installation, video, photography and interactive works. In 2019, Audrey's socially engaged installation, Touchstones, was part of the SCAPE Public Art. 2020 sees her heading to India as the creative director and head curator of the third iteration of the Morni Hills Performance Art Biennial.

 

Enabling creative people and establishing a strong sense of value in the Arts is an ongoing concern in Audrey's practice as well as her work in event management and involvement in community organisations such as Art Beat/First Thursdays Chch, The Social Artist Collective, Shared Lines Collaborative, Glitterbox Pursuits and Dr. Sketchy’s Chch. She is also currently the Access Coordinator for The Physics Room Contemporary Art Space.

 www.audreybaldwin.com  insta: tawdryt

 

Shared Lines: Aotearoa in Japan 2020

Touchstones (detail), 2019, dimensions variable

Touchstones (detail) is a small portion from an installation work commissioned for SCAPE 2019 in Christchurch. The colourful woven ropes are each created by two people in conversation, learning the technique together. This work was a large scale community engaged project which saw me working with over 400 individuals from diverse ages and backgrounds to make a public installation which talked about shared experiences, connection and identity. The individually netted locally sourced stones work as anchors that ground each experience in Ōtautahi as a shared place and the stories as part of a unified ‘string’ of experiences.

 

Shared Lines: Kaikōura 2019

Kids Snood, hosted at TAWK, Kaikōura Feb 2019. Image by John Lake

As part of SL:K 2019, Audrey Baldwin's Shared Snood: a giant macramé to hold the community together​ project invited the audience to take part in the making of a giant macramé art work that combined macramé making, talks, and shared kai. This project invited the audience to take part in the making of an art object to hold space for discussions around building and maintaining conscious communities for future generations/tamariki. A children’s workshop was hosted by Te Ahi Wairua o Kaikōura (TAWK) and kids were taught how to knot friendship bracelets or contribute to panels making up the Kaikoura Snood. An adults’ workshop took place with conversations about the creation and sustaining of conscious communities. The sharing of stories, experiences and teaching of a new (if retro) skill brought people from different backgrounds together in a relaxed environment.

The macramé Snood was utilised as part of a performance by Audrey Baldwin in the SL:K Performing Arts Night. The group of performing artists inhabited the snood-space first, lifting it up and encircling themselves in the macramé sculpture. Baldwin then invited everyone to join in, leaning back whilst simultaneously supporting each other. With slight undulations, shifts in weight and pressure, the snood swayed gently as people adjusted their stance or angle. The tension was solely in the materials holding the people and space together.

 

Shared Lines: Wellington 2017

"I am interested in the role of the artist as both genius and clown; as an investigator and interrogator of culturally embedded ideas. My performances often walk the line between sublime and absurd and aim to make the audience to rethink their own roles and that of the status-quo. These three performances all have strong elements of both the everyday and the absurd."

The exhibition at Thistle Hall hosted interactive objects and a performance where I cast myself as a well meaning charlatan-come-therapist. A development from my recent Cup of Tea and a Lie Down Clinic at CoCA, the work highlighted the pressures on our mental health system, our entrenched bureaucracies and ideologies of adulthood. Deflate is a tragi-comic performance which playfully explores the nature of depression, perseverance and putting on a brave face. Friday’s performance night saw Baldwin transforming an every day yet luxury item into a vessel of portents and personality traits in the guise of a Millenial Fortune Teller.

 

Shared Lines: Christchurch / Sendai 2012

Canker, 2012, Durational performance/installation (toffee, pine, steel), Series of digital photographs of the performance

Night Watch, 2010, Durational performance/installation (candles, aluminium, dress, mirrors), Digital Photograph

Night Watch took place in an empty shop window on a busy Saturday night in Sol Square, a bustling bar alley in the CBD. I sat in the window – still but not unmoving – for 4 hours as revellers made their way back and forth between bars. I aimed to address the politics of the gaze and examine expectations around the role of the audience. As the performance progressed, spectators stayed to watch the watchers. Their own act of looking was reflected back at them by a backdrop of mirrors behind me. The performance became less about the my candle-wearing composition and more about the social reactions on the other side of the glass.

The politics of consumption and the ambiguous roles of object/subject are under scrutiny in my performance/installation Canker. The performance took place at the Blue Oyster Gallery in Dunedin as part of the Performance Series, in conjunction with the Dunedin Fringe Festival. The piece consisted of a toffee-paned framework in which I was enclosed for a durational performance. I used only my tongue and teeth to break out of my candy confinement over the course of 2 and a half hours. Simultaneously occupying the role of subject and object, artist and eye-candy; I literally ate away at the hard angles of my sculpture. The audience, strongly implicated as voyeurs, watched a piece that started off as sensual and suggestive gradually morph into an absurd and grotesque labour of lunacy.