Fiona Connor

Documentation through Drawing: Demolition at the Auckland Art Gallery (7)

Documentation through Drawing: Demolition at the Auckland Art Gallery (7) by Fiona Connor

Artwork Detail

Fiona Connor recorded the demolition of parts of the Auckland Art Gallery in preparation for the development project in late 2008 and early 2009. She had free access to the site and would come early in the morning and sketch for several hours at a time, returning to the same places noticing the changes that occurred over a period. Each drawing is the result of several sessions, and consequently captures the sense of time passing.

Connor’s interest in the project was looking at the Gallery building at a time of intense weakness, when no reverence was being shown for the place. On a more metaphorical level, she was also concerned with acknowledging the potential for change within an organisation. She captured surreal moments in the building’s demolition: the main temporary exhibition space open to the elements, the sky appearing as its blue ceiling; the preparators’ (exhibition installers) ‘McCahon’ waterfall incongruously revealed amongst the rubble; and the humble brick fabric of the building beneath the ornate plasterwork.

Drawing holds an important place within Connor’s practice; she describes it as a ‘place for reflection’ that allows her to ‘focus on the latent detail’ in whatever she is recording. She uses drawing in preference to photography to document events and places; reflecting that we use photography unquestioningly and take for granted the resulting images, whereas drawing allows an artist the ability to bring to the fore certain aspects and to ‘translate what you see to paper’. In addition to drawing and watercolour, Connor excises parts of the drawing and uses collage, directly referring to the peeling back of the many layers of the building and the way through demolition parts of the building became permeable.

Documentation through Drawing: Demolition at the Auckland Art Gallery (7)
Fiona Connor
Production date
pencil and watercolour on paper
297 x 420 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2010
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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