From My Window: Checking In On The Taonga

Zoe Black reflects on a unique view of Objectspace.

From My Window: Checking In On The Taonga

Zoe Black reflects on a unique view of Objectspace.

I’m lucky to spend my work day surrounded by incredible mahi toi created by the most accomplished makers in Aotearoa. Objectspace presents exhibitions by craft practitioners, architects and designers – anything from typography to contemporary jewellery to a handcrafted brick wall. We don’t sell what we show so we have the luxury of creating exhibitions with the explicit intention of telling stories about Aotearoa through taonga and those who make them.

The Objectspace whare is a space that is constantly morphing. Every three months an exhibition takes residence and with it the architecture shifts and takes on a different personality. For each exhibition, we open the space to practitioners and makers and spend time getting to know their mahi, and then just as quickly it’s gone. Fresh paint goes up on the walls, we build a different display and the space is inhabited by a new grouping of beautiful things. 

Our office space upstairs has a neat window that overlooks the main gallery. The window gives us a chance to take a step back from the exhibitions and see it from a different perspective. During install periods we can look down on the exhibition coming to life and see if things are working. The practitioners love the window too – it offers a moment to contemplate how everything is interacting in the space, slight adjustments we could make, maybe moving something a little to the left. 

The window is a porthole into the action below and it’s where I find myself often during the week – doing the dishes, seeing how an event is running or spotting who is visiting. It’s also a great way to check in on the exhibitions when no one is around. I like to think about what the taonga are saying to each other, how they are reacting to people who have come to admire them, and I hope that we are keeping them warm and comfortable in their temporary home.

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