Space, time and cityscapes

Richard Maloy’s cardboard creation. Photo: Sharnae Hope.

An art exhibition is transforming four popular sites reflecting the hustle and bustle of Tauranga city life.

The Future Machine, which is part of the Tauranga Arts Festival, features work by seven artists including Richard Maloy, Steve Carr, Chris Corson-Scott, Douglas Stitchbury, Matt Ellwood, Gregor Kregar and architects Stufken and Chambers.

The seven artworks will be placed across Tauranga in the Tauranga Art Gallery, Baycourt Theatre, Masonic Park and The Elms and will explore different ideas of the Tauranga city environment.

Tauranga Art Gallery director Karl Chitham says the name of exhibition ‘The Future Machine’ is a reference to the underground machines that fed the futuristic city of ‘Metropolis’ in Fritz Lang’s famous silent movie from 1927.

In the movie, the working classes fed the machines in order to ensure the city dwellers could maintain their carefree lifestyles.

While the contrast in class and living standards were a cinematic stereotype, Karl says some of the themes in ‘Metropolis’ are still reflected in today’s society.

“It is particularly topical here in Tauranga where incredibly rapid urban development has created some obvious comparisons such as the fast-moving sprawl of housing and roads against the backdrop of beaches and farmland, or historically significant sites like The Elms, which used to look down the harbour to Mauao and now overlook a motorway overpass and container yards.

“There are other social implications as well. With an increase in population comes issues around shared space, noise and light pollution, an increase and reliance on technology, and a loss of community and history, that all impact on the way we live and the decisions we make.”

In the Tauranga Art Gallery there will be a series of works that explore different visions of current and future living.

One of the artists, Richard Maloy, has covered some of the gallery’s walls and floor with everyday cardboard, which transforms the space and raises questions about how we use our spaces and issues of acceptability.

“Cardboard has also become a topical material in itself with the recent issues around homelessness and affordable living, although this is not necessarily what the artist is directly referencing in his work,” says Karl.

The Future Machine exhibition opens on October 14 and will be open to the public until January 2018.