Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki NZ — 2007

At a final exhibition in a key art institution in New Zealand's largest city, prior to closure and rebuild, a detached wall is converted into a provocation about conditions – both for and about art, and worlds within and beyond the gallery walls. Staged in the context of fundraising for the gallery's expansion, the 12 square metre disposable nappy weave titled Canvas expresses and explores the notions of 'support'. At a scale suitable for monumental painting, the weft and warp of the white diapers is literally a support. Stretching over and around a planar surface, it is an empty stage primed for action, simultaneously soft and taut. Inside the quasi-museum with its deep collections filled predominantly with artworks by white men, Canvas posits an opening-up with an inside-out field of untouched new-born diapers loaed with promise and the verb: to canvas – to sample, enquire and explore. The artwork reflects also on collection, archival and conservation principles, promoted by the institution. Being both temporary and disposable, it is made from a material that will likely outlast the heritage architecture on to which it is hinged. Taking an estimated 500 years to breakdown in landfill, the ubiquitous diaper is the more durable substrate. Being on, of, and off the wall, Canvas bleeds painting, sculpture, installation and performance in a new media form. If left in situ, softly swelling, it divulges its inner content.