The Pattillo Project is a solo artist showcase exhibition at the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Granted to the winner of the previous years’ Whanganui Arts Review, the winner receives the full support of the Sarjeant Gallery.
It is the intention that the Pattillo Project brings the art created in this region into national prominence via the setting of one of New Zealand’s best regional galleries. As an ongoing exhibition series at the Sarjeant for years to come, the Pattillo Project is built to support and uplift the artists in this region.
“Our purpose with the Pattillo Project is to provide a mentored opportunity for winners of the Arts Review to showcase their work on what we think is New Zealand’s premier arts stage; the Sarjeant Gallery.
The current redevelopment will strengthen and extend the standing of the gallery as the place to be seen for New Zealand and international artists alike.
Winning the Arts Review is an important recognition for any artist. We hope the Pattillo Project adds value to that recognition.”
Recipient of the 2021 Pattillo Project
Tracy is a renowned sugar artist and combines her love of history with her artwork. Tracy Byatt is known in New Zealand and internationally for her art of creating incredibly realistic flowers from sugar paste.
Pattillo Project 2020
Kathryn Wightman: Digital Parent
For the major new piece created for the inaugural pattillo project Wightman further developed her innovative method which involves screen-printing layers of coloured powdered glass onto sheets of flat glass, then placing them in a kiln to set the layers. The resulting pattern recalls floral designs of vintage wallpapers with reassuring familiarity. The image transitions incrementally with the patterning fading slowly from the top until it becomes uniformly green along the bottom edge, mirroring an algorithmically generated web experience, beginning with the safe and familiar then slowly devolving into the strange, sinister and dangerous. Fragments of YouTube videos are projected onto the work; the platform and its workings unable to be grasped solely through the content of the videos themselves.
Developing further the themes of the work which won her the Open Award at the 2019 pattillo Whanganui Arts Review and the inaugural pattillo project award, Wightman scanned her son and used a 3D printer to produce the forms of his likeness. Forming a totem-esque pole, the candy-coloured shapes are profile sections taken from this scanned data that are then further digitally manipulated. It could speak to the data all of us generate through our online activities which is collected and used for a myriad of purposes.
Artist James Bridle believes we have to critically analyse the structure underpinning a platform such as YouTube and why it creates an incentive for the creation of certain content. This may be easier said than done however as rapidly evolving tools such as artificial intelligence may learn in a way that even its creators may not entirely understand. Nonetheless, ‘Digital Parent’ channels the anxieties about our present media environment and calls for a deeper reflection upon its ramifications.
Assistant Curator, Sarjeant Gallery