Taking the peyote cactus and Aldous Huxley's The Doors Of Perception as a points of departure, Simon Glaister will continue to explore these ideas at Enjoy alongside his ongoing investigation of the ever-contentious boundary between man and nature - that which is provided for us and that which we make for ourselves. Central to the residency will be the motif of the garden, and the notion of the artist as guide, shaman, or conduit of hidden or otherwise unobserved knowledge, experience and alternative realities. We might ask: is an artist privy to knowledge, observations, or experiences otherwise inaccessible to non-artists? If so, are these insights of genuine relevance to others? And further, if they are, are they wholly communicable?
Having had a previous life as a structural engineer, Glaister brings a diverse background to his art making. Concerning himself with both the role of the artist and of art in his work, he is also interested in the notion of a post-Conceptual practice; how it may be possible to mine some of the very clear, hard won and hard to forget models from the work of the late 60s and 70s and re-deploy them in a more politicised contemporary context.
Often working at a large scale and with the assistance of industrial collaborators Glaister's work can be logistically complex, time consuming and expensive. To this end Hot House will challenge this mode of practice, employing simple means, a limited budget, and using the four-week stay in Wellington as a pressure-cooker rather than a crock-pot.
Following a brief settling in period Hot House will open on Friday the 29th of January at 6pm with a performance and opening event. For the next two weeks Enjoy will become both an industrious workshop and controlled environment feeding off the limitations and pressures of the residency format. During this time the public are invited to visit the gallery and to engage with Simon, or simply observe his ideas and work in progress. Beginning with a second performance and opening event on Friday the 19th of February at 6pm, the fourth and final week of the program will be a short exhibition of the fruits and flowers of Glaister's labour.
By Ann Poulsen
About the artist
Glaister completed an MSc at the University of Pavia in Italy, and trained with Antony Gormley in London before returning to New Zealand to study Fine Arts. 2009 saw Glaister open his first solo project in a major public space, PUSHOVER at the ST.PAUL St. Gallery, Auckland.