Cinelli 250: Ata mārie Ōtepoti
17 April 2021 - 7 November 2021
Cinelli 250: Ata mārie Ōtepoti is part of an ongoing project by Scott Eady, Dunedin Public Art Gallery’s 2020 Ōtepoti Dunedin artist in residence. This unique residency, which was created as part of the Gallery’s response to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, supported an artist in our immediate community to develop new research and work. Cinelli 250 has been developing since 2018, when Eady purchased a Cinelli road bike and began cycling to work along the edge of Otago Harbour. He set himself the challenge of making 250 trips, equivalent to the price of the second-hand bike. Each morning he stopped at a public bench seat, greeting the day with the words ‘Ata mārie Ōtepoti’ and documenting the rising sun in a black and white photograph. Over recent months, Eady has translated these journeys into a new sculptural installation. A large-scale neon artwork greets audiences, a beacon of blue and gold light that reaches out into the central city to enquire Ata mārie Ōtepoti, how are you today?
Adjacent to this Eady has placed the Chippendale Suite – a lovingly handcrafted rendition of a pair of park benches. Eady’s work often operates around the re-imagining of everyday materials and objects. In this project, the bench seats are built out of a piano with many long-standing connections to Dunedin’s music scene. The iron harp has been re-cast into the ends of the benches, with the seats and backs constructed from the piano’s timbers. The plaque on the reverse suggests that the bench is a site to take pause, asking those approaching to please ‘call back’. This instruction signals Eady’s intention that the benches become a site for contemplation, communication, connection and creation. Over the course of the exhibition, guests and gallery visitors are invited to use this as a space from which to create and perform.
Scott Eady (b.1972) is a senior lecturer at the Dunedin School of Art. Eady’s art practice often pushes past ‘what is’ to prompt a consideration of ‘what could be.’ His 2019 exhibition Images of Love highlighted his interest in reimaging everyday objects and things – an action echoed here in the benches of Cinelli 250. A graduate of Elam School of Fine Arts, at The University of Auckland (MFA, 1999), Eady’s work is held in major collections such as Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, The Hocken Collection Uare Taoka o Hākena and The Chartwell Trust. He has exhibited artwork extensively both nationally and internationally, including at the Venice Biennial in 2013.
A Dunedin Public Art Gallery Visiting Artist Project supported by Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa along with project partner, Dunedin School of Art.