Tupou shapes up at Artspace

Artspace Mackay has given Sam Tupou its wall.

The Brisbane-based contemporary artist and t-shirt tycoon will be transforming the foyer gallery’s main wall into a giant, pixelated, geometric-shape-based, Pacific Islands-inspired artwork.  

He has been commissioned as an artist in residence to undertake the work over the next 10 days and the public is invited to watch the work take shape.

“We’ve had a lot of exhibitions here at Artspace,” Community Engagement Committee deputy chair Cr Justin Englert said.

“However, it’s not often the public gets to watch the artwork being created and interact with the artist,” he said.

“It’s something a little different that is the first of a series of temporary, site-specific works where Queensland-based artists are commissioned to create an artwork.”

Tupou said the work would take on different looks depending on the viewer’s distance from the wall.

“When you stand up close to the piece it will look quite abstract, but when you walk into the gallery the first impression will be of a giant, pixelated floating head that will really fill the height of the wall,” Tupou said.

“I’ve got just over 1000 shapes to attach to the wall, so it’s definitely the biggest work of this scale I have attempted. “In our current world of high definition, I wanted to bring things back to large, oversized pixels that you can actually see.”

Tupou said in the piece he planned to reference a form of Pacific Island art called tapa cloths.

These artworks – often given as special gifts – were highly decorative, made from bark and often incorporated geometric patterns.

The tapa patterns are often used in Tupou’s most widely distributed works, which are displayed on much smaller canvases.

He also exhibits in galleries in Melbourne and Brisbane.

Residents are invited to meet Sam Tupou and fellow Artspace artist in residence (from earlier this year) Emma Lindsay at the launch of four new exhibitions tomorrow (November 9) at 6pm.  All are welcome. Please call the gallery on 4961 9722 to RSVP.

Contact: Mackay Regional Council

Phone: 1300 MACKAY (622 529)

Published: 08 Nov 2017