Phantom Blog

Phantom Blog

An Interview with Sian Torrington: Intimacy Stages / Active Empathy

We caught up with Artist Sian Torrington to learn a little more about her current exhibition ‘Intimacy stages / Active Empathy’ running alongside the Auckland Pride Week and Pride Parade. We helped Sian with her installation at Silo 7, Silo Park, Auckland.

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ROOSJE: Sian, can you tell us a little bit about what ideas and concepts motivate your practice?

SIAN: I make drawings and sculpture, as well as large scale installations. I’ve always worked across different media, with movement, action, expression and the body as constants. Expression for me is what motivates my practice, and I think we need more of it in the world! My practice is hot, passionate and alive. It’s complicated and always everything is connected to each other, just like human life. This recent project We Don’t Have to Be The Building, is all about connections and intimacy. It grew from drawing myself and using fluid, stuck together drawings to express gender fluidity and sexuality. I then made a piece of writing with my partner, and then developed the concept into a large scale community engaged project of drawing, sculpture, research in archives and conversations to discover my whakapapa through queer female activism from homosexual law reform to today.

Lately I have been motivated by what kind of role creative practice can have in making connections, building solidarity and particularly empathy between people. Putting this art on the street is a way to share our stories and build compassion, empathy and solidarity through vulnerable, brave and open story telling through writing and images.

ROOSJE:Your making process seems to be an important part of your work, can you tell us a little about this; Why does process matter in the context of your work?

SIAN: Process is the living part of art making. It’s where the magic but also the mistakes happen. I have always wanted to reveal and share the process because I dislike the idea of artist as more important than anyone else. I think when we see incredible artworks in galleries, it can give a sense that it just happened like that, and we could never do that. Whereas the truth is there was a lot of failures, tears, attempts and insecurity making that art work. I want to build connection rather than distance through my art, and so revealing the process is part of that. It’s saying, this is a human process, just like living: getting it wrong, trying again, having hope. And that it’s not something I do alone. The process is the place where I can invite other people in and we can do it together. It’s scary and that’s good. That’s where the humanness is, and that’s what I want to reach.

ROOSJE: You’re running some drawing sessions as part of this exhibition. Why is drawing important to you and what can people expect from these sessions?

SIAN: Yes, I have a show open till Sat 25th at Studio One, Toi Tu at 1 Ponsonby Rd. It’s 16 large drawings, and I will also be drawing people for the next three days. This drawing will be a document of this pride parade and the queer, trans*, takataapui people who come and spend time with me being drawn. It’s an intimate process and it’s a way of making us seen. There aren’t many of us in art history and in drawing history, so this is a small resistance to that. It is a way to place bodies and identities that are ignored by art history into a massive drawing and say we are here. And we are multiple. And we are together.

Drawing is fast, and you can’t hide your mistakes, and it is related to the movement of the body. And humans have done it for as long as we know we have been here.

Below is a soundtrack to accompany the works that are a Silo 7 .. People can stream or download it free from

https://m.soundcloud.com/creek-waddington/soundboxes-for-lightboxes

It’s sound from the dawn blessing, plus from the people involved and me reading some of the writing. It’s gorgeous and a great way to create a personal space while viewing.

For more on Sian’s work:
http://www.studioone.org.nz/
https://www.facebook.com/events/681623025351395/

www.wedonthavetobethebuilding.tumblr.com
http://allmeaningisthelineyoudraw.wordpress.com

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Street posters – the trump card in Powershops campaign

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Powershop is a unique NZ energy retailer in that they actually let you see how much power you’re using, and grab their latest specials in their online shop. But the tricky bit? – how do you encourage people to go online, spend time on their web site and find out what Powershop is all about.

Well simple really. They used Phantom Billstickers as the primary offline medium to drive potential new customers online to play a highly creative and engaging new social media game called ‘Trump Trump and be in to win’.

The promotion asked customers to create new Trump quotes (by tearing words and phrases attributed to Trump off the bottom of the poster and re-applying them to another Trump quote) and in doing so be in the chance to win prizes ranging from $600 free power to Monopoly sets.

The campaign and use of Phantom Billstickers created a humorous, highly engagement campaign that achieved strong interaction with the brand.

To see the campaign for yourself, and why Phantom Billstickers is the ideal media for your brand and message, watch here.

A Tinker’s Cuss.

Jim Wilson’s Blog.
It’s been a while since I’ve written ‘A Tinker’s Cuss’.

I’ve been to Singapore. This is a hollowed out island state where if an addict approaches a doctor for treatment, then the doctor must advise the Central Narcotics Bureau. The quality of mercy is being severely strained in Singapore.

Thailand? When I was there Chinese money was being put into developing shopping malls at around eight seaside resorts. There are numerous laws against anyone speaking out against injustices. A bloke was arrested in Bangkok for putting up post it notes in the streets. These pieces of paper contained political messages. They say Thailand is a democracy and so it must be. I believe the king has just died.

Houston? There are approximately 47 fried chicken stands at the airport and another 35 barbeque joints. It is, therefore, a mighty friendly place. Kaboom Books (www.kaboombooks.com) is one of the better bookstores in the world.

I saw Bob Dylan live in Philadelphia and I am due to see him again next month in Chattanooga. He’s had 35,000 people a day tell him he has the worst voice in the world for around 40 years now and so in Philly he did about six Frank Sinatra songs. I doff my hat to him. He has not commented about his Nobel Prize yet and he’s not posing for selfies either.

“People got a lot of knives and forks and so they got to eat something.” – Bob Dylan.

Kelly and I have been working on my writing. We have worked over 16 chapters out of 52 chapters of ‘Dose’. This work has been most enjoyable.

I have also, on the side, written about 25 chapters of a new manuscript about my life as a billsticker. This manuscript is called ‘Glue’.

I don’t watch the news here in the USA because of the electioneering. In a single hour there might be twenty advertisements for Hilary Clinton whereby she decries Donald Trump and 10 advertisements for Donald Trump whereby he decries Hilary Clinton. Also, in my area here in Pennsylvania, there are two millionaires who are standing for the Senate (Pat Toomey and Katie Mc Ginty) and their advertisements are all over youtube clips as well. They seem to be arguing about abortions.

I don’t think any of these four candidates is worth a tinker’s cuss. They are merely hopeful and delusional faith healers to a nation that is truly broke.

I only watch the television to catch the advertisements for O.I.C. (Opiate Induced Constipation). Approximately 80 people are dying a day from opiate overdoses now. Pharmaceutical company painkillers far outweigh Heroin.

I read The Trentonian newspaper every day. Trenton is the capital city of New Jersey and it is about ten miles away.

The August 30th issue tells us that one Anton Williams was arrested when police noticed a razor blade nicely tucked behind his ear. In his pockets the police found crack cocaine. He was using the razor blade to cut up the crack for customers. I can see some fashion designer latching on to this before nightfall.

The September 4th issue tells us that Allen Howen, 47 years old and a man born without arms, was arrested for selling drugs within 500 yards of a park and 1000 yards from a school. His street name is ‘Flipper’ and when the cops got him he was also drinking a 24oz can of Bud Ice and he was as happy as happy can be.

The September 27 issue tells us that a senior policeman (Ed Leopardi) committed suicide whilst under investigation for taking a prostitute back to police headquarters, having anal sex with her and then wiping his dick clean on the curtains. It was in the dead of night and he was also wearing Raybans. The camera got him. I believe some cop sold the clip and it is on the internet right now.

I don’t think any amount of politics is going to fix this. You’d have better luck in Haiti.

Americans love to eat so as to ward off the bad feelings. America is a very syrupy nation (Russia is not). Americans love sentimentality. The other day in the supermarket I was behind a woman who had seven different types of potato chips in her cart. Then she had various chocolate concoctions, bagel chips, creamed donuts and seven different types of soda so as to keep the evil spirits at bay. Her son, who was about fourteen, was beside her. He was leaping up and down and eating a six pack of Kentucky Fried Chicken as we all waited.

I just guess everyone here is afraid as to what is going to happen next.

I love America because it’s all there right in front of us and it’s in technicolour.

I drive a Mustang right now, V8 of course. There is no point otherwise.

What I love about America is the freedom to be crazy and the freedom to express one’s own self. Lots of places in the world don’t allow this.img_2666

No Wrinkles with Phantom and Clinique

J001026 - FPFC ad PHANTOM - Clinique(MarketingMag)HR - FINAL

We delivered what a cosmetics company desires. No wrinkles.

When it comes to advertising in the beauty category, Clinique knows looks are vital and face to face customer engagement is critical to success. To help Clinique achieve their goals, Phantom Billstickers put together a schedule of sites that put them right in front of their desired audience. Then their highly skilled team of professional billstickers worked hard to ensure every poster was wrinkle free and looked a million dollars.

Call Stuart Palmer on 027 558 5911 or email stuart@0800phantom.co.nz to find out how Phantom can showcase the natural beauty of your brand.

The Phantom Billstickers Cafe Reader Vol 10 – Out and About

Ashley at Red Rock Cafe and Bar, Queenstown

Ashley at Red Rock Cafe and Bar in Queenstown

 

Okra Espresso Lounge, Auckland

Okra Cafe AKL

 

Havana Bar, Wellington

Havana Bar, WLG

 

Southern Cross, Wellington

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Sweet Mother’s Kitchen, Wellington

Sweet Mothers Kitchen

 

University Bookshop, Dunedin

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Morning Magpie, Dunedin

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Gavin Shaw, DIVO – Dunedin’s Needle Exchange
Gavin was a contributor for Cafe Reader Vol 9 and has been very active in the literary and music circles in Dunedin. He plays bass in the band Psychic Maps.

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Tenzin Mullins, Dunedin
Tenzin is a musician and academic who plays bass in the bands MARINEVILLE and The David Lynch Mob. He is also a member of HEKA with Stephen Kilory and ex-SUKA bandmate, Heath Te Au.

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