Keeping it Complex, Keeping it Connected
12th November 2022 – 4th March 2023
Dunedin Public Art Gallery
In Keeping it Complex, Keeping it Connected, Emily Floyd takes as a point of departure a series of lectures by early learning scholar Emeritus Professor Margaret Carr, the transcripts for which are held in the University of Otago’s Uare Taoka o Hākena Hocken Collections. Floyd’s specially commissioned 27 metre wall-relief installation activates Professor Carr’s provocations for meaningful, collaborative, narrative-based learning.
Keeping it Complex, Keeping it Connected turns towards the mechanisms that shape thinking and practice, creating a glossary of Early Childhood Education concepts, incorporating the thinking of Professor Alexandra C. Gunn and other scholars to inform inclusive education and social justice within the local context. Bookended by the Owl of Minerva, the exhibition is presented as a space for gathering and making. Colourful and comic, Floyd’s sculptures aim to revise the rarefied air of the research library into a space that is equal parts joyful and surreal – reconnecting with the complexity of educational theory.
Floyd constructed the furniture for this shared space from the Autoprogettazione series by the Italian modernist designer and artist Enzo Mari (1932−2020). Designed in 1974 as a response to the mass production of furniture, Mari’s designs provided an open-source blueprint for DIY makers to create quality design from simple, accessible materials. This social space might be considered as an alternative way of considering the archive or library – reinforcing the importance of both making and working together as a means of knowledge exchange and production. This gesture reflects Floyd’s wider interest in how her practice might create open-ended opportunities for empowering teaching and learning through making and creative thinking.
As the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa International Visiting Artist for 2022, Floyd has spent time in Ōtepoti researching this exhibition. She will conclude her residency with a series of programme events and workshops.
A Dunedin Public Art Gallery Visiting Artist Programme, supported by Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa. Project Partner, Dunedin School of Art. Production support by Urban Art Projects.
Curated by Lucy Hammond.