Judy Darragh

Dreamweaver 2
2021
3500 x 1500 mm
nylon builders string
Courtesy of the artist and Two Rooms, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

Estimate: NZD 7,000 — 11,000

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Dreamweaver 2 is a web, organically transparent and minimal in nature, but in the humour of Judy Darragh’s dissident practice is instead made using bright, loud and fluorescent synthetic nylon builders string. The web is laboriously hand-stitched, a ‘cottage industry’ discipline, nodding to the politics of work and domestic life, while challenging the hierarchy of aesthetics and materiality.

Often referred to as the Queen of Kitsch, Darragh’s toxic colours in Dreamweaver 2 take us to the Halloween section of a local ‘$2 Shop’ with it’s plastic stench. However at odds with industries of mass-production, the labour intensive, camp and craftful materiality of Darragh’s web captures our attention with its alluring, eye-popping collision of colour.

Darragh first exhibited with Artspace Aotearoa in the group exhibition New Zeal in 1987, and has since exhibited extensively with the gallery. She has contributed immensely through several projects to the formation of the gallery’s identity both as an artist and as a longstanding member of the Artspace Aotearoa Board.

Artist Biography & History
with Artspace Aotearoa:

NB

Judy Darragh was a member of the Artspace Aotearoa Board between 1989 — 1991, 1994 — 1995 and 2005 — 2013. Judy has been a generous supporter of Artspace Aotearoa over the last 34 years, contributing in multifarious ways across numerous projects.

Exhibited

Sunspots (solo), 14 September — 2 October 1999
Oestrogen Rising! (group performance), November 24 1996, coordinated by Tessa Laird
Floral Sculptures Installation, The Letting Space Project (solo), 1995
Uno Momento Mas as part of Sound/ Watch (group performance), 1994
One Hundred and Fifty Ways of Loving, 22 February — 11 March 1994, curated by Ann Shelton, Paul Booth and Kirsty Cameron
Cross Pollination (group), 1991
Rock and Rose Bed in Occupied Zone (group), 1989
New Zeal (group), 1987, exhibited at George Fraser when the gallery was being used as a satellite-site by Artspace

Published

Judy Darragh was included in Speculation, a publication produced in 2007 as Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution towards the 52nd Venice Biennale at a time when Government funding for New Zealand at Venice was under review. Speculation was edited by Brian Butler, then director of Artspace.

Judy Darragh

 

Judy Darragh (b. Ōtautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand) is renowned for her brightly coloured sculptural assemblages, video, collage, photography and poster art. Her practice came to prominence during the 1980s, when her trademark eclectic iconoclasm and wit was seen as a fleet-footed critical response to the rampant materialism and free-market reforms that characterised this period. In 2004 the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa mounted the major survey exhibition Judy Darragh: So … you made it? which was accompanied by a major catalogue published by Te Papa Press. Darragh lives and works in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, where she has played a significant role in the development of Artspace Aotearoa and artist-run spaces such as Teststrip, and Cuckoo, and has acted as mentor for a wide range of artists.

She is currently a co-editor of Femisphere, a publication supporting women’s art practices in Aotearoa. Darragh continues to exhibit extensively throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and her works are held in numerous public collections, including Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. Recent exhibitions include Foil, Montalvo Arts Centre, San Francisco, USA (2017), Girls on Hope, The Physics Room, Ōtautahi Christchurch (2017), and the major sculptural commission, Limbo, North Atrium Sculpture Commission, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (2015—2018).