Fired glass pools in small ceramic puddles and forms sculptural window-panes. Clay takes the form of tiles mounted to an external wall and is hand-moulded into a multitude of husks scattered across the floor. A specific, limited material palette of clay, glass and bronze has produced a myriad of outcomes.
The exhibition consists of a series of sensitive interventions made to the building at 3 East St. In reponse to the site, Newby has focused on its windows, a raised dias, the nearby alleyway. The artist has made the whole building an artwork; by replacing its windows with her own glass panes, it is in fact opened up, punctured with many holes, so that air can flow in and out from many, many perforations.
Aside from a specific encounter with the built environment, Had us running with you is also an opportunity to encounter a range of textures and surface effects such as: slippery glazed and sharply-carved clay; verdigris developing on bronze and licked toffee-coloured glass. Though sometimes as slender as a window pane, seen occluded by doorways or appearing to be slight, physically intense forces are at play in Newby’s production techniques. Each artwork is the result of physical undertakings, acts of firing, cooling and extended duration.
There is a strong sense of return: while collecting broken glass from Galatos Street, to be incorporated into works, Newby reflected on her time spent working and living in the area. Her first apartment was on nearby Karangahape Road, and while studying at art school she made various works in galleries as well as peripheral spaces in the neighbourhood.
Locating artworks through where they are eventually installed as well as where they are made, Had us running with you is an exercise in collaboration and complicity, the fact or condition of being involved with others in the activity of making art. “I never work alone” states Newby; for her latest exhibition she visited potteries in Paeroa and Nelson, firing works with her father Stuart Newby, had bronze fabricated at a foundry in Bulverde Texas, and has included glass panes fabricated in Chartres, France and Whanganui with those made by herself in San Antonio, Texas. The exhibition was made with friends, family and communities in response to local opportunities.