Black As 

October 30 - November 24, 2007   

Lonnie Hutchinson



Black As: meaning as can be? How black is that? As the night - the ace of spades - as my sweet ass. Let me spell it out for you…as…tokens of extreme chocolatiness, oreo-like: they are dark little gems, each one carrying a load of cocoa flavour, jacked up with cinnamon, black pepper and cayenne. Ridiculously good with cold milk…or dunked in hot coffee.

As Jack Black, spider man, black as himself. Black as expected! As Black Grace, Black Pearl, Black Rose; as Tar Builders Paper, Black Beauty, black star, liquorice, acrylic, the All Blacks.

Black As: to challenge our chromatic expectations and cultural sensitivity, playing with positive and negative elements - the black and the white of it. The title springs from Lonnie Hutchinson's former life lived in Auckland suburbs, and presides in positive affirmation of representational space and intercultural exchange. Here in the context of the art world, if we've learnt anything from painters like McCahon and Hotere, it is that where there is light (and white), there are many, many shades and reflections of blackness.

Black Lace
In Black As Lonnie has made black treats for the eyes not the taste buds.
Her "high-end" sellers are often indigenously branded, marketed and distributed internationally. They define the space as black and blackness is a fertile thing, bound to a creation story - a space defined by the love and union of Rangi and Papa. Black is the absence of colour, the colour of peace and reflection. Yet it carries the vocal tones of street resistance, hip-hop and youth culture. While also speaking of vitality, beauty and the stories encoded in the dual relationships of negative and positive space, of presence and absence. Touched by light, we find play in the subtle and shifting throw of shadow.

"So you want to stretch out like a snail and catch all the people you love."
(Albert Wendt.)

 Black Ladies
Lonnie's life has become nomadic, her ideas more fluid and her production more technologically dependent. Shrinking global business and the space where art and life divide, technology has become her friend. Every lived experience is a creative reason to congregate, to dance, to involve friends, to share the homespun charms of Nana and the kids, stories and references to previous work/s and travels. Here the personal, the handmade and the everyday seems more fragile and precious than before. So we may like to curse the speed and darker side of globalism, but our rapidly changing environment doesn't appear to have hampered our creativity. Indeed, for Lonnie it has enhanced what being creative means. Her growing visibility internationally is allowing a new sense of fellowship and belonging.


Selected works 

She could taste salt on her lips

Black Circles

Black ladies

Black Lace

Liquorice Country - installation view

Fish Eyes - still

Details of works:

She could taste salt on her lips, 2007
black building paper
Black Circles, Black Ladies, Black Lace, 2007
black building paper

Liquorice Country, 2007
black acrylic
Fish Eyes, 2007
3 camera DVD, edition of 2