Narratives don’t seem to be very in vogue. They may even be one of those dirty words in the art world. But here in Orakei, in amongst the wealth and political history, there is a certain narrative bubbling away. It was just over six years ago a group of first year art school students came to nearby Noho Marae. The point of the exercise was to foster that community that runs rife in most art schools. A healthy co-inhabitance of a multitude of practices running alongside each other, cumulating in group shows that exhibit the microcosm found within the institution.
Yet there is the inevitable moment when all this comes to a screeching halt. There is the rude awakening that they are unable to continue with their practice that they had been nurturing over the past few years. For most their art narrative ends here. But practices adapt, they mould, they reduce or reform. This has been a trait most ‘self-taught’ artists have honed for years, but even they struggle to find a place that gives them a foothold as well as space to nurture their practice.
This is the place that artbase has come into. Here it tries not so much to disrupt convention, instead gently steering it away from the status quo. Artbase sits somewhere in between the dealer gallery and an artist run space while utilising elements of both. The gallery holds true to the high-energy group shows sans the gimmicky theme, while operating on a commercial basis.
It aims to uphold the artist’s own practice, sitting earnestly amongst its peer, yet not taking sole ownership of their work. Artbase.org is a place for makers, creators, designers, who are looking for a place to bridge the void, where they continue their own narrative.