An exhibition of ‘art furniture’ made out of beach flotsam and jetsam is on show from the 19th of April at te tuhi - the mark in Manukau City. The work by Eastern Beach resident artist Allan Gyde is exhibited in the Centre Gallery, and is a selection of work which he has assembled over a period of years.
The work that Allan Gyde has created comes from his collecting of objects and materials, many pieces of which he has found while combing the beaches of eastern Manukau City. From these unique objects and ‘bits and pieces’ he has made a series of three-dimensional sculptures, which are sometimes functional like furniture, and are always fun and quirky. Of his work he says ‘The foreshore is my current point of reference and is conceptualised as a ‘transition zone’ where the future components for my sculpture have temporarily paused in an evolutionary journey. Commonly known as ‘flotsam and jetsam’, these items have all existed in the past as utilitarian objects. Although exact details of their original uses are unknown, they retain enough material evidence of their earlier incarnation in their form and appearance to evoked interest and fascination and thereby influence the final outcome of my work.’
Allan has had a life-long fascination with the Hauraki Gulf, which is evident in his work. Much of his work not only uses objects that he has found on the beaches of the area, but concerns themes about environmental change and personal memory of places. He says ‘This exhibition continues and extends an exploration of the Hauraki Gulf that began in my youth and was, until recently, interrupted by 28 years in Australia. Artistic processes that pay homage to the power of memory, association, and our physical experiences of the environment have always played an important part in my artworks and have an equal significance to the consideration of formal issues in the organisation of each sculpture.’
As well as working as an artist, Allan teaches on the Spatial Design programme at Auckland University of Technology where he has been employed since his return to New Zealand. In Australia, Allan taught at tertiary level both part and full time, at universities and colleges of advanced education for a further 18 years. The programmes included design education, 3D studies, workshop technology and sculpture. Before taking up teaching he worked in the exhibition/display industry followed by a period of prototype furniture making as well as some engagement with set and prop building for TV work. His 17 years of commercial work experience in New Zealand, Australia, and also the UK, contributes greatly to his understanding of the three dimensional environment. Allan has been a practicing and exhibiting artist for over 30 years and draws upon this important part of his life to better inform both his teaching and his place in the creative world.
→ Allan Gyde: The Transition Zone, 2002, exhibition card