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Tufted Rugs Present Domestic Narrative

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Claudia Kogach,i Obaachan during the lockdown, Wahiawā, Hawaiʻi, 2020 (installation view) tufted rugs commissioned by Te Tuhi, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett Claudia Kogach,i Obaachan during the lockdown, Wahiawā, Hawaiʻi, 2020 (installation view) tufted rugs commissioned by Te Tuhi, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett Claudia Kogach,i Obaachan during the lockdown, Wahiawā, Hawaiʻi, 2020 (installation view) tufted rugs commissioned by Te Tuhi, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett Claudia Kogach,i Obaachan during the lockdown, Wahiawā, Hawaiʻi, 2020 (installation view) tufted rugs commissioned by Te Tuhi, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett Claudia Kogach,i Obaachan during the lockdown, Wahiawā, Hawaiʻi, 2020 (installation view) tufted rugs commissioned by Te Tuhi, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett

The colour is modulated and not based on photographic ‘realism', being more linked to fauve or expressionistic sensibilities, and sometimes folk-art or Dubuffet. Her tactile images of manual work in the kitchen are carefully designed, although the final coloured tufted planes are never optically flat like those found on her drawings.

Pakuranga

 

Claudia Kogachi
Obaachan during the lockdown, Wahiawā, Hawai’i
Curated by Abby Cunnane


5 December 2020 - 7 February 2021

On Te Tuhi’s drawing wall we see three butted-together rugs, the result of several planned working drawings, and—possibly in themselves—working ‘drawings’ for further woven, tufted rugs. There is a processual continuum hinted at.

Based on sketches made from memory and photographs (over lockdown) from when she visited her grandmother’s house in Hawai’i a year earlier, Claudia Kogachi‘s clever relief mats show the dense tufts as a sculptural medium, using projecting thickness, bold shape and mottled pattern to render images of herself and her grandmother (obaachan) in domestic activity such as food preparation, barbequing meat and deep-freeze cleaning.

The colour is modulated and not based on photographic ‘realism’, being more linked to fauve or expressionistic sensibilities, and sometimes folk-art or Dubuffet. Her tactile images of manual work in the kitchen are carefully designed, although the final coloured tufted planes are never optically flat like those found on her drawings. With the three rugs aligned together Kogachi is careful to ensure the colours and dark tones are balanced in their postioning, especially the bright blues and dark blacks.

Kogachi had several works in last year’s New Artists’ Show at Artspace Aotearoa, but that show was badly lit, confusing architecturally, and too crammed by too many contributors. It is great that Kogachi is re-presented now by Abby Cunnane in isolation on Te Tuhi’s drawing-showcase wall, so that the work’s detail is easy to look at. Its relief attributes are particularly engrossing, at times looking as if the wool has been hand-carved.

Here Kogachi shows she can handle a large scale effortlessly, co-ordinating separate elements, and constantly tweaking her assembled original drawings so that the final tufted end-result is cohesive compositionally. From the Te Tuhi brochure her actual drawings (on computer) look interesting. It would be nice to see a group of those, so we can understand more about her research and decisionmaking processes.

John Hurrell

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