Drawing Is/Not Building & Living Cities 2011-

25 April – 28 June 2015



Drawing Is/Not Building
an exhibition by Roland Snooks, Sarah Treadwell, Simon Twose

Studio Roland Snooks, <em>compositewing</em>, 2014Sarah Treadwell, <em>Oceanic Section 1 & 2</em>, 2014-5, mixed media on unstretched canvas

Simon Twose, <em>Concrete Surface<em/>, 2014, digital 3D scan of concrete prototype






This exhibition presents the work of three architects who have a theoretical interest in drawing. Simon Twose, Sarah Treadwell and Roland Snooks respectively teach at Victoria University of Wellington, University of Auckland, and RMIT in Melbourne. Each approaches drawing not merely as a preliminary stage in a design process, but as an instrumental means to determine how matter is formed, shaped, constructed and, perhaps, felt. They argue that the material entanglements of drawing are usually hidden, cleaned away by the presence and seriousness of buildings the drawings are deemed to represent. Yet these delicate, complicated things figure the designer’s spatial understanding and are the tissue of architecture; they are the making of it.

Roland Snooks looks at possibilities offered by the shared authorship of human and computer; Sarah Treadwell merges the conventions of architectural rendering with hand-drawn processes to access the oceanic, and Simon Twose works in the space between building and drawing, by using concrete at full scale as his medium. The three put material engagements in focus and question building and representation to distil the potentialities in drawing.

This project has been curated for the Adam Art Gallery by Simon Twose. It is supported by the Faculty of Architecture and Design, Victoria University of Wellington and School of Architecture and Planning, National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries, University of Auckland.

Roland Snooks will be presenting a lecture on Wednesday 22 April.

All three architects will be giving a floortalk on Friday 24 April.

For more information about Public Programme events, go to the Calendar.


Living Cities 2011–
an exhibition by Richard Frater
curated by Laura Preston

Richard Frater, Living Cities 2011– , 2015, film trailer, 16mm film telecine transfer processed by Park Road Post Production in 2012-3, audio by Richard Francis, tm-3-Copy-3 (Whau Whau) from Talking Machines (Banned Productions, 2012)


The impetus for Richard Frater’s expansive Living Cities project was seeded in a 2011 exhibition series at the Adam Art Gallery titled In Camera. Curated by former Adam Art Gallery Curator Laura Preston, Frater’s contribution to this earlier series involved taking up residence in Wellington and over the course of a month developing work in situ in response to natural and planned features of the city.

Frater’s current project develops out of his ongoing conversations with Preston. In this instance he seeks out a perceptual space for his suite of site responsive artworks which is analogous to the experience of cinematic real-time. Spanning both the Adam’s Kirk Gallery and an offsite location, Frater orchestrates a chain of discrete scenarios for viewing his sculptures as well as an architectural intervention and a collaborative sonic work developed with sound artist Richard Francis. Each of these bodies of work translate tropes of film into objects and situations—the aperture of a lens, diegetic/non-diegetic sound, the chemical makeup of celluloid and so forth—putting into play a kind of expanded notion of cinema which, with the exception of the online ‘trailer’ for this exhibition, is realised without the use of a camera.

A connecting thread within these works is Frater’s concern with the ecological makeup and built environment of Wellington. Frater has been researching Zealandia, the Karori wildlife sanctuary with a ‘500 year vision’ to restore local bush to its pre-human conditions. These major rejuvenation efforts have restored the populations of the spotted kiwi, hihi and tuatara and Frater’s particular interest is their work with the kaka, the native parrot that was successfully reintroduced into the region in 2001.

The kaka operates as the invisible ‘protagonist’ in these works and each of the objects in the exhibition is connected by the plight of this mischievous bird. The artist assembles lead roofing nails which kaka gnaw at, causing contamination to young chicks, and exhibits a nail gun as an icon of the twentieth-century suburban sprawl which has permanently altered the kaka’s habitat. This network of objects, combined with the artist’s deft reworking of the architectural features of the gallery to frame a view towards the city, unearth the hostile relationship between the natural wildlife and contemporary urban developments that so rapidly undermine a delicate ecosystem thousands of years in the making.

Richard Frater is a New Zealand-born, Berlin-based artist. He studied at Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland, graduating with a Postgraduate Diploma in 2006, and has a MFA from the Glasgow School of Art (2012). His works have been included in exhibitions in New Zealand, Australia and Germany and he is preparing for a solo exhibition in Berlin later this year. He is represented by Robert Heald Gallery, Wellington.

The artist gratefully acknowledges the support of Chartwell Trust in the realisation of this project.

Richard Frater will be giving an artist’s talk at the Adam Art Gallery at 2pm on Saturday 25 April.

For more information about Public Programme events, go to the Calendar.