The Performance Arcade brings together visual arts and performance in a specially curated ‘exhibition-event’ of live art practices on Wellington Waterfront. An arrangement of shipping containers and scaffold structures provides a temporary architecture for this unique project, housing a bar space, a programme of live music and events, and new performance installations by NZ and International artists. Open 13 hours a day, this event is free to the Wellington public.
In this, Denise Batchelor’s first foray into an underwater realm, the artist leads us into a colorful and somewhat otherworldly environment. Examining in magnified detail the fluid movements of the jellyfish Chrysaora Colarata, Batchelor’s aim is to create an experience as immersive as it is mesmerizing. Fascinated by the species aesthetic characteristics, as well as its poisonous nature, Batchelor’s offering reflects a binary in which seduction and aversion are somehow entangled. While not deadly, these jellyfish can produce a painful sting. The bell (body) of this species can reach a diameter of up to a meter, while the tentacles can extend as long as five meters. A symbiotic relationship is shared with juvenile slender crabs, which hitch a ride and eat parasitic amphipods that otherwise damage the jellyfish.
Based in Auckland until 2014, Denise Batchelor has adopted a nomadic lifestyle these days, following
her subjects wherever they may take her. Working in digital media (still and moving image) Batchelor responds to site-specific environments, often revealing the detail in moments that are overlooked and time as somewhat suspended. Batchelor has exhibited widely in public and dealer galleries, art centers and festivals, and been a recipient of artist residencies and national awards. Her work is held in public and private collections including The Wallace Arts Trust and Auckland Council. Batchelor graduated MFA (hons) from Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design 2011.