Paul Donald, born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1965, obtained his BVA (Bachelor of Visual Arts, equivalent to North American BFA) with honors and his MVA (Master of Visual Arts, equivalent to North American MFA), with a specialization in painting—both at Sydney College of the Arts (Australia). He has exhibited his paintings, sculptures, and has performed several major “construction” works around the world, at venues from Artspace in Sydney to the Miami Beach Urban Studios at Florida International University to CB1 Gallery in Los Angeles, Akau Gallery Toronto, and 20+3 Gallery in Manchester (UK). His work has been included in group exhibitions internationally, including, Material Traces: Time and the Gesture in Contemporary Art (Montréal, 2013) and Nothing Like Performance (2012, Artspace, Sydney), and recently as part of HE; Queering Masculinity, at Last Projects Los Angeles. His work is held in private collections in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Great Britain, and Canada.
A poltergeist restlessness from the past haunts the present docks of Wellington where so many settlers arrived. Over each of the days of the performance, a pallet load of building materials will be pulled or pushed around as the artist looks for a spot to “settle.” Once a spot is selected, an outline of where a small house will sit will be chalked in as “the site”, and a small house is built. A mashup of early settler and Victorian era architecture, the house will exist briefly, settled, before being dismantled, loaded on the pallet and moved away to a new site. While “settling” over and over again, the artist is also unsettled, never staying put, and leaving behind many “abandoned” sites. Working the site/build/dismantle/re-site cycle many times each day, the artist will go through the motions of a diminished and nervous settler who leaves outlines as an ever accumulating but inevitably eroding history.
Supported by Wellington City Council Public Art Fund
photo by Harry Gamboa Jr