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Behind the Scenes with our Graphic Designer, Paul Boyle

Kia Ora! I’m Paul. I’m a recent graduate from Toi Rauwhārangi, Massey University College of Creative Arts. I have many different interests, most of which are in Art or Design. I first had a love of theatre growing up, but later moved into art and design. Outside the Arcade, my work tends to try to marry my love of performance and design. I enjoy creating immersive and/or interactive exhibitions and performative spaces. I also have a strong passion for graphic design, and often incorporate my love for type and print. After the Arcade I will be back at Massey to study my Master’s in fine art, with a focus on design.

Kia ora Paul, thank you for introducing yourself!

What is one of the earliest artworks or pieces of design that really struck you? Can you describe it? Where was it, who were you with, how did it make you feel?

Excerpt of Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights. Public Domain image.

Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights. This hung in the lounge of my mothers house my whole life. I remember getting lost for hours in the absurd scenes that played out deep within the triptych.

Can you talk about your background in design? How did you get here today?

I stumbled into design by chance. In my early twenties I was tossing up what I wanted to study. When a mate saw a doodle I did on a receipt and said “You should study design.” as they were studying it at the time. So I signed up the next year having no idea what it really was. Now here we are and couldn’t be happier!

The PA2024 logo incorporates navigation, the constellation Scorpius, the star Rehua, and horizon lines. Can you talk about the concept and process for this design?

Mātiro Whakamua relates to this year's kaupapa for The Performance Arcade. In our context this means to look beyond the horizon; to envision new possibilities ahead. Pasifika navigators understood that the horizon is relative to their current situation, which is determined by space and time. To look forward, we must recognise where we have come from. Navigation is what fed the concept for the design. 

The ✕’s speak to the use of stars in navigation. The formation is Scorpius which is used in western navigation to find south. At the heart of Scorpius is the star Rehua; a Māori god related to well-being and medicine. This star was used by Pasifika navigators to assist their way through the ocean. Solid and dashed lines represent not only the lines seen on western maps, but also the tools used by ancient Micronesians to learn the paths through the ocean; Rebbelib. The map of the Te Whanganui-a-Tara situates the Arcade in space. 

The logo speaks to time; how it isn’t always the linear format known to the Western world. In many cultures time is on a rotation; a continuous cycle. Some cultures used the moon, some the sun, and others the stars. The circle motif shows the continuum, while the spiral pattern reminds the viewer that time flows onto itself without a beginning or end.

If Performance Art could make one big change in Te Whanganui-a-Tara (or Aotearoa more generally) what would you want it to be?

Performance Art has a long history of activism and social change. This can be used as a tool of conversation; a way to get people questioning the world and situation around them. 

We live in a time where we have more power to change than ever before. Climate-change, genocide, war, poverty, an imbalance of power, and the affects of colonisation; these are all things that hold us back as from achieving peace. Performance Art can be a voice that starts a conversation of change.

What are you most looking forward to in PA2024? 

Apart from getting to see all the hard work that the artists and our team have been doing come to life, the thing I am most excited about is to see how the audience will interact with it. As a designer, I’m really interested in the different ways people view or treat work—it’s never what you expect.

Ka rawe Paul, thank you so much for all of your mahi to help us visualize the Performance Arcade this year.


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