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September 23, 2013 | by  | in News |
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Railway Station Caught on Tape

Students passing through Wellington’s railway station last week were faced with a sticky situation, as tape was used to create a large-scale walkable labyrinth in the station’s foyer.

Erica Duthie and Struan Ashby, co-founders of Tape Art New Zealand, collaborated with sound artist Christine White to create Gyre and Gimble in the Wabe; a project that used tape and sound to “traverse the meditative and nonsensical”.

Duthie and Ashby use tape to transform urban spaces with temporary drawings. Their partnership with White, a Sonic Arts Composition (Honours) graduate from VUW, added to the experience aspect of their work as visual performance artists.

Various sounds were recorded by White, and the subsequent compilations then played through directional speakers at different corners of the labyrinth. White also performed as part of the exhibition, using her voice as well as pre-recorded sounds to create music as she walked through the labyrinth.

White’s movement and the directional speaker meant that the sounds were best heard from inside the labyrinth, and the artists encouraged people to walk the maze and fully engage with the project.

Although Ashby estimated that “90 per cent” of people who passed through the exhibition dismissed it, the people who did participate varied from children to “grandparents in wheelchairs”.

Those who didn’t engage with the project were still confronted by a display of “playfulness and frivolity”, said Duthie; a rare thing to see in a public space. For those who did engage, she said that the experience spoke for itself as a chance to stop and appreciate the present.

Moriah Payne participated in the exhibition, and thought it was a positive initiative. “If you don’t want to engage you don’t have to,” said Payne, “and it’s a good way to pass the time waiting for the train”.

For more information about Tape Art and photos from the exhibition, head to the Tape Art NZ Facebook page.

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