What is your most memorable experience of art?
Hana: I started crying when I saw Shannon Te Ao’s Follow the Party of the Whale at the Blue Oyster a few years ago during Puaka Matariki. It’s so beautiful and meditative. I cannot stress how powerful and important that work was in being shown in Ōtepoti, because of the denial and erasure of our traumatic colonial history in that community.
Jordana: In 2011, at the age of seventeen, visiting an art gallery (City Gallery Wellington), for the first time on a Dannevirke High School field trip. Everyone teasing me for crying on the bus home over Erica van Zon’s Untitled (2009), a neon text work stating “Don’t Make your Heart a Lion’s Den.” As part of the group exhibition Tender is the Night, curated by Heather Galbraith.
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What is your favourite interpretation or misinterpretation of your work?
Hana: A reviewer said that my work was “confessional.” I guess he felt that me speaking to my experiences of gendered emotional and domestic labour in the service and fine arts industries is just gossipy right?
Jordana: Still Life With Flowers (Narcissus), my first video based performance piece made during my final year of fine arts school (2015). In the work I am reclining naked, veiled in silk drapery, gripping a bouquet, sustaining a pose like Manet’s Olympia, (which eventually made me convulse). The tutors speculated I was recieving cunniligus out of frame.
How did you come to call yourself an artist, and are you comfortable calling yourself an artist?
Hana: I would prefer to be called a mogul. Lol. No idk, I’m a writer more than an artist.
Jordana: I didn’t, everyone else did and yes.
What ideas or theme or issues do you focus on with your work?
Hana: I feel like all the work I’ve been making recently centres around how many tabs I have open on my computer and a lot of my texts are more like extended subtweets. ATM I’m interested in the intersections between capitalism and colonisation through text, technology, and performance. I’m really interested in intimacy too, like critical intimacy.
Jordana: Digital documentation of the self as an act of self defense, and preservation against the erasure of women’s lived experiences and histories.
What is your favourite medium?
Hana: Google docs, tote bags, seminars, and clothing.
Jordana: Photography, video, and performance.
What do you want the viewer to feel when they look at your page?
Hana: Warmth, empathy.
Jordana: Like I’m in love with them.
Tell a story about your page:
Hana: I hope that you feel okay.
Jordana: This should feel like looking into the sun.
Find out more at kollektivgallery.com/lokalstories, Twitter #lokalstories, Instagram @lokal_stories.
Lokal Stories is an Aotearoa based initiative, funded by Wellington City Council and Creative New Zealand, and directed by Sophie Giblin. Self Care Mantra was written by Lokal Stories artists and writers Jordana Bragg and Hana Pera Aoake, and was designed by our collaborator Sean Burn.
Lokal Stories combats cyber hate towards marginalised groups and explores how neo-colonialism has changed online identities today. We encourage digital togetherness by learning how to be a good ally and practice self care URL and IRL.