Tessa Laird, Richard Orjis & Tiffany Singh

we are but dust and shadow

9th Apr –
3rd May 2014

Three very different artists - TESSA LAIRD, RICHARD ORJIS and TIFFANY SINGH - weave their practices together in an attempt to find beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature.  These works are made from a desire to embrace natural cycles, accepting growth, decay and death.

Tessa Laird divests the high-coloured ceramics of her work in "Freedom Farmers" (curated by Natasha Conland for the Auckland Art Gallery 2013 - 2014) for more muted tones, investigating tree-filled ruins in sacred sites.  Tiffany Singh's recent McCahon House Residency dealt with death and the remembrance of loved ones; here she has softened her rainbow hues for works that are underplayed and modest, exhibiting the kind of quiet, undeclared beauty that waits patiently to be discovered.  Richard Orjis, whose photographic investigations can be lavishly composed, has produced a subtle suite of black and white works, which offer no more than fragmentary glimpses.

Each artist has presented a new series of work, as well as working on a collaboration, "Three Distinct Parts of the Shadow".  Laird's prints have been offered up for sacrifice, as Singh and Orjis have added their own layers of history, creating an exquisite surface of cicatrices.

Like a branch representing the entire tree, shoji screens filtering the sun, or the moon almost completely obscured by a ribbon of cloud, "Dust and Shadow" is an investigation of beauty that is both personal and collective, quietly contemplative and alive.

Recent work by TESSA LAIRD was featured in "Freedom Farmers: New Zealand Artists Growing Ideas" at the Auckland Art Gallery 26 October 2013 - 23 February 2014. Curated by Natasha Conland, the exhibition presented "a dynamic sample of 20 New Zealand contemporary artists from emerging to established practitioners..."

RICHARD ORJIS was awarded the 2014 Tylee Cottage Residency at the Sarjeant Gallery in Whanganui.  The Tylee Cottage Residency is New Zealand's longest running artists residency.  Orjis will spend four months there from late February - June 2014.

TIFFANY SINGH was recently artist in residence at McCahon House in Titirangi from November 2013 - February 2014. McCahon House Artists’ Residency, is amongst the most prestigious artists’ residencies in New Zealand. Three residencies a year, each of three months duration, are available to outstanding mid career artists. Artists receiving the residency live and work in the purpose built French Bay house with attached studio.


  1. Apr. 2014. RICHARD ORJIS | Walking in Trees