Collection News

On Show at Auckland Art Gallery

Yvonne Todd's video work, Denim Seagull, 2013, is currently on show, in a group exhibition titled Performance Portraits, at Auckland Art Gallery.

Yvonne Todd, Denim Seagull, 2013, wood, paint, television monitor, television remote, remote control bender, single channel video (high definition, 16:9, colour, stereo sound)

On the CIRCUIT website,, Megan Dunn asked the artist about the work: Here is an excerpt:

MD: Can you describe the genesis of Denim Seagull?

YT: The work started as something else: there was no denim and no seagull. A few months ago I became obsessed with an expensive vintage designer dress that had an interesting formal ‘cultic’ quality. It looked like the uniform of an obscure but stylish sect. The dress was for sale through a dealer in LA and I became convinced it was the key to my next video work so I purchased it, the expense of which makes me now shudder. The video was going to be a simple ‘portrait’ of a young woman wearing the dress, with minimal movement. One idea was that she was to have water dripping slowly from her cupped hands whilst maintaining eye contact with the camera. I was sure it would work. And the dress would be the star.

I took another dress to the shoot as a backup, a tie-dyed denim number that had caught my eye at Savemart. It cost $9.99. After shooting multiple clips with the first dress, all of which seemed pretty successful, I asked the model to put the denim one on. It was immediately better. The movement of the tiered denim and the bleached, painted-looking fabric seemed much more compelling. It still had the cultic feeling I was hoping to impart. Denim Seagull consists of the last clip I shot on the day. The title Denim Seagull wouldn’t go away, so I started listening to audio files on various online sound libraries and found one described as ‘seagulls kipling’ which had an understated flavour. The occasional twitches of the model seem to align with the intermittent seagull noises. This pleases me.

See other Chartwell videos in Performance Portraits, curated by Natasha Conland and installed on Level 1 Corridor, until 19 November 2017.
Included is 'Lifting my mother for as long as I can', a ten year video series which began in 2006, by Campbell Patterson. This work is in the collection of the
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and Chartwell Gift Collection.

News »