Elliot ‘Askew’ O’Donnell and Jasmine Gonzalez’s Continuum opens at Fiksate, 4 June, a collaborative body of work forged from the tumultuous experiences of the Covid pandemic and broader civil unrest and the resulting philosophical outlook the married artists adopted as a “coping mechanism”. Taking the titular term as a starting point, the exhibition reflects on such events as part of a larger holistic continuum and the interconnectedness of our seemingly isolated experiences.
One of the most celebrated figures to emerge from Aotearoa’s graffiti art landscape, O’Donnell has built an international reputation with his large-scale murals and studio work. In contrast, Continuum will be the first show for US-born Gonzalez, who has a background in fashion design but began exploring her photographic practice during the pandemic. The show developed from the pair’s experiences in the US during the pandemic and associated unrest, both artists finding resonance in the concept of a continuum amongst such destabilisation, the realisation that things never occur in a vacuum.
Continuum springs from a series of photographs taken by Gonzalez with Wellington-based dancer and poet Jahra Wasasala and O’Donnell’s florist mother Meghan Humphries, the images eventually overworked with digital rendering, printing and analogue painting techniques in a thoroughly collaborative and process-driven approach, balancing Gonzalez’s meticulous planning and O’Donnell’s relaxed experimentation. The resulting sequence of paintings, combine the powerfully expressive performances of Wasasalaand O’Donnell’s glitchy, gestural painterly compositions, manifest as a confronting continuum.
Fiksate Studio & Gallery, 54 Hawdon Street, Sydenham, 4 June – 3 July
- "Elliot 'Askew' O'Donnell at work on a piece for Continuum, a collaborative show with his wife Jasmine Gonzalez.