Matt Ellwood

A Corporate Development Memorial Outdoor Public Seating Sculpture, 2016

Eucalyptus saligna, pine and engraved plaque
3,000 x 2,700 x 2,700 mm

A Corporate Development Memorial Outdoor Public Seating Sculpture conflates two contexts to provoke reflection on the recent attempts at commercial development around Matiatia, Waiheke. The sculpture absurdly mimics the main product display from fashion label Balenciaga’s flagship store in Paris. A shop fitting is recast as both a cenotaph-like structure and outdoor seating.

The sculpture operates as a welcome rest stop on the trail; a place to sit and take in the spectacular views to the bay. Yet, given its borrowed interior design proportions it may not make particularly comfortable seating. As a memorial, the work refers to the failed attempts by Waitemata Infrastructure Ltd and Waiheke Marinas Ltd respectively to build a major shopping/hotel complex and large private marina at Matiatia Bay. As well as ignoring the conventions of memorials, A Corporate Development Memorial Outdoor Public Seating Sculpture is also an uneasy allegory for the uncertain future of the island.

Matt Ellwood

born 1973, Wellington
Lives and works in Auckland

Matt Ellwood’s work engages with the psychology of desire and its intersection with the ideological positions behind advertising and merchandising. His art practice employs the vocabularies of satire and appropriation as resources for sculptures, drawings and digital image interventions. His handcrafted unique artworks also challenge the origins of their mass produced forms. Identifiable form or materials are often counterpointed by the deliberately absurd or challenging content of Ellwood’s work.

Matt Ellwood has an Master of Fine Arts from the Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland. Recent exhibitions include Frieze Saint Laurent, Melanie Roger Gallery (2016) and Smoking Tom Ford, The General Store for Contemporary Art, Sydney (2013). His work is included in private and public art collections in New Zealand and Australia and awards include the Kaipara Foundation Wallace Arts Trust Award (2011).

Represented by Melanie Roger Gallery, Auckland