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Published 2021 by Adam Art Gallery, and printed by Milne Print.
216 pages.

Published to accompany and extend Kate Newby’s impressive full-gallery exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi: YES TOMORROW (20 February – 30 May 2021), this book features two photographic series produced and/or selected by the artist, interleaved with an essay by respected writer and curator Christina Barton. The first series, On the benefits of building, 2020–21, is a carefully choreographed selection of Newby’s disposable camera images taken from the moment she arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand to undertake the exhibition, through to her travels immediately in the wake of its opening. These give intimate insights into the artist’s sources and processes and provide glimpses of her works in  production and during installation. In the second series, Newby arranges the installation photographs produced by the Gallery into a sequence that takes readers through her personal version of the exhibition. This is as much an artist’s book as a gallery publication, a document to be relished as an insight into the practice of a memorable contemporary artist.

Kate Newby has built her career on the principle of ‘travelling light’, responding to locations where she is invited to work by translating her casual observations of things and places into sculptural installations of locally sourced materials, and testing where she can be and what she should do through architectural interventions and site works. Her modus operandi requires her to rely on local knowledge, building networks of helpers to share in her efforts, but also testing audiences’ expectations about what is proper to the art experience.

In December 2020 she flew in to New Zealand from San Antonio Texas, where she is currently based, a return journey conditioned by the COVID pandemic that is curtailing the kind of movement to which Newby has become accustomed. Coming home to make this exhibition has enabled her to reconnect with places –Te Henga on Auckland’s west coast, Paeroa, Whanganui, and Te Whanganui-a-Tara – and people: family members, old friends, artists, makers, and more.

YES TOMORROW is therefore a particularly memorable ‘touching down’.  It maintains the artist’s customary lightness, as she addresses herself to the Adam Art Gallery’s building and its environs and brings in handmade objects retrieved from storage and made for the occasion. But it also grounds her, taking stock of her passage through the art world, crystallising her particular sculptural language, and memorialising those transitory encounters that litter her life. The exhibition unfolds as a set of confident and challenging interventions that recast the relationship between art and its context and invite viewers to look again at the world around them.