An archival project working with the artworks, drawings, photographs, unrealised projects, negatives, workbooks, research, and ephemera of New Zealand artist Paul Cullen (1949–2017). Collected, produced and accumulated by Cullen over a period of more than forty years, this material dates back to his art school days at Ilam School of Fine Arts in Canterbury New Zealand during the 1970s. Currently located in a 144 m2 warehouse in Henderson, Auckland, this body of knowledge is noteworthy for its size and extent, but more significantly because there is no public knowledge of the bulk of this material.
As part of this project, a printed publication (working title: Provisional Arrangements *) will be produced and published by split/fountain (edited by Allan Smith and Layla Tweedie-Cullen, designed by Narrow Gauge). This will focus on Cullen’s sculptural projects exploring site, process, and the deployment and adaptation of found objects to sculptural roles. Provisional Arrangements will present a wide range of Cullen’s work across the expanded field of sculpture and will include objects, found sculptures, gallery installations, and temporary projects in outdoor locations. The publication will present work from throughout Cullen’s career and will embrace central historical perspectives on sculpture: materiality, gravity, space and physical presence.
* Provisional Arrangements is the title of a series of installations by Paul Cullen at Ilam School of Fine Arts University of Canterbury (2016) and Two Rooms gallery in Auckland (2017). Site and contextual research are both directly and indirectly important for the Provisional Arrangements projects. Cullen’s engagement with process and the provisional, stems from his early interest in the conceptual art of the 1960s and 70s, Arte Povera, and the constructivist tradition in sculpture.
Photograph by Marie Shannon.