‘Empirical Matter’ with State Gallery, Auckland / ‘Satellite’ with Space Gallery, Napier, 2018.  

Rohan Hartley Mills, Krystina Kaza, J.A. Kennedy

The grouping of works in this show grew out of the IWT project ‘((,’ and a subsequent series of discussions between the curator of that project (Kennedy) and two of the artists (Kaza and Mills). During one of our discussions, Mills suggested that the artist is like an astronaut, a notion that intrigued us all and has subsequently informed our understanding of the work in this exhibition.

The term ‘astronaut’ suggests an individual creating in an environment with limited available materials in an effort to explore and survive. How might an artist be like an astronaut?

As individuals, artist and astronaut seek information to enable future growth beyond the known, working within their immediate surroundings and with materials available to them. In a collaborative sense, the astronaut strives to achieve a collective aim, the exploration of something previously deemed irrational: an astronaut is on a mission to rationalise an idea, or to make apparent a notion.

The work presented here – by Rohan Hartley Mills, Krystina Kaza, and J.A. Kennedy – contains explorations in material relations, using limited colour and minimised form. Although the artists use additive processes, aggregating materials into a single work, the primary quality of the work is that of reduction and simplification, rather than that of complication. Just as empirical evidence is gained by the observation and documentation of patterns through experimentation, the works in this exhibition constitute the physical manifestations of each artist’s ongoing individual experiments. These manifestations are examples of material and form, the resulting empirical matter of working within a limited set of parameters.


‘Satellite’ extends the conversation begun in Auckland between Rohan Hartley Mills, Krystina Kaza, and J.A. Kennedy. The grouping of these artists grew out of the Auckland-based exhibitions ‘((’ (2017) at IWT Project Space, and ‘Empirical Matter’ (2018) at State Gallery. During an initial discussion for Empirical Matter, Mills suggested that the artist is like an astronaut, a notion that the artists decided to embrace for both exhibitions.


'Empirical Matter' presented by State Gallery. 21 July - 11th August 2018. 126 Valley Rd, Mount Eden, Auckland, New Zealand. 

‘Satellite’ presented by Space Gallery. 7 September - 6 October 2018. 116 Tennyson Street, Napier, New Zealand.