Tape two

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Erica Duthie and Struan Ashby, Tape Art NZ.

Erica Duthie and Struan Ashby, Tape Art NZ.

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An installation at Wellington's Cuba Street Carnival.

An installation at Wellington’s Cuba Street Carnival.

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A work at the Worcester Art Museum in the USA.

A work at the Worcester Art Museum in the USA.

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Another wall in the Worcester Art Museum project.

Another wall in the Worcester Art Museum project.

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A lighthouse at Te Papa in Wellington.

A lighthouse at Te Papa in Wellington.

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A recent interior installation.

A recent interior installation.

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Erica Duthie and Struan Ashby are the brains behind Tape Art, a Wellington-based visual art group that embellishes buildings with good old masking tape. They’ll be applying their skills to Urbis Designday this year, in an installation at ECC Lighting + Furniture.

Urbis: What does Tape Art do?

Erica Duthie: We conjure worlds amid urban architecture using masking tape as our drawing line. Always temporary, each mural is created in response to the space, the event and those we meet.

U: What does a typical day at work entail for you?

ED: On a typical drawing day we are faced by a big blank wall; sometimes armed with a sheaf of research into the history of the space, sometimes not. Each mural idea is conceived onsite and evolves through brainstorming and discussion. We see tape art as a catalyst for connection and encourage people to share ideas, touch the tape. We also pick audience members to be drawn into our mural worlds in quick portraits. Generally we work for intense 10-hour days, completing a mural of 15x3m in this duration. Much of our time is spent drawing and talking. The impermanence of our art form provokes many a thought-provoking debate about the unfamiliar notions of ephemeral visual art that people can’t own or keep.

U: How did you come to be involved in Urbis Designday?

ED: We were approached by Heather of ECC, who spotted our work on the Creative New Zealand web site while looking for performing artist teams. They were looking to up the tempo with a live performative element for this years installation.

U: What was the inspiration for your installation?

ED: The design aesthetic and finish of ECC is so sumptuous and expansive that we have been impelled to consider an otherworldly theme.

U: What can we expect to see on the day?

ED: You will see a simple, silhouetted tape-line world in the making. We will be drawing thoughout the day, evolving our narrative though the addition of ideas and characters we illicit from our audiences.

U: What are you most looking forward to on the day?

ED: We are psyched about this collaboration with ECC. We are particularly looking forward to entering into the spirit of this mural a little more that usual as will be obvious to those who see us on the day!!

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