Ellie Lee-Duncan – Writer, Reader, Curator, Artist

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Coffee of choice -
Describe yourself in 3 words -

Ellie wants to shake and change up the Hamilton arts scene. Not satisfied with the current status quo, Ellie lives and breathes not only art but the world that encompasses it. A desire to further understanding of the framework and story surrounding art is what drives Ellie’s holistic approach. A week in the life includes a little writing, curating and a lot of reading, ‘a good writer should read more than they write’ she states. She’s is currently writing her Master’s Thesis in Art History and her research is based around transgender and non-binary artists in New Zealand. Herself and Nicole Fairey, have curated Hamilton’s newest art gallery, based up in the Creators, Tacit.

“Art is the way of showing society what its thinking, hoping and dreaming or desiring to change. It’s a way of putting into the visual and tangible form things that are femoral, fleeting, in constant, tan gentile – putting all of those thoughts, hopes or fears into something solid.” She explains. With Tacit, she hopes that the art that they show, changes and influences the mindsets of the people that go through the door. “I would rather have one person through our exhibition whose mind set or thought of something changes in a week than a bunch of people through with no impact” Ellie states passionately.

Ellie wants to bring something new to Hamilton with Tacit, focusing on community engagement and the influence of Tikanga Māori values. Currently the Hamilton art scene is in its own little bubble, churning through and circulating similar art, one step behind the rest of the world. Ellie’s hope is to engage a new community into the art scene and show art that wouldn’t normally be seen here in Kirikiriroa.

Tikanga Māori values are at the core of what she does and who she is. “For a curator to be a good curator there has to be a sense of responsibility and agency about what they are putting out there”, to understand our history, and the frameworks of our society. To showcase art from Māori artists is incredibly important to Tacit. Each exhibition they aim to have at least one tangata whenua artist, they hope to continue to more and more Māori artists in the future

Tacit Gallery is open 12pm – 6pm every day at the Creators, 223 Victoria Street, Hamilton. Pop up and see Ellie and the art. New exhibition every month.

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