Sarjeant Happenings: Dr Kathryn Wightman’s Digital Parent work launches pattillo project
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Sarjeant Happenings: Dr Kathryn Wightman’s Digital Parent work launches pattillo project

Sarjeant Happenings: Dr Kathryn Wightman’s Digital Parent work launches pattillo project

By Helen Frances, Whanganui Chronicle.

Dr Kathryn Wightman’s exhibition Digital Parent opens on February 15.

Dr Kathryn Wightman’s eagerly awaited work, Digital Parent, launches the pattillo project, a solo artist showcase exhibition offered to the Whanganui Arts Review’s open award winner each year.

Wightman won the $5000 open award in 2019 with a 3D printed, experimental artwork – two digitally printed busts of her young son Austin. Her winning artwork secured her the $5000 cash prize and the offer of becoming the first ever pattillo project artist.

“Because I won the open award with that [3D printed] work it has pushed me to continue and think more about the possibilities,” Wightman said.

To create Austin’s bust she scanned his physical data using a hand-held 3D scanner which was then printed on the 3D printer.

“He knows it’s him and is intrigued. I’ve got the 3D printer running at home quite a lot and he is intrigued by the idea that it’s a robot that creates spare parts.

“The theme of my pattillo project exhibition is a further commentary on parenting in today’s society and ties into family and domestic life. The technologies I’m using have a futuristic feel as well.”

The work created for this exhibition is Wightman’s largest and most ambitious to date and utilises her remarkable technique that fuses glass, printmaking and digital technologies.

“I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to develop the work for the show. The prize money contributed towards materials – glass is expensive.”

Wightman’s pattillo project exhibition has also been supported with funding from Creative New Zealand.

The pattillo project has been established by the Sarjeant Gallery along with long-standing friend of the gallery and Arts Review principal sponsor Anne Pattillo, the ethos of the prize being to practically and financially support and uplift local artists. The pattillo project includes the offer of curatorial and marketing support from gallery staff, and is intended to enhance the national profile of the region’s artists.

Dr Kathryn Wightman in her studio.

Wightman said staff at the Sarjeant Gallery were supportive in discussing ideas for potential works, the layout of the show and also in applying for funding from Creative New Zealand.

Wightman is expecting her second child any day but it is her experience of parenting her son Austin which underpins this exhibition.

Wightman’s pattillo project exhibition includes a major new work comprising 54 stunning glass panels with 11 layers of colouring via the screen printing process. The colours are vibrant and urgent.

Alongside this ambitious work will be 3D printed works made using biodegradable PLA plastic.

Curator and public programmes manager Greg Donson says: “Wightman’s pattillo project has set the bar extremely high for the future prospects of this award. Not only does this new work demonstrate her ability to further develop her unique processes, it offers us a fascinating commentary on the practise of parenting in this digital age. We are extremely grateful to pattillo for establishing this award to foster the work of the city’s most dynamic artists and to Creative New Zealand for also supporting Kathryn Wightman’s pattillo project.”

* Dr Kathryn Wightman’s pattillo project exhibition Digital Parent will open at Sarjeant on the Quay on Saturday, February 15, and will be on display until May 3.

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