A billboard-sized photo of an Icelandic mountain – Snæfellsjökull – provides a selfie opportunity like no other. The nearly 4 x 2.5metre billboard depicts the awe-inspiring mountain as a photo-opportunity backdrop, while kunanyi (Mt Wellington) fills in the view behind over the wall in the background.

Well, Hello! is an installation by Melbourne-based Sanja Pahoki – the latest artist invited to respond to the Salamanca Arts Centre’s Kelly’s Garden.

“Humans seem to need to be recognised. People upload selfies with the desire to be seen and liked. But if everyone is busy uploading images of themselves who is doing the witnessing?” asks Ms Pahoki.

This artwork is in two parts. Part one consists of a neon sign, with the words, ‘Well, Hello!’ mounted on the heritage sandstone wall opposite and visible from Kelly’s Lane. It is a friendly greeting. The billboard has an added component – a neon sign: “Wow” placed over the photo of the awe-inspiring mountain.

Curator, Dr Colin Langridge adds “Text placed over something lends it a human character, an expressive voice, and in this case the artist has chosen text that undermines any earnest romantic identity and suggests instead the voice of a friendly and upbeat contemporary tourist. “

“SAC welcomes Sanja Pahoki to Hobart to respond with a site-specific work, to Kelly’s Garden. In this show, “Well, Hello!”, Sanja comments on the allure of the exotic vs the invisible of the everyday. Whilst a billboard-sized photo of an Icelandic mountain, Snæfellsjökull, may evoke allure and wonder, Hobart’s own kunanyi (Mt Wellington) stands in contrast in scale and reality, above the rooftops, but can be lost amongst the constant, everyday sights. Sanja reminds us of the value of looking closely at the commonplace, of being a ‘tourist in our own town’.”

Joe Bugden

Well, Hello! will be opened by Dr Colin Langridge, curator of Kelly’s Garden Curatorial Projects on Friday 9th of June at 5:50pm in the Arts Centre’s Kelly’s Garden and will remain in place until Friday 14 July.

Sanja Pahoki is PhD candidate at Monash University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Philosophy) from the University of Melbourne and completed a BFA (Honours) in 2000 and an MFA in 2006 at the Victorian College of the Arts, the University of Melbourne. Her work has been widely exhibited nationally including at Heide Museum of Art, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney and Queensland University of Technology and internationally in Tokyo, Shanghai, Vienna, Berlin, Paris and Rotterdam. In 2008 and 2012, she attended a studio residency in Reykjavik, Iceland and undertook an Australia Council residency in Helsinki in 2010.

An installation by Sanja Pahoki
Kelly’s Garden
Salamanca Arts Centre
77 Salamanca Place, Hobart

Exhibition Dates:
13 June – 14 July 2017
10am – 5pm Monday-Friday
(closed Sat, Sun and public holidays)
Free entry
Read more at: http://www.salarts.org.au/event/well-hello/

Kelly’s Garden Curated Projects is an initiative of the Salamanca Arts Centre and made possible through multiyear funding from the Australia Council, the Federal Government’s arts advisory body, and the generosity of Aspect Design.
Natasha Newman