Francis McWhannell Writer and curator

TagMillers O’Brien

Questions of place

Jhana Millers’ The Right Place?


The Right Place?—Jhana Millers’ 2021 Auckland Art Fair presentation—features work by six early-career artists: Will Bennett, Harry Culy, Tyne Gordon, Ayesha Green, and Elisabeth Pointon of Aotearoa, and Lucy O’Doherty of Australia. The title of the show was a relatively late development. Millers’ initial intention was to focus on the dark sensibility of the ‘Antipodean Gothic’, an extension of...

I subjects and we objects

Elisabeth Pointon’s WHERE TO FROM HERE


Elisabeth Pointon sends me a video via Instagram. She has just received the central work for her new show, WHERE TO FROM HERE—no question mark. On screen, a fan fills an enormous inflatable form the dusty black of tyres. The camera/phone, presumably wielded by the artist, moves along the face of the work to reveal the expression ‘BIG TIME.’—with full stop. The text puts me in mind of Microsoft...

Jiggly bits

On the sculptures of Caitlin Devoy


My initial impression is of a queer kind of museum. A long, low piece of furniture—resembling both a bench seat and a display case—supports a parade of condiments: squeezy bottles of mustard, cannisters of Tatua Dairy Whip cream, a huge jar of mayonnaise. They’re not the real things but immaculate casts made of pink silicone and black rubber urethane, visibly supple. Tall Perspex boxes are...

Tracing the contours

Scarlett Cibilich and Denys Watkins


When we describe a process, or make out an invoice, or photograph a tree, we create models; without them we would know nothing of reality and would be animals. Abstract pictures are fictive models, because they make visible a reality that we can neither see nor describe, but whose existence we can postulate.[1] —Gerhard Richter When presented with the pairing of Scarlett Cibilich and Denys...

Francis McWhannell Writer and curator


Francis McWhannell (b. 1985, Aotearoa New Zealand) is a writer and curator based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. He is curator of the Fletcher Trust Collection, a major private collection of Aotearoa art founded in 1962.