This present future

curatorial text / Wendy Richdale, RAMP Gallery

RAMP Gallery Works List / design: Anna Wilkinson, Area Design


These days it can seem to me that I’m always looking forward or backward. Forward to plans and utopias on the horizon — backward to what has gone before as a measuring stick. To sit in the now, in the present, is something that doesn’t always come so easy.

To be present is to be mindful — to pay attention (on purpose) to the present moment. A simple sounding idea, mindfulness however isn’t always easy to achieve, getting tangled in everyday distractions. That’s where the purposeful part comes in. That intentional bringing of my attention to the now is a way to focus on what is important. And once I see, it’s hard to unsee. Being mindful of the present, can become a powerful tool for action. Do I want to be where I currently am? Do I want to do things the way they have always been done?

Present Tense: Wāhine Toi Aotearoa is more than an exhibition of posters. What, on the surface seems a simple idea, is in fact layered with meaning and potential. It is the opening of a space-in-time to look at women in design in Aotearoa (in all their diversity). It is a purposeful and mindful looking — and it is a call. A call to action for women in design to step forward to be seen (and heard), and a call to the rest of us, to see. Once we see, we cannot unsee.

This iteration of Present Tense: Wāhine Toi Aotearoa is the beginning of a hikoi that will gather more voices as it travels. It is a privilege to be part of the first steps and to send it on its journey. So, let’s look purposefully at what we see around us and let’s be mindful of this present moment in time. For once we truly see, we can act. This present can shape our future.


Wendy Richdale, Director, RAMP Gallery
April 30, 2019

— — — — — — —

essay / Snakes, Ladders and Tables / Chloe Geoghegan, July 2019

curatorial text / No longer the exception / Lucy Wardle, August 2019

essay / Broken record / Lana Lopesi, April 2019

curatorial text / This present future / Wendy Richdale, April 2019

return to Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa