Ilam Campus Gallery

Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa

Directory of Women Designers + Designers Speak (Up)


To record the current landscape of women in design and give visibility to the unsung diversity of Aotearoa design, Designers Speak (Up) made an open call in early 2019 to all designers, artists and educators from the Directory of Women Designers to design a poster using the medium to explore and address any issue social, cultural, or political issue of their choice.

Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa presents the posters in various forms — from printed to projected to published online — over the course of a project and exhibition hīkoi which launched in Kirikiriroa at RAMP Gallery. All posters are being collected into the Designers Speak (Up) poster archive. Documentation of the project includes written contributions to offer contextual discussion during the project hīkoi around Aotearoa New Zealand.

This iteration of the exhibition includes silk-screened posters from ĀKAU Wāhine, Alessandra Banal, Anna Wilkinson, Elisapeta Hinemoa Heta, Ella Sutherland, Fiona Jack, Katie Kerr, Kyra Ta-Waka Clarke, Nell May, Pipi Press, Sarah Maxey and Sonya Lacey, as well as over 100 contributions to the #ff333 Poster Call from members of the Directory.  Towards a Wider Understanding of Design by Michelle Wang is the fifth essay to accompany Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa.

The project is an opportunity to give visibility and voice to women-identifying and non-binary designers to speak up using the poster medium. It is a space for myriad voices to be heard, supported and championed in the wholehearted, collective way that is the Designers Speak (Up) kaupapa.

Image credit:  Detail from #ff3333 Poster Call poster, Catherine Griffiths


Ilam School of Fine Arts