Sefton Rani

Sefton Rani describes himself as a maker, who uses paint as his primary material. Based in Auckland, he is a visual DJ who mashes up industrial materials with Cook Island narratives, to create modern Pasifika art. His work blends “made / found abstraction” with various features of Mangaian heritage arts. Rani uses dried paint skins and industrial detritus as the main ingredients of his paintings. These paint skins allow the paint to record and display a unique visual density. He calls these finished works “industrial tapa”, which he says allows him to investigate his “Pacificness”.  Sefton’s time spent working in a paint factory is a key reason for using this unusual material and understanding its physicality. In this environment he became acutely aware of migrant workers performing manual jobs to support their families both in New Zealand and overseas. Factories had become the new plantations of the Pacific people relocated into this new urban setting. Rani’s materials are painstakingly arduous to produce, however he embraces the intensity required for their manufacture as it adds to their emotional weight and hyper materiality. He uses this toil to pay homage and show labour is a material with value.

2023 – [Crossroads]
2021 – Silence is the flower

Article by Claire Chamberlain: ‘Industrial Camouflage’ for Takahē magazine T108

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