Rose James – The Distance Between – Thursday 16 May – Saturday 8 June


Please join us to celebrate the opening of The Distance Between, a new work by Rose James which deals with themes of distance, migration, the nature of place, and the uncertainty of leaving an island homeland, setting sail for a new island.


The waters wash over us, they pull us apart, we cling to the shore and strike off into the hinterlands. The steep, fierce pull of the waves on the shores pebbles, the gentle rhythm of a double shore lap of the tombolo. Sometimes we don’t know where we are going but we just know we can’t stay.


A 20m long band of suspended steel is activated by the sounds of two remote beaches, evoking a single horizon stretching from the North Sea to Te Waipounamu’s west coast. One beach is St Ninian’s in the Shetland Islands – a tombolo, or a thin passage of sand connecting the otherwise offshore St Ninian’s Isle to the larger mass of Mainland – and the other, Meybille Bay, some 18,000km south west of St Ninian’s Beach as the Kuaka flies.

This is a musing on what it is to travel vast distances from a homeland to a new island. The seed of this work comes from the journey James’ forebears took from the Shetlands to the West Coast of New Zealand. A journey between two islands a whole world away.


Opens: Thursday 16 May, 5.30pm, with refreshments by Liberty Breweries
Hours: 12 – 4pm, Tuesday – Saturday
Closes: Saturday 8 June


Artist bio:
Rose James is a Dunedin based sonic artist and DJ who creates large scale sound installations and experimental music performances, while every now and then going out and playing techno in clubs.

James’ practice often engages sound and spatiality to explore the intersection of architecture and acoustic space. James works at developing methods of capturing sonic structural and vibrational activity of the built environment. The outcome is often expressed in large scale installations where vibrational and resonance are foregrounded, while hidden sonic ecologies of our structural environments are uncovered. In recent years her practice has expanded to include field recordings of the natural environment – in part due to Covid restrictions – and a stronger emphasis on live performance and composition. Using DJing techniques, James weaves together soundfields utilising her own field recordings to create unique compositions that reveal aspects of our environments hitherto unheard.