Press Release

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki presents Iris, Iris, Iris, a solo exhibition by Dane Mitchell, from Saturday, September 1. Mitchell has a long-standing interest in invisible forces. Over his career this has seen him develop processes, strategies and a scientific-like enquiry into subjects ranging from the hidden workings of the gallery system to spirit forces and more recently, weather, scent and speech.



International exhibitions

International Archives 2nd half of 2018

Dane Mitchell, Iris, Iris, Iris

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki (New Zealand)

01.09.2018 - 24.02.2019




Dane Mitchell, Iris, Iris, Iris at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki (New Zealand)

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2018. All Rights Reserved

For Iris, Iris, Iris, co-commissioned by Auckland Art Gallery and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Mitchell conducted research into the encompassing world of traditional Japanese incense and Japan’s highly advanced perfume industry. Starting with the iris, a flower whose history dates back to ancient Greece, Mitchell conducts an experiment that stages a live perfume extraction process. He draws the mechanics of perfume production, which literally entrap the spirited emanations rising from objects, into a poetic play on the various meanings of the word iris—the coloured part of an eye, the adjustable aperture in a camera lens, and Iris, personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods in Greek mythology.

Within the gallery, Mitchell introduces a range of incense extraction and infusion treatments. Two fusego are used by Mitchell for their traditional purpose of infusing cloth with incense and perfume, and the cloth used has the image of the artist’s iris printed on it. An aroma molecule extraction process enabled by 21st century technology collects scents from the iris flower, an Olympus camera lens and a janome ("snake eye"), a Japanese paper umbrella with a concentric pattern produced to match the artist's iris. An iris perfume, produced in collaboration with Takasago International Corporation, is the composite bouquet of these three types of irises, and is continually agitated by an unseen force.

Finally, the scent of an iris in its traditional form manifests in the Gallery through the placement of a line of incense sticks made in collaboration with the Japanese company Shoyeido Incense Co., which has been manufacturing incense since the 18th century. This seductive line of incense—which if burnt end to end would take 10 years to turn into smoke—extends like a scent trail through the nearby display of artwork from the Gallery's collection, interjecting into that art viewing experience.

Exhibition commissioners for this project  : Mami Kataoka, Chief Curator, Mori Art Museum, and Zara Stanhope, former Head of Curatorial, Auckland Art Gallery.

Mitchell will be representing New Zealand at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019.



Dane Mitchell,  Iris, Iris, Iris,  2017 (installation view), Auckland Art Gallery Toi o  Tāmaki, 2018.


Dane Mitchell,  Iris, Iris, Iris,  2017 (installation view), Auckland Art Gallery Toi o  Tāmaki, 2018.

Exhibition September 1, 2018–February 24, 2019.

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki , Corner Kitchener and Wellesley Streets  - Auckland (New Zealand). Open daily 10am — 5pm (except Christmas day).