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Ed Bats collabs with Kowtow

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

Page Galleries are bringing new Ed Bats paintings to clothing store Kowtow as part of an upcoming arts festival called Tent. The series of paintings, Shapes to sleep to, are site-specific and will correspond to the architecture of the Wellington and Auckland stores.

Ed Bats' studio with two of the works (left and centre) that will show in Page Galleries

Tent is a new festival encouraging galleries to exhibit New Zealand artists outside of their normal gallery space. The festival’s raison d’etre is to pull audiences out of the white cube, to see artworks in an atypical space.

Not known for his loquaciousness, Ed Bats (itself a pseudonym) is the techno-loving former Berliner whose pastelly abstract expressionist pieces have led to snowballing popularity. He’s drawn comparisons with Richard Diebenkorn, who’s an influence according to the ex-graffiti artist. Bats also combines the canvas with man-made objects – venetian blinds, framework, sheets of plastic – in a manner reminiscent of Don Driver.

Kowtow's Wellington store

The site-specific works for Kowtow, mostly acrylic on canvas, emerged from a dialogue, between Bats and Marilou Dadat, Kowtow's Head Designer. The prices start at $5,500, and the works can be viewed inside the Kowtow stores from 4 November and online.

The pop-up exhibitions for Tent will run until 7 November and occupy sites all over the country, including Auckland, Christchurch, Raglan, Hawke's Bay, and Tauranga. Auckland will be exhibiting "contactless viewings" in the city itself, but a few galleries are venturing out. Starkwhite will be at Parlour Projects in Hastings, while Two Rooms goes to Flying Nun Records in Newtown, Wellington.

Following the Kowtow project for Tent, a further exhibition of Bats entitled Don’t mind if I don’t will show at Page Galleries, in their normal viewing space, from 11 November, with an exhibition of new works in Sarah Munro’s ongoing Trade Items series showing upstairs. New works from Karl Maughan with Paul Maseyk will follow from 9 December.

Pictures courtesy of Page Galleries and Simon Wilson respectively.


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