Behind the scenes, around the galleries

Author: Courtney Johnston, Director
I noticed this morning that a lot of galleries in the region are installing right now – like us! – and are sharing images through blogs, Facebook and Twitter. Here’s a little round-up, with thanks to the good people at the Sarjeant, the Adam, and City Gallery Wellington for sending me the pics.

City Gallery Wellington

Three new exhibitions by New Zealand artists are taking shape upstairs at City Gallery. The North Gallery, recently established as a regularly changing project space, hosts Glen Hayward’s I don’t want you to worry about me, I have met some Beautiful People, a sculpted recreation of the cubicle scene from The Matrix.

Next door in the Hirschfeld Gallery, Richard Stratton’s ceramics congregate for a look back at the last couple of decades of his work in An Artist’s Inventory.

And the Deane Gallery showcases Angela Tiatia’s moving image piece Edging and Seaming, a personal consideration of changing economies.

Three brand new shows! All opening Saturday 27 April and completely free entry. Here are some pics of how installation week is progressing:

Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui

Heading into autumn, a chill will be falling over the Sarjeant Gallery as visitors to Sue Cooke’s installation The Paradise Project immerse themselves in an Antarctic environment. The installation is a nine by five by three metre high recreation of a plywood Antarctic hut. Upon entering visitors will be surrounded by a 360 degree vista of a painted Antarctic landscape, complete with snowy floor underfoot and sky above.

The Paradise Project is a dramatic and unexpected contrast to the beautiful neo-classical Sarjeant Gallery space and will provide visitors with a completely new experience of looking at a painting, from inside the work. Like the City Gallery Wellington shows, The Paradise Project opens on 27 April, and it runs through to 11 August.

Here’s The Paradise Project receiving some final touches:

Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University

Like us, the Adam is still a bit more than a week away from their opening, and at the pretty-empty-galleries stage. Beautiful Creatures will bring together three artists — Jack Smith, Bill Henson, and Jacqueline Fraser — who each produce striking tableaux that treat the youthful body as a form of aesthetic material. Working respectively in film, photography, and installation, and drawing on the effects of staging, lighting, and framing, Smith, Henson and Fraser draw out the power of the gaze and the allure of visual pleasure to immerse and engage viewers. Beautiful Creatures opens on the evening of Friday 3 May.

Note the s-t-r-e-t-c-h in that top photo.

The Dowse, Lower Hutt

And here at The Dowse, we’re busily preparing for His Own Steam: A Barry Brickell Survey. The works have all been lovingly collected (see Jay’s post about the Barry sandwich) and this week has been all about making the plinths for objects big and small to be displayed on. His Own Steam opens on Saturday 4 May, and there is a special coffee, cake and tour opportunity that day with the Friends of The Dowse.

Some plinthy goodness from this morning:

Finally, on the topic of installing: the animated gif meme has come to the world of art installers with Art Handlin’. The turtle one is my current favourite.


Courtney Johnston, Director

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