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Vivian Lynn, 1931–2018

Author: Melanie Oliver, Senior Curator

The Dowse whānau is saddened to hear of Vivian Lynn’s passing today.

Vivian Lynn, 1971, Te Moana

Vivian Lynn, 1971, Te Moana

'Lamella Lamina', mixed media on Canson tracing paper, 1983. Installation view 2018. Courtesy of the artist. Photographer John Lake.

'Lamella Lamina', mixed media on Canson tracing paper, 1983. Installation view 2018. Courtesy of the artist. Photographer John Lake.

Vivian Lynn was a pioneering artist with a longstanding career and personally influenced many of us working in the industry with her work and keen insight. One of our most recent exhibitions Embodied Knowledge featured her installation Lamella Lamina (1983) that was initially shown at The Dowse in 1983. In showing this work I was humbled by the opportunity to work with Vivian and to revisit this early work.

Vivian's practice was wide-ranging and spanned many significant developments in art in Aotearoa New Zealand. She forged a unique pathway, posing questions around the nature/culture discourse, ecology, identity, a repressed feminine and dominant masculine culture. Her works responded and related to architecture and the land, drawing on intense personal experiences and our interdependency with the environment. In developing a strong and varied oeuvre and through her teaching career, Vivian inspired and created space for other artists to enter into the industry.

Vivian and her work will continue to be admired, appreciated and cherished by many of us here at The Dowse. Our thoughts go out to all those grieving this loss.

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