Buy, Borrow, Break; The Dowse Collection

11am Saturday 5 June

Free | Book via Eventbrite

An actor, a comedian, and a doctor walk into The Dowse Collection… Does this sound like the setup to a terrible joke? 

Join Chris Parker, Jo Randerson, Finn McCahon-Jones and Dr Chelsea Nichols in a game of difficult ultimatums as they choose three works from The Dowse Collection to buy, borrow, and break.

The Dowse Collection is home to over 3,500 artworks. Established in the 1970s with a significant focus on studio craft, it is one of the largest collections of this type in Aotearoa. Join this highly entertaining line up as they fuse personal storytelling with a deep dive into some of the remarkable pieces in our fascinating, diverse and offbeat public art collection.

Chris Parker is an award-winning actor and comedian working across television, theatre and comedy, with credits including TV3’s Golden Boy, Jono and Ben and Funny Girls, and Silo Theatre’s Hudson and Halls Live! Chris was named in the The Herald Top Five Entertainment Heroes of 2020 after he spent the six week national lockdown sharing his felting hobby on Instagram resulting in twenty thousand new followers, a hat made of felt creations, and two acquisitions to purchase the hat from national museums.

Finn McCahon-Jones is a collector, curator, artist and grandson of painter Colin McCahon. He has held a number of roles in various museum and gallery institutions, including as inaugural director/curator of Te Toi Uku: Crown Lynn Museum. Finn works as an artist under the pseudonym Finn Ferrier, creating objects and vessels from rope. Recent exhibitions include Finn Ferrier: Soft Garniture at Te Uru Gallery and 19 Gallery: Relocating Frances Hodgkins, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Finn was also host of the bFM Kids Show on Sunday mornings for a whopping 21 years.

Jo Randerson is an award-winning fiction writer, playwright, theatre director and performer. She is the founder and artistic director of independent theatre company, Barbarian Productions. ‘The Janet Frame of contemporary Wellington theatre,’ her distinctive artistic voice has received many accolades including a Bruce Mason Playwriting Award, Robert Burns Fellowship and 2020 nomination for the Dominion Post Wellingtonian of the Year. In 2021 Jo received the ONZM for services to the performing arts. During lockdown Jo created ‘Things at Home’, an online video series exploring the taxonomy of her large private collection of second-hand knick-knacks. Episodes include ‘Funny Little Guys’, ‘Driftwood Googlies’ and ‘Things I don’t Love’.

Dr Chelsea Nichols is Senior Curator here at The Dowse, as well as writer and art historian behind The Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things, an online project exploring the strange place between art and curiosities. With a PhD from the University of Oxford on human curiosities in contemporary art, her mission in life is to get more people into art, through a very weird-shaped door probably hidden somewhere in a haunted house.

This programme is part of A Speaker Series, 50 Years of Remarkable Ideas, presented by The Dowse Foundation – where we celebrate and reflect on a jam-packed half century of discussion, exploration and provocation at The Dowse Art Museum.