Special Performances

Unless otherwise noted, the events listed below are free and will be held in the Gallery foyer.


Contemporary Theatre: The Blue Silk Dress

Wednesdays from 7–9 pm: March 19 & 26, April 9 & 16, May 7, 14 & 21; Sundays from 1.30 – 3 pm, 23 March – 11 May

Don’t miss this performance installation featuring Lucette Hindin as Jane Burden, the wife of William Morris – and the muse of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Burden, a ghost-like presence clad in Victorian underwear and petticoats, hand sews a blue silk dress in which to dress herself. The public can talk with Lucette about Jane and Morris, their circle of friends and the lives they led.

Wig and makeup generously provided by Minifies.


When the Corset Grew Up: A Journey from Utilitarian Undergarment to Object of Fantasy to Warrior Princess Armour

Wednesday 7 May, 6 pm

Corset designer Jo Drysdall of Bastet Creations and her suitably attired models explore the history, construction and modern day revival of corsetry in fashion and wearable arts.


William Morris: Art and Socialism
An oration with music by Silencio Ensemble, featuring Jennine Bailey

Friday 16 & Saturday 17 May, 7.30 pm

“I assert first that Socialism is an all embracing theory of life.” William Morris

William Morris’s well-known lecture Art and Socialism opens the door for a musical exploration of the evolution of socialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Performing in the Gallery foyer, Silencio Ensemble, featuring Jennine Bailey, presents a programme of folk and socialist music by composers Vaughan Williams, Bela Bartok, Dimitri Shostakovich, Hans Eisler, Bertolt Brecht, Woody Guthrie and more.

The programme will be accompanied by a pre-Raphaelite oracle narrating excerpts from Morris’s lecture. This performance of music and theatre examines the relevance of Morris’s ideas about art and politics in contemporary society, inviting reflection on today’s cultural and political climate in the arts in New Zealand.

“One for all and all for one!”

$20, Friends, students and unwaged $15, bookings recommended. Pre-sales available at the front desk or tel 941 7342.


The Art of Needlework: Demonstrations in the Foyer

Saturday 14 June & Saturday 21 June, 10 am – 3 pm

The public is invited to watch members of the Embroiderers’ Guild demonstrate different stitching techniques in the foyer.

Morris was a champion of the decorative arts, teaching himself how to embroider – even going so far as to pick apart original medieval examples of embroidery to learn various stitching techniques. He led the rediscovery of free-form embroidery, or art needlework, an important element of the arts and crafts movement.