Mary Donald John Robert Godley (detail) 1852. Oil on canvas. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, transferred from Banks Peninsula District Council 2006

Mary Donald John Robert Godley (detail) 1852. Oil on canvas. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, transferred from Banks Peninsula District Council 2006

Such Human Tide

The exhibition He Waka Eke Noa brings together colonial-era, mainly Māori, portraiture alongside objects linked to colonisation – it’s a predictably uncomfortable mix. While the degree of discomfort may depend on one’s background or degree of connection to an enduringly difficult past, objects related to emigration and colonisation can be a useful lenses. As relics from a specific period in global history, when the movement of (particularly) European people was happening at an unprecedented scale, they hold stories with a measure of complexity that obliges an open-minded reading. There is no denying that they speak of losses and gains, of injustices and rewards.

Artist interview
A Torch and a Light

A Torch and a Light

Shannon Te Ao is an artist of Ngāti Tūwharetoa descent. In 2016 Te Ao won the Walters Prize for his works, two shoots that stretch far out (2013–14) and okea ururoatia (never say die) (2016). Working in video and other performative practices Te Ao investigates the implications of various social and linguistic modes. Assistant curator Nathan Pohio, himself a nominee for the 2016 Walters Prize, discussed working practice with Te Ao in December 2016.

Grant Banbury

Grant Banbury

Grant Banbury is a longstanding Friend of the Gallery and is currently a member of the Friends committee. He trained in painting at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts and completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Art Curatorial Studies at Melbourne University. An artist for over fifteen years, he worked at the CSA Gallery in Christchurch, and later established his own dealer gallery, Campbell Grant Galleries. He's fascinated by the interface between art and the public. Grant is interviewed by senior curator Lara Strongman in Bulletin 180. You can view collection works by Grant Banbury here.

Shannon Te Ao: Tēnei Ao Kawa Nei

Tenderness and human longing are revealed in Shannon Te Ao’s award-winning video installations.

Cabbage Tree in Flower
Russell Clark Cabbage Tree in Flower
The cabbage tree is a distinctive New Zealand subject and this painting belongs to a series on these trees that Russell Clark began in 1953. He commented that he found cabbage tree shapes satisfying. “They are good paintable objects.” Clark has used a modified cubist style, with concern for the geometric qualities of the cabbage tree, particularly its angular leaves. He has kept to a very limited palette, using basically only three or four distinct colours. Clark was born in Christchurch. In 1929 he moved to Dunedin where he worked as a commercial artist for the publishing firm John McIndoe. He went to Wellington in 1938 and worked as an illustrator for the New Zealand Listener. Clark was Official War Artist during World War II and served in the Pacific. He returned to Wellington, but in 1947 moved to Christchurch where he joined the staff of the School of Art. As senior lecturer in painting Clark became an important influence on a generation of Canterbury artists.
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