Ken Hall

Commentary
Safe Houses, Comfort Zones

Safe Houses, Comfort Zones

In an age of crisis and pandemic, our basic human need to remain safe has seen living spaces transformed into protection zones and shells to pull back into. So it is perhaps unsurprising to see pictures of domestic interiors charging up differently, re-emerging as sites of refuge, confinement and familiar disarray. Here curator Ken Hall looks at two works from the exhibition Persistent Encounters.

Commentary
Te Wheke: Pathways Across Oceania

Te Wheke: Pathways Across Oceania

Every few years, the curatorial team at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū embarks on a major rehang of the first-floor collection area. It’s no small undertaking finding fresh ways to combine long-held, well-known works and new acquisitions, looking for combinations that will offer compelling viewing, immersive storytelling and intellectual engagement to our wide and evolving visitor base. This time, director Blair Jackson added another dimension to our task, challenging us to reimagine the physical orientation of the spaces to encourage visitors to interact with the architecture in a completely different way.

Notes
Ko Enei Tauira Ataahua / These Beautiful Patterns

Ko Enei Tauira Ataahua / These Beautiful Patterns

From a present-day perspective, the appropriation of customary Māori art forms and practice by Pākehā artists can be disconcerting, a more-than-awkward crossing of cultural lines. 

Notes
I Tawhiti Ra Ano / From Distant Shores

I Tawhiti Ra Ano / From Distant Shores

The islands of Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa / the Pacific were settled by remarkable ocean voyagers over many thousands of years. Aotearoa New Zealand was peopled through major waves of migration from the 1200s and later the mid-1800s. The seas of Oceania are like vast pathways; ever-present reminders of distant shores.

Notes
Kanohi Ki Te Kanohi / Face To Face

Kanohi Ki Te Kanohi / Face To Face

In te ao Māori, portraiture can encompass rangatiratanga (stewardship), whanaungatanga (kinship or connectedness), manaakitanga (kindness towards others) and whakapapa (ancestral genealogy). A sense of wairua (the spirit of a person) also resonates within these treasured portraits.

Exhibition

Gathering Clouds

A collection of vast and breathtaking skies

Exhibition

Te Wheke: Pathways Across Oceania

Experience the Gallery’s collection from the perspective of our place in Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, the Pacific Ocean.

Exhibition

Turn, Turn, Turn: A Year in Art

Crisp autumns, icy winters, blossom-filled springs and scorching summers.

Commentary
Portraits for the Million

Portraits for the Million

Scottish-born brothers John Tait (1836–1907) and Alexander Tait (1839–1913) established themselves as photographers in gold rush Hokitika in about 1866, the period in which Catton’s The Luminaries is set. While building up a broader picture of photographers for the Hidden Light: Early Canterbury and West Coast Photography book and exhibition, I recalled an interview with the novelist at around the time of her 2013 Man Booker Prize success, and her mention of having restricted her reading for a year before starting the novel to nothing published after 1866, giving the National Library’s Papers Past credit as a vital source. The trails and condensed stories of many of the photographers in Hidden Light were largely brought together via this same indispensable means.

Exhibition

Luigi Rossini: Le Antichità Romane

A young Italian architect and archaeologist is captivated by the Rome of antiquity.

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