I don’t have the words to express how I’m feeling at the moment, in the wake of what happened in our city last Friday. I know it’s the same for the Gallery team and many of our visitors over the past week. It’s hard to know what to do or what to say. Right now I am numb with shock and deep sadness. I simply don’t have the words.
It’s a busy time at the Gallery, as we prepare for the opening of William Wegman: Being Human. Wegman is a very significant American artist and this is his first and only show in New Zealand, so we are thrilled to have such a thorough representation of his work on show here at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū. Wegman, who is famous for working with his Weimaraner dogs, was part of the late 1960s and early 1970s American conceptualist movement, and has produced a huge body of work that examines the human condition through photography and video. Wegman was also one of the earliest artists to see popular culture as a platform for expanding artistic practice and gaining critical attention (he co-produced the hugely influential 1988 re-release music video for New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’ – at the time a record-breaking entry in New Zealand’s charts).
Welcome to the summer 2018/19 edition of Bulletin. There’s no doubt that artists are essential to a gallery, but artists are also an essential component of what makes a city an exciting and great place to live. Here in Christchurch we have a considerable history of great art making, and one of the joys of our jobs here at Te Puna o Waiwhetū is working with artists.
Welcome to the spring 2018 issue of Bulletin. As I write this, it is one of those truly beautiful, crisp Christchurch days outside. Our classroom, our gallery spaces and the NZI Foyer are full with holidaying children creating their own works of art, using our Art Explorer activity trail to discover our galleries or constructing precariously leaning structures in the Imagination Playground. It’s lovely to see the place buzzing with so much creativity and exploration.
As the news of the proposed collaborative approach to the rebuild of Christchurch city was announced Jenny and I were in Wellington at the Museums Aotearoa annual conference. The theme of this year's conference is Collaborations in Practice.
This is something of a good news / bad news message. Unfortunately it has now become abundantly clear that our much-hoped for reopening in July is not going to happen. Rest assured, the Gallery building is still sound, and will reopen.