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.
Welcome to Christchurch Art Gallery’s first Bulletin of 2018, B.191.
In this issue, Roger Collins looks at the Pacific etchings of eighteenth-century French artist Charles Meryon, who sailed around New Zealand on the Rhin, visiting the French settlement of Akaroa in 1843. Meryon continued to create images of the South Pacific throughout his life as exemplars of a possible alternative to the ‘social hell of a great European city’.
As I write this, I’m still smiling with pleasure and pride at the huge success of the Gallery Foundation’s fundraising drive for our own work by Ron Mueck. Wonderful in its own right, it’s amazing to finish the 2017 calendar year knowing a sculpture by Mueck is now on its way to join the other four ‘great works’ for Christchurch.
Welcome to 2017! We’ve all bounced back to work at our favourite gallery – and we’ve loved seeing a range of familiar faces at our exhibitions and events as well as the many new visitors enjoying what we have on display.
It is exactly ten years since I wrote my first foreword for Te Puna o Waiwhetū Christchurch Art Gallery’s Bulletin. Then, the shadow of an elongated sculpture by Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti featured on the front cover of B.147, as we heralded the arrival of Giacometti: Sculptures, Prints and Drawings from the Maeght Foundation in November 2006. Toured by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, it was memorable and moving, and looking its very best here in our high-ceilinged and relatively new gallery spaces.
It’s hard to fathom just how much has happened since, both in and around our inner-city art gallery. In particular, I look back on our five years of closure with a mixture of wonder and disbelief.