Director's Welcome

Director's Welcome

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū is a catalyst for ambitious creativity in Ōtautahi Christchurch, collaborating with artists, and extending the Gallery’s influence beyond its walls.

Our focus is on investing in the creation of new work, from its inception through to its potential acquisition, and representing the Gallery’s programme in a new integrated way that reflects Christchurch now. Our collection is this city’s treasury of art, a pātaka of our history, a rich armoury of images, memories and ideas. It’s part of us, and it gets more interesting over time, as works of art connect with us and each other, combining with our histories to enrich us all.

This website builds upon that important concept. Here you can read about current issues in art from our curators and a whole host of other experts, explore our collection and exhibitions, and find great video and audio interviews with artists. It is also the online home of Bulletin magazine, or B. – a place for ideas, experiments, opinions. This magazine-like approach puts our writing, and our thinking, at the forefront of the visitor experience. Built upon principles of generosity, it is a library of these ideas, there for anyone to see and use, dispute and contest.

I’m incredibly proud of what this Gallery has achieved over our ‘earthquake years’ – but even more excited about our future. Now we want to enable artists to be even more ambitious and adventurous; to help them dream, take risks, and make works that will genuinely engage this city’s people and its visitors with the rich contemporary practice of our times. Together we’ll foster art in our city, from emerging artists to established stars. My mission as director is to commission new works in a way that invests directly in the growth of the arts in Ōtautahi Christchurch and Aotearoa New Zealand. Our collection will continue to grow, aligning with our new ambitious programme and artist’s projects.

It’s time to think about art in our city in a whole new way. Let’s look to the future and focus on the creators and the makers. Together, we can make Ōtautahi Christchurch renowned for its creative spirit and unstoppable imagination.

Notes by Blair Jackson

Olivia Spencer Bower Untitled c. 1940. Watercolour. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, donated in memory of Rangipo and Judith Mete Kingi, 2016

Olivia Spencer Bower Untitled c. 1940. Watercolour. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, donated in memory of Rangipo and Judith Mete Kingi, 2016

A message from Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

22 March 2019, Blair Jackson

Dear friends,

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.

Director Jenny Harper on stage at the Museums Aotearoa conference

Director Jenny Harper on stage at the Museums Aotearoa conference

Collaboration in practice

19 April 2012, Blair Jackson

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.