Michael Parekowhai's extraordinary sculptural installation On first looking into Chapman's Homer, New Zealand's official presentation at this year's Venice Biennale, finished its triumphant outing at this amazing exhibition on 23 October.
In line with the artist's hopes, it's having another European outing before returning here. Three key components, including the intricately-carved Steinway piano, He Kôrero Pûrâkau mo Te Awanui o Te Motu: the Story of a New Zealand River, are going to the Musée du quai Branly in Paris. From early in November both bronze bulls on their full-scale bronze grand pianos will be in external display areas and seen by passers by on their way to the nearby Eiffel Tower. The playable red piano will complete the Paris version of Parekowhai's work in the foyer of the museum during March and April 2012.
Christchurch Art Gallery is pleased to have been involved in managing this part of the tour and we thank projects manager Neil Semple for overseeing this. He's in Venice now, assisting in the condition-reporting of all works, helping pack and unpack them and working with Michael's studio technicians to install them there. I hope he takes some good photographs.
It's great to note also that Te Papa have purchased the red Steinway – a fantastic addition to their collection and quite a coup.