Its curators, Bridget Reweti and Melanie Oliver, talk here about the challenges and opportunities they found in the show. We also hear from one of the artists featured in the exhibition, Terri Te Tau, who writes about the increasingly pervasive surveillance we experience as a society, and the societal bias that causes this to be heavily skewed towards some of our most vulnerable citizens.
We take a look back at the Gallery’s achievements over the last year with our Year in Review, and we highlight our most recent line of art products, which were launched at our recent Art Do. Our wines have been created with Greystone Wines in collaboration with artists Shane Cotton and Gretchen Albrecht. And we’re also excited to be working with renowned Italian designer Martino Gamper to launch a limited Christchurch Art Gallery run of his wonderful Arnold Circus Stools.
Our Pagework comes from Christchurch artist Marie Le Lievre, and our My Favourite is from Lucy Gray, a year 8 student from Christchurch’s Beckenham Te Kura o Pūroto school. Lucy is a co-convenor of the National School Strikes 4 Climate team and rather pointedly picks a comparatively new work in our collection – Cerith Wyn Evans’s Things are conspicuous in their absence… (2012). As part of a generation who are quite rightly worried for their and our future, she asks what we are on the path to losing.
Also in this issue of the magazine, poet, novelist and critic Ian Wedde pays tribute to artist Bill Culbert, who died in March of this year. Wedde looks at Culbert’s life and work, and reflects on an artist who shone light on stories and objects that touched him. And writer Simon Palenski looks at the continuing legacy of another New Zealand artworld luminary – Colin McCahon. This year is the centenary of the artist’s birth, and Palenski looks at the shadow he continues to cast.
I’d like to acknowledge the recent death of artist Quentin MacFarlane. Quentin was a true friend and supporter of the Gallery; this magazine’s cover features a work of Quentin’s from our collection, and curator Peter Vangioni pays tribute on page 56. I also note the recent passing of artist Llewelyn (Llew) Summers, a much-loved and respected member of the Christchurch arts community. Llew held his first exhibition in 1971, encouraged by the artist Tony Fomison who was working as exhibitions officer at the Canterbury Society of Arts. Since then, Llew’s work has been exhibited throughout Aotearoa New Zealand, inside galleries and outdoors, and he is especially known for his exuberant and voluptuous sculptures, which can be found in many public spaces throughout the country. Over almost- five decades of practice, he resolutely maintained his commitment to depicting the human body in all its ordinary, imperfect beauty, saying: “We are human beings. As long as we are human beings the figure will be there.”
I would also like to introduce you to the Gallery’s new audience and programmes manager, David Sheldon. David comes to us from the UK, with a background in public programmes, learning and public affairs. We’re also very pleased to welcome Gwynneth Porter to our public programmes team as visitor programmes coordinator; and Bianca van Leeuwen, who returns to the Gallery as our educator. I’m sure you’ll join me in making all three of them feel welcome in their new roles at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwetū