Exhibition

Kā Honoka

18 December 2015 – 28 August 2016

Cross-cultural encounter in the Pacific shows whaling as central to the local story.

This selection of works explores early cross-cultural encounter in the Pacific and nineteenth-century European presence and ambition, with whaling as a central part of the local story. Spanning a period of some 180 years, this exhibition links such diverse locations as Paris, Sydney, Niue, Tonga, the Bay of Islands and Banks Peninsula, and brings the past powerfully into the present.

Related

Notes
Holiday reading

Holiday reading

Herman Melville's Moby Dick, first published on 14 November 1851, is a whale of a book...

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Aberhart Starts Here

Aberhart Starts Here

Iconic and unseen early photographs of Christchurch by Laurence Aberhart

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He Waka Eke Noa

He Waka Eke Noa

Colonial-era portraits represent a legacy that illuminates the present.

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Olivia Spencer Bower: Views from the Mainland

Olivia Spencer Bower: Views from the Mainland

A selection of watercolours by one of Canterbury’s most treasured artists.

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He Rau Maharataka Whenua: A Memory of Land

He Rau Maharataka Whenua: A Memory of Land

Canterbury modernist landscape painting from the collections of Te Puna o Waiwhetū Christchurch Art Gallery, poignantly revised from within a Kāi Tahu perspective

Artist Profile
Doris Lusk: An Inventive Eye

Doris Lusk: An Inventive Eye

In the strange, stunned afterlife that ticked slowly by in the first few years following Christchurch’s February 2011 earthquake, a curious note of recognition sounded through the shock and loss. As a massive programme of demolitions relentlessly hollowed out the city, many buildings were incompletely removed and lingered on for months as melancholy remains – stumps abandoned in a forlorn urban forest. Hideous, sculptural, beautiful; they bore compelling resemblance to a body of paintings created in the city more than three decades earlier.

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Max Hailstone: Te Ara Takahaka Tapuae / Points of Reference

Max Hailstone: Te Ara Takahaka Tapuae / Points of Reference

An exhibition of Max Hailstone's most controversial and important series, using the signatures of the rangatira (Māori chiefs) who signed New Zealand's Treaty of Waitangi in 1840

Exhibition
Te Rua o te Moko

Te Rua o te Moko

Each of the eighteen rūnanga within Ngāi Tahu are represented here by a work of art depicting a significant land site.

Article
A Tale of Two Chiefs

A Tale of Two Chiefs

If you have recently visited He Taonga Rangatira: Noble Treasures at the Gallery you will have been struck by Fiona Pardington's two large photographic portraits of lifelike busts of Ngāi tahu tipuna (ancestors).

Collection
Le Ministère de la Marine
Charles Meryon Le Ministère de la Marine

Charles Meryon’s fantastical Parisian scene presents the French Admiralty building with a flying horde being delivered from the far ends of the globe. The crowd below is thrown into disarray as Roman charioteers, whales and whaleboats, a waka with sails, an anchor, serpents, cowboys and horses with fishtails prepare for landing.

Meryon’s impaired mental state in this period is the usual explanation given for this extraordinary etching. At the same time, it may be viewed as an image laden with personal symbolism as the confounding facts, fantasies and errors of the past make their perplexing return.

Meryon spent three years in Akaroa from 1843–46 as a young naval cadet, protecting the fledgling French settlement. Although this particular colonising plan did not succeed, the streetlamps of Paris were fed a regular supply of whale oil from Banks Peninsula in this period. For Meryon these were formative years and regularly revisited in his imagination. (Kā Honoka, 18 December 2015 – 28 August 2016)

Collection
Nouvelle Zélande, Greniers indigènes et Habitations à Akaroa  (Presqu’île de Banks, 1845
Charles Meryon Nouvelle Zélande, Greniers indigènes et Habitations à Akaroa (Presqu’île de Banks, 1845

Described as the father of modern etching, French naval officer Charles Meryon was one of the most important artists to work in Waitaha / Canterbury during the colonial era. He served on the Rhin, stationed at Akaroa between 1843 and 1846, to look out for the French settlement there. Meryon made numerous pencil studies at Akaroa which he later used as the basis for this series of etchings completed back in Paris during the 1860s. He planned to publish these and other images of the Pacific in an album, which unfortunately he never completed. The story of the French attempt to settle Te Waipounamu / the South Island is a fascinating chapter in New Zealand’s history. A French whaling captain, Jean Langlois, purchased 30,000 acres from Kāi Tahu on Horomaka / Banks Peninsula in 1838 and returned to France to get government support to establish a French colony at Akaroa. It was from here that he hoped the French would be able to expand throughout the rest of the South Island. A company was formed and sixty- three French and German settlers set sail on the Comte de Paris. They arrived at Akaroa in August 1840 only to find a Union Jack flying at Takapūneke / Green’s Point signalling that British sovereignty had already been claimed. Today, Akaroa continues to retain something of a French flavour.

(Pickaxes and shovels, 17 February – 5 August 2018)

Collection
Sydney from the North Shore
Conrad Martens Sydney from the North Shore

In the 1840s Sydney was a vital centre for Pacific shipping and trade, including New Zealand-based whaling ventures, many Sydney-owned and with Māori in their international crews. Ships delivering oil and whalebone to Sydney were restocked there with fresh crew and supplies.

Conrad Martens left England in 1832 to travel the world. The following year he became artist on board the HMS Beagle with Captain Robert FitzRoy and Charles Darwin, joining the ship from Montevideo, Uruguay. He left the Beagle at Valparaíso, Chile in November 1834, and travelled to Sydney via Tahiti and the Bay of Islands, arriving in 1835.

Sydney became Martens’ permanent home. He started there profitably as a landscape painter and responded to an economic depression in the early 1840s by producing an edition of fine lithographs of Sydney from the North Shore. These were printed in London and hand-coloured by the artist in Sydney. (Kā Honoka, 18 December 2015 – 28 August 2016)

Collection
Nouvelle Zélande, Presqu’île de Banks, 1845. Pointe dite des Charbonniers, à Akaroa, Pêche à la Seine
Charles Meryon Nouvelle Zélande, Presqu’île de Banks, 1845. Pointe dite des Charbonniers, à Akaroa, Pêche à la Seine

Described as the father of modern etching, French naval officer Charles Meryon was one of the most important artists to work in Waitaha / Canterbury during the colonial era. He served on the Rhin, stationed at Akaroa between 1843 and 1846, to look out for the French settlement there. Meryon made numerous pencil studies at Akaroa which he later used as the basis for this series of etchings completed back in Paris during the 1860s. He planned to publish these and other images of the Pacific in an album, which unfortunately he never completed. The story of the French attempt to settle Te Waipounamu / the South Island is a fascinating chapter in New Zealand’s history. A French whaling captain, Jean Langlois, purchased 30,000 acres from Kāi Tahu on Horomaka / Banks Peninsula in 1838 and returned to France to get government support to establish a French colony at Akaroa. It was from here that he hoped the French would be able to expand throughout the rest of the South Island. A company was formed and sixty- three French and German settlers set sail on the Comte de Paris. They arrived at Akaroa in August 1840 only to find a Union Jack flying at Takapūneke / Green’s Point signalling that British sovereignty had already been claimed. Today, Akaroa continues to retain something of a French flavour.

(Pickaxes and shovels, 17 February – 5 August 2018)

Collection
Nouvelle-Zélande, Presqu’île de Banks. Etat de la petite colonie Française d’Akaroa. Vers 1845 - Voyage du Rhin.
Charles Meryon Nouvelle-Zélande, Presqu’île de Banks. Etat de la petite colonie Française d’Akaroa. Vers 1845 - Voyage du Rhin.

Described as the father of modern etching, French naval officer Charles Meryon was one of the most important artists to work in Waitaha / Canterbury during the colonial era. He served on the Rhin, stationed at Akaroa between 1843 and 1846, to look out for the French settlement there. Meryon made numerous pencil studies at Akaroa which he later used as the basis for this series of etchings completed back in Paris during the 1860s. He planned to publish these and other images of the Pacific in an album, which unfortunately he never completed. The story of the French attempt to settle Te Waipounamu / the South Island is a fascinating chapter in New Zealand’s history. A French whaling captain, Jean Langlois, purchased 30,000 acres from Kāi Tahu on Horomaka / Banks Peninsula in 1838 and returned to France to get government support to establish a French colony at Akaroa. It was from here that he hoped the French would be able to expand throughout the rest of the South Island. A company was formed and sixty- three French and German settlers set sail on the Comte de Paris. They arrived at Akaroa in August 1840 only to find a Union Jack flying at Takapūneke / Green’s Point signalling that British sovereignty had already been claimed. Today, Akaroa continues to retain something of a French flavour.

(Pickaxes and shovels, 17 February – 5 August 2018)