Keeping Time

23 May – 31 August 2008

Exploring the moment when past and present collide, this collection-based exhibition teams Denis O'Connor's monumental limestone sculpture The Gorse King with a selection of works in other media to consider how history, memory and tradition frame our experience of the world.

iPod Audio Tour available

Exploring the moment when past and present collide, the works in Keeping Time affirm the power of history and memory to elude the rules of strict chronology and demonstrate how the past seeps into our present lives to frame and colour our experience of the world.

Taking centre stage is Denis O'Connor's monumental limestone sculpture The Gorse King. This 33-piece, semi-autobiographical work brings together an intriguing group of objects including classical columns, beehives, railway tracks, a sundial and a fragmented kneeling figure. With them, O'Connor uncovers a rich seam of densely layered imagery, from childhood memories and the Central Otago landscape to ancient history and twentieth-century art.

Also included in the exhibition are five Marian Maguire lithographs playfully re-imagining Captain Cook's first encounters with Māori, Michael Shepherd's Dead Letter Mail, a series of painted envelopes '‘posted' from the past to enigmatic and elusive addresses, and William Dunning's waxwork-like Colonization Triptych, in which Giovanni Bellini's fifteenth-century Transfiguration of Christ is transformed into a tableau of significant moments in Māori/Pākehā history.

 You can see all the works that were in this exhibition here.

There is no past, present or future. Using tenses to divide time is like making chalk marks on water.

– Janet Frame, Faces in the Water, 1961