21 May 2014

Gallery celebrates 30th anniversary

The Eastern Southland Gallery is hosting a special 30th anniversary function and artists’ floor talk in conjunction with the current exhibition Kermadec – Lines in the Ocean this Friday.

Celebrated New Zealand artist/curator Gregory O’Brien and nationally significant painter John Reynolds will join the Gallery for this special function and share their reflections and stories about the trip and exhibition. The anniversary function starts at 5.30pm.

The Eastern Southland Gallery officially opened on 19 May 1984 and over the past 30 years has hosted a large number of exhibitions, performances, projects and art programmes.  This special artist talk has been organised to coincide with that anniversary. It represents the Gallery’s continuing resolve to engage with the local community, by way of exhibitions and artists' talks by leading national and international artists.

Gallery Programmes Officer Marcella Geddes says “The Eastern Southland Gallery is excited to be hosting both artists as part of the exhibition and it should be an enjoyable evening of engaging observations and stories”.

About the exhibition

In May 2011 the Kermadec Initiative of the Pew Environment Group invited nine artists to join them on the HMNZS Otago on a voyage through the Kermadec region of New Zealand to Tonga.  The Kermadec Islands are the most remote part of New Zealand.  Despite their natural and historical significance, our awareness of the islands and surrounding waters is slight.  The journey of over 2,000kms, from Auckland to Raoul Island and on to Tonga, provided an opportunity to experience the most remote region of this country — a territory which until now has been absent from New Zealand art history.  The group comprised of nine artists from the South Pacific: Phil Dadson, Bruce Foster, Fiona Hall, Gregory O'Brien, Jason O'Hara, John Pule, John Reynolds, Elizabeth Thomson and Dame Robin White.

The exhibition Kermadec – Lines in the Ocean celebrates the artists’ journey to one of the last great ocean wilderness areas on the planet and shines a spotlight on the extraordinary and special features that define the Kermadec region and connect us to the Pacific.  The exhibition presents some of the key works produced by the artists since the voyage.  These works reflect a wide range of approaches and responses, as well as using a range of media including video, tapa-making, painting, photography, etching, film, sound-recording and poetry.

Since the voyage, works from the Kermadec project have been exhibited around New Zealand, Tonga and on Rapa Nui (Easter Island).  Drawing on a variety of approaches and media, the works respond to artists’ encounter with the Kermadec Islands, the Pacific Ocean, the wildlife, and human interactions within that environment.  The Kermadec exhibition continues to capture the public imagination, while at the same time raising vital issues about art, life and the world around us.

The exhibition is supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts and toured by Exhibition Services.  It runs until 15 June 2014.

Gallery Hours:  Monday to Friday 10am-4.30pm, Weekends and Public Holidays 1-4pm.

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