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Arctic conditions may be scheduled for the opening of the City Gallery Wellington Summer Season but hey, it’s Wellington and the range and diversity of what’s on offer guarantees the City Gallery will be the place to be over the summer months.
From 20 October until February 2013 visitors will be enchanted by the unique visions of Ben Cauchi with his significant solo exhibition The Sophist’s Mirror: Ben Cauchi (20 October 2012 – 17 February 2013). The Berlin-based Kiwi photographer’s striking images are created using wet-collodion photographic process that dates back to the mid-nineteenth century and the birth of the medium, producing ambrotypes and tintypes, unique images on glass and metal. The exhibition covers the past decade of his practice, curated by City Gallery New Zealand Art Curator Aaron Lister.
Fans of the moving image will be treated to Artists’ Film International (20 October 2012 – 10 February 2013), a collaborative project organised by a group of international institutions. The illustrious group of organisations have selected a single work by an artist based in their country and sent it to all the other venues to be screened. New Zealand artist Sriwana Spong is the New Zealand artist selected to participate, so her film is currently being shared and shown alongside her contemporaries from around the world including New Media Center, Haifa; San Art, Ho Chi Minh City; Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong; Istanbul Modern, Istanbul; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Texas and Cinémathèque de Tanger, Tangier.
Taking over the complete ground floor of City Gallery Wellington Kermadec (4 October – 10 February 2013) showcases the work of sculptor and sound artist Phil Dadson, photographers Bruce Foster and Jason O’Hara, poet–painter and art curator Gregory O’Brien, painter–poet John Pule, painter–printmaker Robin White, painter John Reynolds, sculptor Elizabeth Thomson and celebrated Australian multi-media artist Fiona Hall.
These nine artists sailed on the HMNZS Otago through the Kermadec waters north of mainland New Zealand in May 2011 as part of the Kermadec initiative of the Pew Environment Group.Since the voyage, the consequent art works from the Kermadec project have been exhibited around New Zealand, and in Australia, Tonga and on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Drawing on a variety of approaches and media, the works speak eloquently of an encounter with the Kermadec Islands, the Pacific Ocean, the wildlife and of human interactions within that environment.
The City Galley NORTH PROGRAMME houses Murray Hewitt: the secrets of their own hearts from 20 October – 9 December. The Wellington-based artists’ video works raise questions about peace and resistance in the face of the injustices perpetrated during colonization and Maori land ownership. Shot in Te Uruwera National Park Hewitt’s blend of activism and absurdism creates a unique visual poetry.
Dedicated to profiling contemporary Māori and Pacific Island art, the Deane Gallery presents an intriguing mix of fashion, photography and moving image with Lindah Lepou Aitu: Homage to Spirit (20 October – 9 December). The acclaimed Pacific couture designer draws from European couture, her Samoan gafa (genealogy) and the natural materials of the Pacific. This most recent collection is inspired by the story of three Samoan aitu, ghostly ancestral spirits. Members of Lepou’s family modelling the garments have been shot by fashion photographer George Buckleton on location in Samoa, at the actual sites where each aitu is said to dwell.
Alongside this the Hirschfeld Gallery has been transformed by a tumult of sound and paint with Campbell Kneale: 201012 (20 October – 9 December 2012). For the first time Featherston-based artist and musician brings together his two disparate practices by creating a new dual-channel sound work, and unveiling the result of several days spent working on a large-scale temporary wall painting. Kneale’s sound is characterised as a cacophony of hums and thuds, echoes and reverberations; layers of textures that continuously rise and fall. The artist’s expansive wall painting is similarly made up of many interlacing layers, only this time the chosen medium is paint.
Saturday 20 October
1pm Artist’s Talk—Murray Hewitt
Murray Hewitt’s exhibition of video work and related objects reconsiders the cultural mythologies and political histories surrounding Te Urewera National Park. The artist and curator will discuss this installation in the gallery space.
2pm Artist’s Talk—Ben Cauchi
Using 19th century wet plate photographic techniques, artist Ben Cauchi is one of New Zealand’s leading contemporary photographers. Join curator Aaron Lister and Ben Cauchi as they discuss the exhibition The Sophist’s Mirror: Ben Cauchi.
3pm Fashion Event and Artist’s Talk—Lindah Lepou
Lindah Lepou is a Pacific couture designer. Her work is influenced by European couture and Polynesian culture and style. Watch the fashion event and listen to Lepou and curator Reuben Friend discuss the designs on display in Aitu: Homage to Spirit in the Deane Gallery.
RELATED PUBLIC EVENTS
Artist Talk—Campbell Kneale, Saturday 27 October, 2pm. Free entry. This exhibition sees Featherston-based artist Campbell Kneale’s painting and sound work brought together for the first time. Hear the artist and curator discuss his painting and sound work upstairs in the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery.
Geoffrey Batchen, Paul McNamara and Mark Strange respond to Ben Cauchi, Wednesday 24 October, 6pm. Free entry. Join Mark Strange, Senior Conservator of Photographs at the Alexander Turnbull Library, Paul McNamara, Gallerist specialising in the medium of photography and Geoffrey Batchen, Professor of Art History at Victoria University of Wellington, as they discuss the photography in The Sophist’s Mirror: Ben Cauchi.
Reflections on Rapa Nui, Thursday 1 November, 6pm. Free entry. City Gallery curator Reuben Friend joined a group of artists to travel to Rapa Nui, Easter Island as part of the Global Ocean Legacy programme of the Pew Environment Group, an organisation committed to raising awareness about the greatest, least known, natural ocean wilderness areas on the planet. Listen to Friend, artists and Pew describe their experiences on Rapa Nui.