Ken Hall

Interview
Raising the Clay

Raising the Clay

One of the themes explored in the Gallery’s new exhibition Leaving for Work is local industry, particularly in relation to pottery. The show includes an 1896 painting by Charles Kidson of well-known early Sydenham potter Luke Adams; three late nineteenth-century pots by Adams; and projections of a number of exceptional photographs by Steffano Webb. Keen to learn more, exhibition curator Ken Hall met up with local pottery historian Barry Hancox – perhaps best-known as former Smith’s Bookshop proprietor – and leading New Zealand photographer, Oxford-based Mark Adams. Mark’s links to this story include a distant family connection to Luke Adams; photographing many celebrated New Zealand potters of the 1970s and 1980s; and an abiding interest in land and memory.

Exhibition

Leaving for Work

Exploring the exceptional art of everyday working life.

Commentary
Painted Disciple

Painted Disciple

Curator Ken Hall takes time to closely investigate an intriguing recent acquisition.

Commentary
Safe Houses, Comfort Zones

Safe Houses, Comfort Zones

In an age of crisis and pandemic, our basic human need to remain safe has seen living spaces transformed into protection zones and shells to pull back into. So it is perhaps unsurprising to see pictures of domestic interiors charging up differently, re-emerging as sites of refuge, confinement and familiar disarray. Here curator Ken Hall looks at two works from the exhibition Persistent Encounters.

Exhibition

As Time Unfolds

From the ancient to the contemporary, an enduring motif is explored.

Commentary
Te Wheke: Pathways Across Oceania

Te Wheke: Pathways Across Oceania

Every few years, the curatorial team at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū embarks on a major rehang of the first-floor collection area. It’s no small undertaking finding fresh ways to combine long-held, well-known works and new acquisitions, looking for combinations that will offer compelling viewing, immersive storytelling and intellectual engagement to our wide and evolving visitor base. This time, director Blair Jackson added another dimension to our task, challenging us to reimagine the physical orientation of the spaces to encourage visitors to interact with the architecture in a completely different way.

Notes
Ko Enei Tauira Ataahua / These Beautiful Patterns

Ko Enei Tauira Ataahua / These Beautiful Patterns

From a present-day perspective, the appropriation of customary Māori art forms and practice by Pākehā artists can be disconcerting, a more-than-awkward crossing of cultural lines. 

Notes
I Tawhiti Ra Ano / From Distant Shores

I Tawhiti Ra Ano / From Distant Shores

The islands of Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa / the Pacific were settled by remarkable ocean voyagers over many thousands of years. Aotearoa New Zealand was peopled through major waves of migration from the 1200s and later the mid-1800s. The seas of Oceania are like vast pathways; ever-present reminders of distant shores.

Notes
Kanohi Ki Te Kanohi / Face To Face

Kanohi Ki Te Kanohi / Face To Face

In te ao Māori, portraiture can encompass rangatiratanga (stewardship), whanaungatanga (kinship or connectedness), manaakitanga (kindness towards others) and whakapapa (ancestral genealogy). A sense of wairua (the spirit of a person) also resonates within these treasured portraits.

Exhibition

Gathering Clouds

A collection of vast and breathtaking skies

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