Our histories are always with us, but who is telling the story? The Gallery’s new collection hang, Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection offers up a range of different perspectives on how the past and future might intersect, and invites us to rethink how we commonly see our heritage. Here, the exhibition’s curators have each selected a work from the exhibition for a closer look.
The extraordinary exhibition Ralph Hotere: Ātete (to resist) provided Ōtautahi Christchurch audiences with a truly remarkable opportunity to experience artworks by Ralph Hotere at first hand. Ralph was one of Aotearoa’s most talented artists and, significantly for Christchurch, two of his most notable works, Godwit/Kuaka (1977) and Black Phoenix (1984–88), were shown for the first time in the city.
The Gallery has been actively acquiring good strong examples of artworks by Ivy Fife that show her at her best over the past two years with an aim to have her better represented in the permanent collection. Four paintings and two linocuts have been acquired, works that will easily hold their own alongside examples by her Canterbury contemporaries Bill Sutton, Rita Angus, Leo Bensemann, Doris Lusk, Louise Henderson and Rata Lovell Smith.
Ralph Hotere’s art charted his journeys throughout Aotearoa and the world, reflecting on his experiences, identity and politics. As the first major survey exhibition of Hotere’s artistic career for over twenty years, Ātete celebrates his achievements and brings his vision to a new generation. It’s been a huge project to bring together so we thought it was timely to ask the four curators to tell us a little about their relationship with Hotere – how do they connect as individuals with the artist’s works, and the themes and the locations that they explore?
Peter Vangioni: It’s late June, and you haven’t been outside for 16 weeks? Is that right? How are you and Barbara coping with the shelter in place order and are you able to work under these conditions?
Max Gimblett: Well, I’ve been out to put the garbage out twice a week—I cross the pavement and come back to the door. Some people are out there walking with their masks. Barbara is super cautious, you know because of our age, we can’t even come close to anybody. But we are doing very well in this lockdown, and have no plans to leave the loft.