Behind the scenes
What is important is that artists lend their voice to expressions of freedom in their own unique way. Sometimes an artist's complex reading of a situation, which then can be put in a simple pure image, can help a movement become more popular. Art is an expressive medium, and if it is used to portray the values of a retrogressive regime, the art will be stilted and lifeless. That is why fascistic regimes always kill the poets and writers, and ban contemporary artists from showing. Just by the making of it, real art becomes the voice of freedom.
That was New Zealand-born, UK-based artist Alexis Hunter speaking in an interview with Marie-Émilie Fourneaux for Luxe Immo magazine in 2010. Hunter, who died in Camden, London on February 24, was a fearless and well-respected artist who became an active member of the Radical Feminism movement in Britain. Her works were included in the first female-curated Hayward Annual Exhibition in 1978 and she was selected to represent Britain at the 1982 Sydney Biennale. A resurgence of interest in the work of that time has seen her included in several significant exhibitions in recent years, including 'WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution' at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, which later toured to New York and Vancouver. She maintained strong links with New Zealand and returned regularly to lecture and exhibit here. The Gallery holds four works by Hunter - We Do This (1988), a painting of confiscated leopard and tiger skins piled up for burning, and three lithographs from a series celebrating local kai moana that was printed by Christchurch printmaker Marian Maguire in 1990.