Things That Happened at Dawn
This new piece of writing was commissioned to accompany Turumeke Harrington: Tātou tātou, nau mai rā, which is on display from 17 December 2022 until 29 January 2023.
Christchurch and the New Zealand Wars
It is often assumed that the nineteenth-century New Zealand Wars fought between the Crown and various groups of Māori were exclusively a Te Ika-a-Māui North Island story. But in addition to the violent clash that took place at Wairau, Marlborough, in June 1843, there is a much deeper, if largely unknown, history of southern engagement with these conflicts. Military settlers were recruited from Te Waipounamu South Island goldfields to fight in the Waikato and elsewhere during the 1860s in return for a share of the confiscated lands, and Ōtautahi Christchurch politicians such as Henry Sewell and James Edward FitzGerald were members of colonial governments that were responsible for directing the later military campaigns and land takings, even while they expressed doubts about the justice of what was unfolding.
Summer is the perfect time to sit back with a book. That’s the theory anyway, assuming life allows you the luxury. But what to read, and where to start? Stand by for some great recommendations…
The Art of the Heist
In early August of 1977, two students from the University of Canterbury School of Art walked into the Robert McDougall Art Gallery, took a painting off the wall, and walked out the front door. After lunch, the director Brian Muir noticed a 7 by 9 inch painting was missing.
Exquisite Treasure Revealed
Canterbury Museum holds two albums compiled by Diamond Harbour artist Margaret Stoddart. The older of the two, containing images featured in this Bulletin, and itself currently exhibited in the Gallery, covers the period 1886–96. The album is handsomely bound in maroon, and stamped M.O.S. in gold. It contains a sort of travelogue by way of black and white photographs set amongst decorative painting, mostly of native flora, with some locality and date information.
Sparks that fly upwards
Curator Felicity Milburn remembers five years and 101 installations in a gallery without walls.
Dancing on shifting ground
Sophie McKinnon explores art, resilience, change and urban regeneration in China.
In the winter of 2006 I found myself traipsing around the 798 art district in Beijing, in search of someone to talk to about factories morphing into gallery spaces. I was fascinated by the story of a defunct industrial district turned rapidly expanding contemporary art zone. 798 had been the unofficial site of regeneration for Beijing’s art community since 2001. This community had spent over two deca+des plagued by isolation and displacement but seemed finally to be finding a home.
Twenty days in China and Japan
After ten days in China—where we visited an artist’s studio in a half-empty compound of 140 multi-storey buildings, a private museum of antiquities in a sky-scraper and a tiny artist-run space in a hutong (alleyway), and met writers and curators and art dealers and collectors all over Shanghai and Beijing, with a side trip to Nanjing—I wrote an anguished note to myself: how will I write an article about all this that’s not just a list?
Regional revitalization with art
Rei Maeda, coordinator of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, writes on art’s contribution to the regeneration of a remote rural area of Japan.
A gymnasium for the mind
Who would have thought New Zealand's first dating game, Computa-Pal, was a fundraising idea to support the visual arts? Ahead of its time, the project demonstrated the kind of creative thinking that eventually led to the development of the Chartwell Collection of contemporary New Zealand and Australian art.