A Feast For The Senses


Media Release: February, 2010. 

City Gallery Wellington announces its Festival Season

City Gallery Wellington launches its Festival Season with three exhibitions to excite the senses. Sound, colour and form are all celebrated in the work of three leading artists during the free Festival Season, which runs February 20 to 16 May 2010. The Festival Season is proudly supported by ANZ.

New Zealand’s first opportunity to experience a world-renowned sound installation artist, Wellington’s chance to see a large-scale survey on one of our foremost figurative painters, and a major showing one of New Zealand’s most revered abstractionists are City Gallery Wellington’s contribution to the New Zealand International Arts Festival 2010.

Gallery Director Paula Savage is thrilled to be able to offer such a variety of experiences to Gallery visitors:

“Yayoi Kusama’s Mirrored Years has engaged a remarkably wide audience, from traditional gallery visitors to those who have never been inside a gallery before. Our Festival Season exhibitions provide such a mix of artforms – from music to intense colour to delicate form and line – that we are sure people will love this season just as much. We are also delighted that this season will be free entry, ensuring many repeat visits to experience all three exhibitions. ”

The Forty-Part Motet (2001) by Canadian artist Janet Cardiff is an immersive sculpturally-conceived sound piece, in which forty separately-recorded voices are played back through forty speakers. This evocative installation uses recordings of the Salisbury Cathedral choir singing Spem in Alium Nunquam Habui (1573) by Thomas Tallis, one of England’s most influential Renaissance composers.

Séraphine Pick’s original and imaginative paintings have made her one of New Zealand’s most highly regarded painters. From the spectral dresses, leaky baths and teetering suitcases of the 1990s to the psychologically-charged dreamscapes of more recent years, this large-scale survey, curated by Felicity Milburn of Christchurch Art Gallery, will bring together over seventy works made between 1994 and 2009 by this Wellington-based artist.

“You want a landscape? Take a drive in the country.” Milan Mrkusich’s blunt piece of advice to Woman’s Weekly readers in 1969 was made in the face of intense hostility towards abstract art. Forty years later, the exhibition Trans–form brings Mrkusich’s now highly revered abstract painting to City Gallery Wellington. Curated by Alan Wright and Ed Hanfling, this exhibition provides a unique opportunity to witness Mrkusich’s potent use of symbolic form, line and colour over four decades of painting.

A strong programme of public events will support the exhibitions, providing visitors with a deeper understanding of the works on show.

The Forty Part Motet is courtesy of the artist, Janet Cardiff. Originally produced by Field Art Projects with the Arts Council of England, Canada House, the Salisbury Festival and Salisbury Cathedral Choir, BALTIC Gateshead, The New Art Gallery Walsall, and the NOW Festival Nottingham.

Séraphine Pick is a Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu touring exhibition. Touring sponsor Ernst & Young.

Trans-form: The Abstract Art of Milan Mrkusich is a Gus Fisher Gallery exhibition, in partnership with City Gallery Wellington.