Maddie Leach: Ice Rink and the Lilac Ship

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Media Release: July, 2004. 

The Ice Rink and The Lilac Ship opens on July 11 at Massey University Wellington, the final venue of Telecom Prospect 2004: New Art New Zealand

Get your skates on – because for four weeks, Wellington is going to have an ice rink! Telecom Prospect 2004: New Art New Zealand is thrilled to present Wellington artist Maddie Leach's major exhibition project The Ice Rink and The Lilac Ship in the Great Hall at Massey University.

Leach’s work brings together the worlds of public and private recreation, and looks at the different ways that people relax and play. On the wall, there’s a DVD projection of a huge cruise ship, slowly sailing out of Wellington harbour – a glimpse of the private world of the rich and famous. On the floor, there’s an 18 metre long, fully-functioning ice rink. Skates are provided, and every visitor to the exhibition is invited to flaunt their skills (or lack of them!) on the ice. In this way, the Great Hall is temporarily transformed into an active space for visitors to play in. Curator of Telecom Prospect 2004, Emma Bugden, says that ‘Leach’s work functions on many levels, as a beautiful minimalist sculpture, as a Duchampian 'ready-made' – an object from everyday life brought into the gallery context – and as a community project, a gift from the artist to gallery visitors.’

The Ice Rink and The Lilac Ship was first shown in 2002 at the Waikato Museum of Art and History. City Gallery Wellington director Paula Savage says ‘We are delighted to be able to bring this major exhibition project to Wellington as part of Telecom Prospect 2004. It’s a chance to see a stunning work on a scale unprecedented in this country, and best of all, it’s a work that visitors can be part of.’

Built to order by refrigeration engineers from York New Zealand Ltd, ‘The Ice Rink’ is the end-product of four years of joint research between York and the artist. The project is powerful evidence of the possibilities that can arise from active collaboration between artists and industry.

The Ice Rink and The Lilac Ship also marks the return of the Old Museum Building to its original use. Opened in 1936, the Old Museum Building was home to the National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum for 60 years. Since refurbishments were completed in 2001, the Old Museum Building has housed Massey University’s College of Design, Fine Arts and Music.

Telecom Prospect 2004: New Art New Zealand

Maddie Leach The Ice Rink and The Lilac Ship

Massey University: the Great Hall of the Old Museum, Buckle Street

11 July – 8 August

Open Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 4pm, closed Mondays. Free Admission