Media Release: March, 2004. 

Crossing the boundaries of performing arts, visual arts and architecture, DisPlay: Remembering a Performance Landscape offers Festival goers, theatre enthusiasts and gallery visitors a unique opportunity to experience an exhibition of contemporary theatre architecture and stage design.

The Michael Hirschfeld Gallery’s contribution to the Visual Arts programme of the 2004 New Zealand International Arts Festival, DisPlay: Remembering a Performance Landscape is the brainchild of internationally recognised theatre architects and stage designers, Wellington-based Dorita Hannah, Sven Mehzoud and Lee Gibson.

Taking its cue from The Heart of the PQ exhibition at the 2003 Prague Quadrennial, DisPlay: Remembering a Performance Landscape is an exhibition that playfully examines the ways in which a performance event might be viewed and displayed in a gallery setting.

For Hannah, Mehzoud and Gibson, stage design involves far more than providing a backdrop for performance. For them, architecture takes a more active role as they aim to create a ‘space-in-action’ that challenges our expectations and blurs the distinction between the audience and the performers.

DisPlay: Remembering a Performance Landscape is an interactive experience that engages the gallery visitor with the surroundings of the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery: a gently sloping layered ramp is constructed, rising above the floor of the gallery to entice viewers into the gallery space. Text runs around the walls of the gallery drawing people in and suggesting a narrative that will unfold. Once the visitor steps on to the raised platform they become incorporated into the exhibition as both the viewer and the viewed.

In 2003 Hannah, Mehzoud and Gibson collaborated with the Czech Theatre Institute to lead an international team of artists developing a site-specific exhibition for the Prague Quadrennial – an international forum for the display of scenography (stage design) and theatre architecture. In their award winning Prague exhibition, The Heart of the PQ, performance was exhibited as a ‘lived experience’, rather than typical exhibits displaying models, images and artefacts. Thus the exhibition became the performance, and the performance became the exhibition.

Dorita Hannah is Associate Professor and Head of Interior Design at Massey University Wellington. Sven Mehzoud is a lecturer in the Department of Three-Dimensional Design at Massey University Wellington and Lee Gibson is a lecturer in Design at Victoria University Wellington’s School of Design.

DisPlay: Remembering a Performance Landscape is presented within the 360 programme – a full perspective on Wellington art and design, which is generously sponsored by Designworks. Thanks also to Colourcraft, Publication & Design, Wellington City Council; Massey University; and Aesthetics Lighting. City Gallery Wellington is managed by the Wellington Museums Trust with major funding from the Wellington City Council. 

Media Release: February, 2004. 

During the 2004 International Festival of the Arts,  City Gallery Wellington will celebrate the career of one of Australasia’s most successful artists, New Zealand-born Rosalie Gascoigne (1917-1999).

Running from 22 February to 16 May 2004, this ground-breaking exhibition will present a large body of work from throughout Gascoigne’s career allowing New Zealand audiences to discover and celebrate her art, her life and the contributions she has made to the art world down-under.

Rosalie Gascoigne’s works can be found in prestigious collections around the world including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and her reputation in New Zealand is growing. This major City Gallery Wellington survey exhibition of her work will be the first to be held in a public art institution in this country.

Gascoigne’s unique art was originally forged through a passion for Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging. She then embraced everyday materials of all kinds including old reflective road signs and bright yellow soft drink crates – materials scavenged from ditches and dumps – cutting them up and assembling them to create unique, striking work.

Curated by New Zealand writer and poet Gregory O’Brien, who has been researching her work since 1999, with City Gallery Wellington Director Paula Savage, the exhibition will chart the evolution of Gascoigne’s work, beginning with a number of the early constructions (many sourced from the Gascoigne family collection), moving on towards the epic works of her mature years.

'This exhibition will come as a huge surprise to many New Zealanders,' O'Brien says. 'The works are audacious and, remarkably given the plainness of the artist's materials, strikingly beautiful. It's extraordinary to think that an artist in her sixties and seventies could produce such large-scale works as Monaro and Metropolis – two of Gascoigne's masterpieces which are included in the exhibition. These are among the most youthful, energetic artworks you will see anywhere.'

Born in Auckland, Gascoigne lived in the North Island for the first 26 years of her life and then moved to Australia as a war bride taking up residence in Canberra. Her artistic career took off in the 1970s when she was in her late fifties and Gascoigne is now celebrated as one on Australasia’s most successful women artists. In 1982 she was the first woman to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale.

City Gallery Wellington’s exhibition will focus on the way Gascoigne has processed the memory of certain locations – including the New Zealand scene – in her work. As with other expatriate New Zealand-born artists such as Frances Hodgkins, Katherine Mansfield and Len Lye, childhood memory and the imprint of early landscape are poignant factors in Gascoigne’s work. The exhibition explores the influence of the New Zealand high country and landforms on Gascoigne and also the influence of Colin McCahon on her work.

The works in the exhibition will be complemented by a documentary film of Gascoigne talking about her upbringing in New Zealand and her career in Australia. City Gallery Wellington will also publish an exhibition catalogue in conjunction with Victoria University Press. With an introduction by City Gallery director Paula Savage, the publication includes essays by curator Gregory O’Brien, ex-director of the Art Gallery of South Australia Daniel Thomas and novelist Barbara Anderson. It includes colour reproductions of many Gascoigne works that have not been seen before.


Supported by: Creative New Zealand and Roderick & Gillian Deane

Indemnified by the New Zealand Government: Ministry of Culture and Heritage Te Manatu Taonga

City Gallery Wellington is managed by The Wellington Museums Trust with major funding support from Wellington City Council

Media Release: November, 2003. 

Coinciding with the world premiere of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Viggo Mortensen’s photography will be the subject of two exhibitions in Wellington this summer.

Massey University hosts a large survey of Mortensen’s recent photographic work from 29 November 2003 – 25 January 2004, while at City Gallery Wellington’s Michael Hirschfeld Gallery photographs of the Wellington region will also be on display from 29 November 2003 – 25 January 2004.

On Saturday 29 November Viggo Mortensen headlines a very special poetry reading at City Gallery Wellington. The event is a benefit fundraiser for the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University.

Viggo Mortensen, while well-known for his role as Aragorn in Lord of the Rings, is also a recognised photographer, painter and poet. His work has been exhibited in galleries in the U.S., Cuba and Denmark, and his work features in several publications.

"The photographs to be shown at the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery, and a large part of those made for the Massey University exhibition were taken in New Zealand,” says Viggo Mortensen. “It is an honour to be given the opportunity to bring these pictures “home," to a place and a people that continue to have a profound effect on me as an artist and will always have a place in my heart.”

“As a writer, I have been greatly inspired by the importance given to poetry and poets in this country, and I am thankful to be able to do my part in connection with Victoria University to promote that tradition as well."

Taken while Mortensen lived in Wellington to film Lord of the Rings, the photographs in the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery at City Gallery Wellington will offer a unique chance to see familiar Wellington scenes—Courtenay Place, Mount Victoria, Lyall Bay, Kapiti—through the eyes of an artist who has made strong connections with the region.

Mortensen's lyrical photographs are carefully observed meditations on life around him, and include portraits, landscapes and abstractions. His sensibility as a painter is a strong thread in his photography where colour, light and movement express the artist's often intuitive response to his environment.

Massey University will exhibit Mortensen’s abstract photographs in the two third-floor galleries of the Museum Building –Tokomaru, formerly the National Art Gallery. The building reopened in November, 2001 as home base for the University’s College of Design, Fine Arts and Music. The development was in partnership with the Wellington Tenths Trust.

Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Ken Heskin says the University is delighted to be reforging the connections between the historic national building and the arts community of Wellington and New Zealand.

“So in that sense, the Viggo Mortensen exhibition is very appropriate, an occasion that Massey University is proud to be associated with,” he says.

“This campus has dedicated itself to being the ‘Creative Campus’, and this exhibition, and the support from many associated with Lord of the Rings, will assist the University to further develop its plans in that direction.”

Proceeds from the invitation-only launch of the exhibition, to be held in the Museum Building from 6.30pm on Friday, November 28, will go towards the University’s proposed School of Film. This proposal is subject to University Council approval.

The invitation to the Benefit Opening is being extended by Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Judith Kinnear, together with LOTR director Peter Jackson and screenwriter Fran Walsh. The pair received Honorary Doctorates from the University in 2001. A limited number of $100 tickets to the Benefit Opening are available upon application to J.Bourgeois@massey.ac.nz.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr Duncan Joiner says he’s delighted that Mortensen approached the University as a kindred spirit, recognising the creative spaces that the College occupies could also be a suitable showcase for his own work.

“Mortensen is unique in his ability to combine a highly-successful acting career with disciplines including photography, painting and poetry, and making these connections is also at the heart of what we do,” he says.

“He represents the range of passions and aspirations that we also aspire to, particularly our academic connections between performance design and drama, and in having New Zealand’s premier photography programme within our new School of Fine Arts.”

“It will therefore be an honour to host both him and his friends from Lord of the Rings at this Benefit Opening event.”

Viggo Mortensen will be available to the media at a press conference planned for the Theatrette, Museum Building, at 10am on November 28. Both exhibitions will be open to the public from 29 November.

Massey University will be open from 9am-1.30pm on November 29, then from 10am-4pm daily until January 25. It will be closed over December 24 – January 3. Entry by donation.

The Michael Hirschfeld Gallery at City Gallery Wellington is open daily from 10am – 5pm (except Christmas Day). Entry to the exhibition is free.


Saturday 29 November 2003, 6pm, at Paramount Theatre, 25 Courtenay Place, Wellington. Tickets $50.

BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL. Phone 04 801 3017 or email art.gallery@wcc.govt.nz

Introduced by Bill Manhire, Viggo Mortensen will read his work alongside New Zealand writers Tusiata Avia, Hinemoana Baker, and Cliff Fell. All proceeds from this benefit reading will be donated to a scholarship fund for students enrolled in the creative writing workshops at Victoria University of Wellington.

MŌ TE UPOKO-O-TE-IKA / FOR WELLINGTON PHOTOGRAPHS BY VIGGO MORTENSEN is presented within the 360 programme – a full perspective on Wellington art and design, which is generously sponsored by Designworks. City Gallery Wellington is managed by the Wellington Museums Trust with major funding from the Wellington City Council.

Media Release: October, 2003. 

“The most recent showing of photography by the film director Wim Wenders, Pictures from the Surface of the Earth, at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao drew the second highest daily number of visitors of any exhibitions by contemporary artists in 2002.” Art Newspaper No. 135, April 2003.

From the director of Buena Vista Social Club and Paris, Texas comes Wim Wenders: Pictures from the Surface of the Earth opening at City Gallery Wellington, Saturday 25 October 2003. The only New Zealand venue on the world tour, the exhibition brings together 30 large-scale photographs taken by the renowned German artist and filmmaker.

From panoramic landscapes of the American west, exhibited in Wenders’ first photographic exhibition Written in the West in 1986, to colourful city vistas and streetscapes and landscapes taken on location while filming the Buena Vista Social Club in Havana in 1998, to chilling photographs of Ground Zero, New York, this exhibition presents a selection of large images, some over 4 metres in length, captured by Wenders over the past two decades while scouting for film locations or on personal travels across Australia, Cuba, Germany, Japan and the United States.

Wim Wenders: Pictures from the Surface of the Earth comes directly to City Gallery Wellington, from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney Australia and is based on recent versions of the exhibition presented at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin Germany in September 2001 and at the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao Spain in June 2002.

“City Gallery has worked with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney to bring this exhibition to Australasia,” says Gallery Director Paula Savage. “While people are familiar with Wenders’ films it gives audiences a rare opportunity to see his stunning photography.”

A leading director of the New German Cinema in the 1970s, Wenders had, by the mid-1980s, established himself as a cult figure on the international film scene. His film credits include the award-winning music documentary Buena Vista Social Club (1998), Paris, Texas (1984), Wings of Desire (1987), Lisbon Story (1994), A Trick of the Light (1996), The End of Violence (1997) and The Million Dollar Hotel (2000).

As a prolific, multi-faceted artist, Wenders channels his creative energy and extraordinary visual sensibility into work across a broad range of media, including watercolours and ink drawings, collage, cinema, photography and electronic images. He has also published numerous books, collections of photographs and essays, reflections on film-making and other photo and art books.

Principal Sponsor Telecom

Supported by Dominion Post & NZ Outdoor Advertising

Exhibition organised and toured by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia in association with City Gallery Wellington

Media Release: October, 2003. 

Stanley Spencer (1891 – 1959) has been described as the greatest figurative and religious painter in twentieth century British art. Everyday Miracles: The Art of Stanley Spencer opening on Saturday 25 October at City Gallery Wellington is the first substantial touring exhibition in New Zealand of the work of this much loved artist.

Described as a true visionary in twentieth century British art, Spencer is famous for his visions of the miraculous in the everyday. Comical, humane and visionary, his art was driven by his passionate religious conviction and turbulent personal life.

One of only two official British war artists whose work spanned two world wars, Stanley Spencer was not only enormously talented and respected, receiving a knighthood in 1959, but he was also wonderfully eccentric. He could often be found making studies for works at the shipyards on rolls of toilet paper or walking the lanes of his beloved village of Cookham pushing his easel and canvas in an old pram chassis.

Sex fascinated Stanley Spencer, as did angels, the transcendence of the spirit through faith, and life in the village of Cookham, where as a child he believed biblical events had taken place witnessed by local folk. Considered a maverick within the English art tradition, Spencer made paintings that are rich and complex, often with conflicting and controversial meanings.

Curated by Justin Paton and Mary Kisler, Everyday Miracles: The Art of Stanley Spencer draws largely on a particularly strong body of Spencer’s works in New Zealand and Australian public collections, as well as key works from English public collections including the Tate.

The exhibition contains a selection of religious studies, portraits, narratives and landscapes each of which demonstrate his meticulous attention to detail. Also included in the exhibition are two of Spencer’s best known self portraits from 1914 and 1959, from the Tate’s collection.

Keynote Lecture, Sally J Morgan Head of Fine Arts at Massey University:

Angels in the Ordinary – the complex simplicity in the works of Stanley Spencer

In partnership with Continuing Education, Victoria University of Wellington

Sunday 16 November 2003, 2-3pm

City Gallery Cinema, lecture free with entry to the exhibition

Bookings essential. To reserve your seat call, 04 801 3017

A partnership between Dunedin Public Art Gallery and Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Everyday Miracles: The Art of Stanley Spencer has been generously supported by Simpson Grierson and is indemnified by the New Zealand Government, Ministry of Cultural Affairs Te Manatu Tikanga-a-Iwi

Media Release: October, 2003. 

Paintings of landscape, sky and weather around one of New Zealand's most spectacular landscapes are presented a new series of work by Wellington artist Gerda Leenards. Fjords mists & vapour opens in the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery on 17 October. Described by curator Gregory O’Brien as one of New Zealand’s most singular interpreters of landscape, Leenards thinks feels and paints her way into Doubtful Sound, Fiordland, presenting a sequence of dramatically edited views of the physical world.

The works in Fjords mists & vapour are paintings in which time and space are hauntingly altered. Hills appear like veils and mist weighs heavily on the landforms. Like all Leenards’ work the series is an exploration of ‘landscape’ in a general sense. “It is the abstract and emotive qualities that are important to me,” says Leenards, “the subject is only part of it.”

Her Fjords series, based on views around Deep Cove in Doubtful Sound, Fiordland, evolved from photographs and sketches she made while accompanying a scientist on a research trip to the region in 2002. In the Mists series there are echoes of the work of other weather-obsessives, Anne Noble’s Wanganui River photographs, Jerusalem-era poetry by James K. Baxter, and the films of Vincent Ward, all of whom have been transfixed by the expressive potential of weather.

Curator Gregory O’Brien describes the works in Fjords mists & vapour as paintings in which time and space are hauntingly altered. He says Leenards’ paintings are not self–contained pictures so much as they “pieces of landscape that rhythmically step their way around the gallery walls; landscapes in which the only human presence is the viewer in the gallery.”

Born in Nijmegen, Holland, in 1946, Gerda Leenards immigrated with her family to New Zealand in 1956. Her work has featured in four previous exhibitions at City Gallery Wellington. She lives and works at Breaker Bay, near the entrance to Wellington Harbour, where she can watch the weather from home.

Hear Gerda Leenards and Wellington meteorologist Erick Brenstrum give an illustrated talk about the exhibition on Tuesday 4 November at 6pm at City Gallery Wellington. Free admission.

Fjords mists & vapour is presented within the 360 programme – a full perspective on Wellington art and design, which is generously sponsored by Designworks. Thanks also to Magnum Mac, Colourcraft and Publication & Design, Wellington City Council. City Gallery Wellington is managed by the Wellington Museums Trust with major funding from the Wellington City Council.

Media Release: September, 2003. 

Bright, bubbly and optimistic – Safe Places is the third exhibition in the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery’s series of annual shows presenting work by emerging artists. Safe Places opens on 12 September and showcases some of the best work by new Wellington artists – Chris Clements, Shay Launder, Toshi Endo, Clem Devine and Fiona Gillmore.

The show explores ‘safe places’ – presenting art works which operate as active spaces for playing, for both artist and audience. Curator Emma Bugden describes the works in Safe Places as cunningly witty. "These are artists who use irony in their work, but with humour and charm which is very refreshing."

"Safe Places reflects a new generation of artists in Wellington producing incredibly exciting work across a range of media. The Michael Hirschfeld Gallery is committed to supporting talented new artists and these five are certainly ones to keep an eye on.”

Artist and musician Chris Clements works across painting and sculpture, investigating the disciplines of archaeology and history. In Safe Places he explores ideas of housing and containment. Nostalgic without ever being sentimental, Clements’ work evokes both personal and collective histories.

A recent graduate from the Masters programme of Sydney College of the Arts, Shay Launder is currently teaching first year design at the Massey University’s School of Design, Fine Arts and Music. In Safe Places Launder’s sculpture of a large soft felt boulder looks like nature by way of the local craft store.

Wellington designer Toshi Endo graduated from the University of Otago, and has since worked for companies throughout New Zealand and in the UK. The projected version of his web-based work Safe Places provides the title for the exhibition. Presenting us with an animated forest environment, in Endo’s world animals roam free, at one with humans, trees grow, the sun comes out, and the day passes in a kind of beautiful dream.

Artist and Designer Clem Devine is a recent graduate from Massey University’s College of Design, Fine Arts and Music, and is currently working as a graphic designer for local firm Eyework Design. In Safe Places he presents The 16th BMW Art Car, a photographic light box work which refers to BMW’s promotional Art Cars from the 1970s and 1980s. Revelling in a desire for fast cars and inserting himself without invitation into the canon of international art stars, Devine’s 16th BMW Art Car is unashamedly brash and youthfully optimistic.

A newcomer to Wellington and a recent graduate from Auckland University’s Elam School of Fine Arts, Safe Places is the first time Fiona Gillmore’s work has been shown in Wellington. Better Luck Next Time resembles a commercial lightbox which has been cast aside and abandoned, sitting on the floor on a pile of timber. Ironic, yet earnest, Gillmore tracks an urban landscape in the era of instant consumer culture.

The curator and the artists will give a free public floortalk on Thursday 9 October at 6pm.

Safe Places is presented within the 360 programme – a full perspective on Wellington art and design, which is generously sponsored by Designworks. Thanks also to Magnum Mac, Colourcraft and Publication & Design, Wellington City Council.

Media Release: August, 2003. 

Prepare yourselves for visual and aural overload – Port Replicator is coming! From the 10 August to 7 September 2003 the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery will be transformed in to an immersive visual and audio environment by Wellington artist Eugene Hansen, operating under the alias of VJ Rex.

Port Replicator, is a collaboration between Hansen, Wellington painter Simon Morris, Wellington audio artist Kaleb Bennet, and Auckland audio artists Field Audio and Keri Whaiteri. Together they will create a digital, pop-culture wonderland populated by dinosaurs, cowboys, spaceships, oversized ‘Chuppa Chup’ lollies wearing furry balaclava hats and animated characters.

The starting point for the show is a selection of found video footage, from television shows and movies, which is then, reworked using audio and visual mixing techniques from contemporary DJ culture. The name, Port Replicator refers to a device which plugs into a notebook computer allowing it to be used as a harddrive which printers, monitors and keyboards can then be plugged into. This is art 21st century style.

The exhibition is a true work in progress. The soundtrack and visuals change weekly, updated every Monday by a live performance remix in the gallery by Hansen and one of the audio artists.

Curator Emma Bugden says that perhaps the best way to describe the experience of viewing Eugene Hansen’s work is to think of being in a shopping mall or video game parlour, both of which, like Hansen’s work, completely immerse you in sound and colour.

The gallery walls are painted lilac and pink, connected by a sleek blue stripe, produced by painter Simon Morris, which runs the length of the gallery. Sound emerges from speakers inserted into pop objects and plastic toys from the $2 Shop scattering the gallery, and digital print-outs which are stills from the video clips hanging in the back gallery.

In this exhibition Eugene Hansen is playing with ideas of everyday pop culture as being data to work with, rather than throw away rubbish to be seen when channel surfing. Drawing on current communication and entertainment technologies, Hansen explores the way in which technology can be used to format that data through different processes to make it useful in a variety of applications.

Eugene Hansen (Ngati Maniapoto, Ngati Mahuta) is currently based in Wellington where he is a lecturer at Massey University’s College Design, Fine Arts and Music. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Canterbury in 1991 and with a Masters of Fine Arts from RMIT University, Melbourne in 1998. He has exhibited widely throughout New Zealand, and in 2001 was included in the major City Gallery Wellington survey exhibition Techno Māori: Māori Art in the Digital Age.

The live performance remixes will take place on Monday 11, 18 and 25 August and on Monday 1 September between 10 am and 2 pm.

Eugene will give a free artist floortalk on Wednesday 20 August at 6 pm in the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery.

City Gallery Wellington is open daily from 10am to 5pm.

Port Replicator is presented within the 360 programme – a full perspective on Wellington art and design, which is generously sponsored by Designworks. Thanks also to Massey University, Colourcraft and Publication & Design, Wellington City Council. City Gallery Wellington is managed by the Wellington Museums Trust with major funding from the Wellington City Council.

Media Release: July, 2003. 

Shane Cotton is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most significant contemporary painters; the large body of work that he has produced over the last fifteen years has helped redefine the nature of contemporary Maori artistic practice. From 13 July – 19 October 2003, City Gallery Wellington, with Principal Sponsor Telecom New Zealand, will present what promises to be one of the year’s most eagerly anticipated and talked about exhibitions – the first major survey exhibition of Shane Cotton’s work.

Shane Cotton, curated by Lara Strongman, Senior Curator at City Gallery, will be presented in three of City Gallery’s four exhibition spaces and spans the period 1993 to 2003. The exhibition will include images that have been considered by many critics to be among the most significant paintings to be produced in New Zealand over the last decade. It will also include several works not previously publicly exhibited, as well a substantial body of new work.

Shane Cotton (Ngati Rangi, Ngati Hine, Te Uri Taniwha) is one of a small group of prominent artists of dual Maori and Pakeha descent. Trained within a European art school tradition, Cotton’s work explores aspects of his bi-cultural heritage – and by extension, examines the nature of New Zealand cultural identity.

Cotton’s work has been included in more than sixty exhibitions in New Zealand and internationally, and he has held more than twenty solo exhibitions of his work in both New Zealand and Australia. His works are included in all major public collections in New Zealand, and in the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

The first comprehensive account of Shane Cotton’s practice, the exhibition at City Gallery Wellington will trace the artistic and conceptual development of Cotton’s work from 1993 to today, including his most recent powerful dark paintings dealing with issues of land, spirit and identity.

Coinciding with the opening of Shane Cotton will be the launch of the first major publication examining the work of this prominent New Zealand artist. 2003 marks 15 years of Shane Cotton’s professional practice and represents a timely moment for such a publication. Heavily illustrated and containing essays by Lara Strongman, John Huria, Blair French and Jim Barr and Mary Barr, Shane Cotton will enable those people who cannot visit the exhibition access to Cotton’s ideas and images.

A full public events programme will run at City Gallery during the exhibition, including artist and curator floortalks, readings and panel discussions. Details of events will be announced in coming weeks. One of the highlights of the Gallery calendar for 2003, Shane Cotton also presents a significant education opportunity for both primary and secondary schools. Shane Cotton is one of the most frequently used artist models in the education sector and is studied in the new NCEA assessment. Running throughout the exhibition season the Gallery will offer an exciting and enriching education programme of tours and workshops in the on-site classroom.

City Gallery Wellington has worked with Shane Cotton on several previous occasions. Most recently works by Cotton have been included in the City Gallery’s Techno-Maori: Maori Art in the Digital Age (2001) (with Pataka Museum of Art and Culture) and Parihaka: The Art of Passive Resistance (2000), for which he was one of twelve commissioned artists. City Gallery Wellington maintains an ongoing interest in the development of Shane Cotton’s work and he is working closely with the exhibition’s curator Lara Strongman on the development of this major survey exhibition.

Principal Sponsor Telecom New Zealand Ltd.

The Shane Cotton exhibition is generously supported by Creative New Zealand and the City Gallery Wellington Foundation.

This exhibition has been made possible through the generous support of many public and private collections including: Auckland Art Gallery, Blythe Collection, Auckland, The Chartwell Trust, College House, Christchurch, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, The Fletcher Trust Collection, Gow Langsford Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, M. Neas and M. Brow, Aloysius and Eileen Teh, Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, Sweeney Vesty Collection.

Media Release: July, 2003. 

A menagerie of crochet covered animals will be unleashed at City Gallery Wellington when Melbourne based artist Louise Weaver’s exhibition Moonlight Becomes You opens on 5 July. From an otter sporting a giant mirror-ball medallion to a lime green racoon in a pair of movie star shades, Weaver’s creatures seem to have been released from museum cabinets and let loose in a glittering disco culture.

Clothed in glittery skins of crochet, sequins and beading, the creatures in Moonlight Becomes You, strut their stuff on a stage bathed in moonlight. Made from high density foam moulds commonly used by taxidermists, Weaver then constructs a new crocheted skin for her creatures using lambswool, nylon, mohair, polyester, silk and cotton.

With appeal to a wide range of ages this delightful exhibition will capture the imagination of art lovers and animal lovers alike. Upon entering the Gallery the viewer is greeted by a cacophony of animal sounds from the twitter of birds to the ribbit, ribbit of frogs – an environment perhaps more like the nocturnal house at the zoo than a city art gallery.

Perched on rocks as though they were in a series of staged dioramas the Louise Weaver’s creatures seem a bit like natural history displays at the museum. But her fanciful animal characters have far more personality than dusty museum exhibits. Weaver says that she wanted to create the sense of the animals “being up to no good.” With naughtiness in mind these creatures, dressed for a special occasion, look a bit frisky or possibly even dangerous.

Born in Mansfield Victoria, Weaver is currently based in Melbourne. She has exhibited widely in Australia and her work has been included in group exhibitions in Canada, Denmark, Korea and the United Kingdom. This is the first time Wellington audiences have had the opportunity to see Louise Weaver’s work.

To coincide with the exhibition, City Gallery Wellington will be running creative holiday workshops for children aged 5-14 years. Designed with fun in mind Crafty Creatures! Workshops, running from 14-18 July, will give children the opportunity to view the exhibition with City Gallery education staff and then spend time in the Gallery’s onsite classroom creating and decorating their own mischievous animals – Weaver style. For more information about Crafty Creatures! Workshops please contact Tracey Monastra, Public Programmes Co-ordinator T: 801 4241.

Moonlight Becomes You, 2003 Courtesy of the artist and Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney. Individual works in Moonlight Becomes You are also courtesy of Jane Kleinmeyer and Anthony Stuart (Melbourne), Mark Young (Melbourne) and Amanda Love (Sydney).

Moonlight Becomes You was first commissioned by the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, as part of NEW03.