City Gallery City Gallery Wellington

Past exhibition

The Great New Zealand Box Show

9 June–8 July 1984

PARTNER Crafts Council of New Zealand SPONSOR Winstones Wellington, Bright Building Supplies, NZ Forest Products PUBLICATION essay Carl Andrew

A joint venture by City Gallery Wellington and the Crafts Council of New Zealand, The Great New Zealand Box Show is a follow-up to the 1981 theme show The Bowl. New Zealand Crafts Council members—artists, craftspeople, and designers—are invited to produce a work on the theme of ‘the box’. 

170 entries are received from locally and internationally based members. Carl Andrew of Sydney's Museum of Applied Arts and Science selects sixty-eight. He says the show is important: ‘The crafts media are now demanding, and rightfully, that they be taken seriously by public museums and galleries, by critics and by collectors, and that they be accepted as forms of expression as valid as painting and sculpture.’ 

At the opening-night awards ceremony, Philip Heath is awarded the Winstone prize for his Waka Huia. Waka huia are Māori customary carved wooden 'treasure boxes' suspended from flax strings. Heath’s abstracted version counterposes smooth lacquer and rough string. Dugald Page is highly commended for the spatial illusionism of his Cube Narcissus II. Brian Flintoff (Ringbox), Neil Hanna (Nephite Jade Box), George Kojis (Quarter-Acre Section), Rick Rudd (Raku 723), and Carin Wilson (Cornered) are also highly commended. The show concludes with a public auction.