Behind the scenes: installing the Collecting Contemporary exhibition

Over the last couple of weeks, we have been busy installing an updated selection of works in the Collecting Contemporary exhibition on Level 5. Collecting Contemporary is an exhibition featuring some of the contemporary New Zealand art works that Te Papa acquired between 2006 and 2011.

Read more about Collecting Contemporary

As a curator, the installation period, or changeover, of exhibitions is always an exciting time – stressful, fun, tiring, and exhilarating. Other tasks have to be put on hold while the project team concentrates on getting the show ready to open.

In this blog post, I wanted to share some behind-the-scenes photos that were taken as we installed the exhibition. I always love seeing these sorts of images from other museums – to see the craft of skilled technicians carefully installing art works and to get a sneak preview of what’s going to be on show.

Watch this space. One of the rooms before the new works are installed. On the left are two paintings by Simon Morris, Pause 4.5 and Pause 5.5, 2006. Photo: Sarah Farrar, Te Papa

Watch this space. One of the rooms before the new works are installed. On the left are two paintings by Simon Morris, Pause 4.5 and Pause 5.5, 2006. Photo: Sarah Farrar, Te Papa

Leftovers after a work has been de-installed. Photo: Sarah Farrar, Te Papa

Leftovers after a work has been de-installed. Photo: Sarah Farrar, Te Papa

Te Papa installers patch up the gallery walls. Exhibitions Co-ordinator Hutch Wilco estimates there are probably about 60 layers of paint on this particular wall from different exhibitions over the years.

Te Papa installers patch up the gallery walls. Exhibitions Co-ordinator Hutch Wilco estimates there are probably about 60 layers of paint on this particular wall from different exhibitions over the years.

Te Papa installer Callum prepares the gallery for a selection of works from Gesamtkunsthandwerk, a collaborative work by Karl Fritsch, Martino Gamper, and Francis Upritchard. Photo: Sarah Farrar, Te Papa

Te Papa installer Callum prepares the gallery for a selection of works from Gesamtkunsthandwerk, a collaborative work by Karl Fritsch, Martino Gamper, and Francis Upritchard. Photo: Sarah Farrar, Te Papa

Te Papa installer Sam installs a suite of works by Wellington photographer Anne Noble, Ruby’s room, 1998–2007. Photo: Sarah Farrar, Te Papa

Te Papa installer Sam installs a suite of works by Wellington photographer Anne Noble, Ruby’s room, 1998–2007. Photo: Sarah Farrar, Te Papa

Te Papa installers Brad and Callum install the suspension rig for Jim Allen’s works. Photo: Te Papa

Te Papa installers Brad and Callum install the suspension rig for Jim Allen’s works. Photo: Te Papa

It’s a team effort. Art Collection Managers Lucy and Frances lend a hand. Photo: Te Papa

It’s a team effort. Art Collection Managers Lucy and Frances lend a hand. Photo: Te Papa

Thank you to all the crew who worked on getting this show ready and, especially, a heartfelt thank you to each of the exhibiting artists.

If you happen to be in Wellington, please pop in and visit the exhibition. It’s free and on Level 5.

Out-of-towners, check out the show online

See video interviews with some of the artists

Sarah Farrar

Curator, Contemporary Art

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