Posts categorized as Art

Dotted landscapes in Aboriginal art

Balls of grey-green grasses dotting the red earth of the opposing hillside across the valley. The scale is misleading – note the gum tree at top-centre. © Leon Perrie.

One of the sections in the current incarnation of the Ngā Toi, Arts Te Papa exhibition showcases a selection from Te Papa’s collection of Australian Aboriginal art. The show Gifted: Aboriginal Art 1971 – 2011 includes Papunya Tula paintings created in the 1970’s in a community near Alice Springs with a style of Aboriginal art… Read more »

‘Wearable of the Week’ # 3

Detail of Sandow’s Microvaudevillean Thrillorama!, 2001 © Te Papa.

 ‘Just because people don’t walk down the street in amazingly unique, totally dysfunctional uncomfortable clothing doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done’. The above quote is from the wonderfully inventive Donna Demente Ogilvy who made this week’s  ‘Wearable’,  the fabulous Pallas Athene. Influenced by a mix of classical mythology, mysticism and 17th century alchemy, and named after… Read more »

Ambiguous plant life – art daisies and hard ferns

Colenso’s hard fern, Blechnum colensoi, with a fertile frond at centre. That it is brown rather than black indicates that the spores have largely been shed. Photo: Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.

Alan Reynolds’s Saga is one of the paintings currently on display in Te Papa’s Ngā Toi exhibition. It is described as a winter landscape, with dead plants bursting from the frozen earth. Ngā Toi’s On The Wall description. Amongst the bleakness, my eyes are drawn to just-a-little-right of centre, where the white elongate structure with… Read more »

Wearable of the Week #2

Wild Walker Studio Hero-01

Models in full war paint and extravagant hairstyles strutted their stuff through clouds of dry ice in time to pulsating music… showing different garments including masks, hats and sunglasses, as well as more orthodox attire.                                                                                                                        Peter Gibbs, The New Zealand Listener The above quote comes from a review of the first ever WearbableArt™ Awards… Read more »

‘Wearable of the Week’ # 1

Isabelle by Lorene Ireland, USA, 200?. Photography by

On 24 August, 2013 The WOW Factor, which celebrates 25 years of the WearableArt™ Awards, opened to the public. The exhibition features over 25 fantastic garments from the award’s history, and for the next 25 weeks I am going to endeavour to post a ‘Wearable of the Week’. ‘The Wearables’ is an affectionate short hand… Read more »

Lecture: Arpilleras: Evolution and Revolution

Olla común en una población/Soup kitchen in a barrio
Chilean Arpillera, Taller Fundación Missio, Santiago, 1982 Photo Martin Melaugh

Chilean curator Roberta Bacic is a keynote speaker at the Third International Visual Methods conference in Wellington hosted by Victoria University and Te Papa. We are fortunate to also have her speak on the fascinating and politically-significant stories of arpilleras.     Arpilleras – tapestries or quilts sewn by women that ‘speak out’ visually about… Read more »

Eruini Te Tupe-o-Tū

Tauru Matioro Te Tupe-o-Tu, circa 1860s, Wellington. Richards, E S. Te Papa

Eruini Te Tupe-o-Tū Studio portrait by Edward Smallwood Richards of Wellington     E. S. Richards’s studio portrait of the Māori chief Eruini Te Tupe presents Eruini posed seated facing front-on to the camera arrested in time, comfortably dressed in European clothing with a kaitaka cloak arranged across his upper torso, probably by Richards. The… Read more »