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Tree Museum – Ben Lysaght

Newly rediscovered – a painting by Ben Lysaght
13 Feb 2021 to 6 Mar 2021
Weekdays 10am - 8pm, Weekends 10am - 4pm.
Tree Museum, a new exhibition of paintings by Pōneke artist Ben Lysaght, explores peculiarities within the history of botanical gardens and archives.
Event type: 
Art, Exhibition, Public Program
Toi Pōneke Gallery
Toi Pōneke Arts Centre, 61 Abel Smith Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011


Utilising archival images, Lysaght explores individual stories of specimens which have been comically misrepresented by prestigious institutions. These institutions project an illusion of unbiased authority but are riddled with human error and folly. Tree Museum explores the humour in these incidences of misinformation. Lysaght uses bold, hyper-saturated colour palettes to subvert the sterility of the archival space and highlight the flawed idealisation of nature.

Today, botanical gardens and archives play an important role in nature conservation and sharing of knowledge internationally. However, these institutions also have a dubious history, entrenched in Eurocentric and colonial narratives, which often undervalue indigenous knowledge and input. 

Lysaght is interested in how archives function as a form of collective memory but are simultaneously strictly divided and secured away. As a result, they also determine which histories are given legitimacy. Within these vast repositories of knowledge, it is easy for important artefacts and records to be completely lost, while others are celebrated. 


Artist’s Talk: Saturday 27 February, 12pm

This exhibition is generously supported by The Emerging Artist Trust



Written by

Wellington City Council - City Arts

6 Feb 2021

Interests Wellington City Council aims to make it easy for all Wellingtonians to access and participate in the arts. It does this by supporting the arts through funding, arts programmes and advice and by providing venues and facilities such as Toi Pōneke, Wellington Arts Centre.