Art and about, this weekend

The Big Idea crew gets the goss on the galleries, theatres and halls around the rohe.


Here’s a rundown on what else is going on, somewhere near you.


Boycrush play Whammy Bar, St Kevin’s Arcade tonight: Saturday. Doors at 8pm. The brainchild and physical manifestation of drummer/producer of Alistair Deverick, Boycrush excels in the business of highly polished dance pop with an alty edge. As George Clinton said: free your mind, and your ass will follow.

Gordon Walters: New Vision opens at Auckland Art Gallery, today! The paintings of Gordon Walters made a colossal contribution to the visual language of Aotearoa New Zealand. His paintings integrate ultramodern grids with traditional Maori patterns, and have informed everything from airline logos to record labels. This major survey covers both his greatest hits and some never-before-seen strangers. Don’t miss this.

Photo credit: Auckland Art Gallery

NYO plays The Firebird at Auckland Town Hall, tonight at 7.30 pm. The Firebird marks a turning point in modern classical music. It’s lively piece, sometimes raucous, sometimes mellow. It was innovative as hell when first performed in 1910, and still sounds great now.

The Wizard of Otahuhu starting at Q Theatre on July 10. Oz-land, Pasifika stylez! Transfering from Mangere Arts Centre and with a cast (and band)(and crew)(and more) of thousands helping Dorothy find her way back to Mangere, everyone loves it.


Out of the Bedroom and Into the Lounge: Jan Nigro is on at Waikato Museum. Jan Nigro’s works tread a delicate path between the erotic and the dangerous. While always in celebration of the human form, especially the female human form, her paintings have a conceptual depth which challenges viewers, as much as seducing them. This significant retrospective fulfils Nigro’s wish for the art community to normalise the representation of the human body, to bring nudes “out of the bedroom and into the lounge.” To which we say: good job.

New Plymouth

Free Radicals: Theatre on the Wrong Side of the Tracks at Govett Brewster Gallery. When Len Lye made his scratch film Free Radicals, he did something really rare: he invented a new way of making films. Sadly, it took the art world ages - years and years - to catch up with him, and by the time we did, it was almost too late. This exhibition at the world headquarters for all things Len Lye puts his films into context against other greats of the medium, such as Oscar Fischinger, Jodie Mack, and the Parasitic Fantasy Bird.


Britt Buckley: Ghost Shelter 2016-2018 is on at the Sarjeant Gallery. “This exhibition brings together new video and sculptural works by Brit Bunkley that have been made from 3D computer models. These have been created from scans of real world structures that Bunkley has visited and that are all conceptually linked. His interest lies at the point where nature and culture collide and the architectural ruins that appear in his works are their manifestations.” From the website, by curator Greg Donson.


Late Night Knife Fight play Bats Theatre, tonight at 9pm. Improv theatre. As hilarious as it is terrifying. No worries.

This is New Zealand, group show at Wellington City Gallery. The diverse show unites work from a wide range of display formats, all of which are involved - in some way - in selling New Zealand as a concept, if not a commodity. Includes work by Costa Botes, Anna Cottrell, Simon Denny, John Drawbridge, Aaron Dustin, Gavin Hipkins, Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Sir Peter Jackson, Marcus King, Douglas Lilburn, Kyle Lockwood, Hugh Macdonald, Paratene Matchitt, Emil McAvoy, Leonard Mitchell, Fiona Pardington, Michael Parekōwhai, Peter Peryer, Len Potts, Gaylene Preston, Michael Stevenson, Inia Te Wiata, and others.

My Life as a Tunnel: Shannon Te Ao (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) at The Dowse Art Museum. “Shannon Te Ao (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) blurs the lines between melancholy and optimism, exploring language and interpersonal relationships through oral traditions—karakia, waiata and whakatauki—as well as song lyrics, performative gestures and cinematic devices.” From The Dowse website.

Detour by Michael Parekowhai at Te Papa. “Détour by leading conceptual artist Michael Parekowhai provides alternative ways to encounter and experience art. Whimsical but with a critical edge, Détour is his response to the repositioning of contemporary art at Te Papa with the opening of the new gallery.” (from the website) In other words, more conceptual art than you can shake a dictionary at, by one of the best.


Palimpsest/Landscapes by Vincent Ward at The Sutor Gallery. Says Ward, one of our most abstract and poetic film makers: “With ink, paint and pigments, bathe the human form directly, then breath on it with the elements, of wind, dust, rain and fog. It continued a range of experiments that I had been making where paint meets film, but rather than motion painting on film, it could be painting / filming on a new landscape, our bodies, male and female, ephemeral as the elemental world we live in, and as harsh and varied as the hill country I experienced as a child”.


Matariki: Ta te manawa at The Diversion Gallery. There’s a standout collection of prominent New Zealand of artists contributing to this Matariki exhibition, including: S Parker; Greg O'Brien and John Pule; Mary McFarlane; Wayne Seyb; James Robinson; Bing Dawe; Fatu Feu'u; Nigel Brown; Jeremy Leeming; Barry Cleavin.


We Do This at Christchutch Art Gallery. Dubbed “A contemporary hang to mark 125 years of womens’ suffrage” this show brings out the astounding variety of womens’ art held in Christchurch Art Gallery’s permanent collection. Vivian Lynn, Julia Morrison, Louise Henderson, Areta Wilkinson, Lisa Reihana, Allie Eagle, Judy Darragh, Francis Upritchard and Saskia Leek are just the beginning.


The Expanded Gallery: Shannon Novak at Dunedin Public Art Gallery. “Shannon Novak explores the potential to extend his work beyond the physical boundaries of the gallery. Expanding from the gallery walls into a range of physical and digital realms, this is a project that explores the potential of an art work to create different layers and experiences across multiple sites.” From the website.


Set in Stone at the Eastern Southland Gallery. Among too many acts of curatorial genius to name, ESG director Jim Geddes has been quietly building a collection of lithographs from some of New Zealand’s leading artists since longer than you’d believe if we told you, which we can’t, because even we don’t know. This showing of lithographs from artists such as Pat Hanley, Seraphine Pick, Dick Frizzell, Julia Morrison and many, many more provides a pathway  like no other through the history of modern New Zealand art.


Evan Woodruffe. Image courtesy of Art New Zealand
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