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Wellington Arts Festival KM130 Celebrates 130 Years of Katherine Mansfield

In a celebration of one of our most internationally acclaimed writers Katherine Mansfield, Wellington’s arts community is coming together to celebrate her 130th birthday with a city-wide festival of e


In a celebration of one of our most internationally acclaimed writers Katherine Mansfield, Wellington’s arts community is coming together to celebrate her 130th birthday with a city-wide festival of events – KM130 – running from July through to October 2018.

Developed by The New Zealand Portrait Gallery in partnership with Circa Theatre, Katherine Mansfield House & Garden, the Alexander Turnbull Library and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, the KM130 festival includes exhibitions, performances, film screenings, talks and a birthday party.

The New Zealand Portrait Gallery in Wellington’s Shed 11 will showcase Katherine Mansfield: A Portrait honouring the enduring inspiration of Katherine Mansfield’s avant-garde creativity, innovation, lifestyle, fashion sense and ambition. Beginning with Anne Estelle Rice’s now famous 1918 portrait, the exhibition will run for the duration of the festival, tracking a century of artistic renderings and re-imaginings of one of New Zealand's greatest writers.


The gallery will also host a curator’s talk with Penelope Jackson, and talks with artist Greg O’Brien and author Redmer Yska. Workshops in portraiture as well as artist workshops for adults and children with Sarah Laing, graphic designer, illustrator and author of Mansfield and Me, will round out the gallery’s dedication to the prolific writer.


“Mansfield is a subject and author of lasting intrigue. We are delighted to present such a vibrant and fulsome festival programme which will offer fresh takes on KM for both fans and newcomers” says New Zealand Portrait Gallery Director Jaenine Parkinson


Circa Theatre features two productions, Bloomsbury Women and the Wild Colonial Girl and Modern Girls in Bed, as part of WTF! Women in Theatre Festival 2018. A series of events commences with a conversation about Katherine Mansfield, suffrage and women on 29th July with Lorae Parry and Gill Greer - author of two books about Katherine Mansfield and researcher for an award-winning documentary. The inimitable Ginette McDonald will also lead readings of Mansfield’s short stories and poems on 4th August.


“Katherine Mansfield has now gained her rightful place as one of the important figures of 20th century modernism. At Circa we are delighted and proud to be celebrating the life and works of this great Wellington born, iconic international artist” says Susan Wilson, Director and Circa Councillor.


Katherine Mansfield House & Garden, which will be marking its own 30th birthday, will come to life with a birthday celebration open to the public on Sunday 14 October. As part of the festival, the birthplace of Mansfield will also host a mini exhibition and public talk dedicated to the renowned story, ‘Prelude’, marking 100 years since its publication.


Death & Desire: Hair in the Turnbull Collections is the current exhibition in the Turnbull Gallery at the National Library. Included in the exhibition are two locks of Katherine Mansfield’s hair. There will also be a walking tour of Katherine Mansfield’s childhood suburb of Thorndon, delivered by Katherine Mansfield House & Garden and the Alexander Turnbull Library, including a look at some of the treasures of the Turnbull’s Katherine Mansfield collection.


“It is a pleasure to collaborate with some wonderful Wellington arts and heritage organisations in celebrating Katherine Mansfield’s 130th birthday this year. It’s particularly special for us as we also celebrate 30 years open as a museum dedicated to this literary icon,” says Katherine Mansfield House & Garden Director Tamara Patten.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision will round out the multimedia dedication to Mansfield with a lineup of film screenings documenting the intimate, emotional and inspirational stories of her life. The exhibition Impressions will run alongside the screenings, drawing on the Archive’s audiovisual collections that shine a light on the legacy of Katherine Mansfield.

“Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision is uniquely placed to shine a light on many aspects of Mansfield’s life. We’re looking forward to celebrating her extraordinary talent through an online exhibition drawn from our collections that explores impressions of Mansfield, her work and her legacy, as well as screenings at our cinema in August and October.” says Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Outreach & Engagement Group Manager, Jackie Hay.


A full listing of festival events and ticketing information is available online at




For media enquiries please contact Rebecca Reed at or 021 205 7718


Written by

Rebecca Reed

4 Jul 2018