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Insights Into ‘Home And Away’

Talk By Sue Gardiner, Saturday 31 March, 2pm
Admission Free

It’s a little known fact that art collector R B K Gardiner ran hula hoop evenings in Gisborne in his youth, and this memory was rekindled when he encountered Australian artist Jenny Watson’s painting Girl with hula hoop, which he later purchased.

These and other insights into how the Chartwell Collection was built up - and the
connections between Australian and New Zealand artists that are a feature of it - are the subject of a Gallery talk by Sue Gardiner, daughter of the Hamilton businessman. Parts of the Chartwell Collection, started by Mr Gardiner in the 1970s, have been on display in home and away – Contemporary Australian and New Zealand Art from the Chartwell Collection, at the Gallery since 3 February. Sue Gardiner’s talk marks the show’s closing weekend.

Sue Gardiner will take visitors through home and away, pointing out examples of the ongoing ‘hybridisation’ between trans-Tasman artists. For example, artist Mikala Dwyer produced her amphorous pinned work Add-ons in a Wellington hotel while preparing for an exhibition in New Zealand. Another Australian artist Gordon Bennett painted Angry (Scared too: after Colin McCahon) in response to a work by Colin McCahon - which was also the starting point for another work in the show; Boy am I scared, eh! by New Zealander Peter Robinson.

“Increasingly Australian and New Zealand artists are both ‘at home’ and ‘away’ in their own countries,” says Gardiner. “New Zealand-born artists Patrick Pound and Rosalie Gascoigne now belong to two communities – Australia and New Zealand. Our artists go away from home and come back, and sometimes ‘home’ becomes no one place.”

Sue Gardiner spent 18 months in Australia researching New Zealand art in Australian public collections. She will curate an exhibition on New Zealand art in Australian public and private collections, to be staged in Sydney in June. home and away closes on Sunday 1 April 2001.

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