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Partnership Approach For Return To Venice Biennale

Partnership Approach For New Zealand’s Return To Venice Biennale In 2003

Contemporary New Zealand art will be represented for the second time at the Venice Biennale of Art, the oldest and most important international visual arts event in the world, opening in June 2003.

The drive to showcase New Zealand art at this prestigious event has been led by Creative New Zealand. For New Zealand’s presence at the 50th Venice Biennale, the arts development organisation will work in partnership with City Gallery Wellington.

Well-known collector and art patron Jenny Gibbs will again be the New Zealand Commissioner, a role vital to the international representation and profile of the exhibiting country.

Two Ngai Tahu artists, Jacqueline Fraser and Peter Robinson, successfully represented New Zealand for its inaugural presence at the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001, supported by the presence of the kapa haka group Pounamu Kai Tahu. The artist selection process for the forthcoming Biennale will take place over the next two months.

Chief Executive of Creative New Zealand Elizabeth Kerr says New Zealand’s participation in the Venice Biennale is an excellent cultural diplomacy opportunity, profiling New Zealand as a creative, innovative Pacific nation.

“New Zealand’s inaugural presence at the Venice Biennale was an outstanding success both artistically and in terms of heightened international awareness of New Zealand visual arts,” she says.

Writing in Art Monthly Australia, K.P. Hall said of the New Zealand exhibition: “The impact of this dynamic combination of artists has created a strong statement, resolutely placing New Zealand on the international arts map.”

More than 22,000 people attended the New Zealand exhibition. The awareness of New Zealand’s presence far exceeded this figure with huge and positive media interest in Jacqueline Fraser, Peter Robinson and Pounamu Kai Tahu. The estimated audience for the television coverage alone of the New Zealand exhibition and Pounamu Kai Tahu was approximately 184 million people.

“Creative New Zealand is delighted to be working in partnership with City Gallery Wellington in the forthcoming Venice Biennale,” say Elizabeth Kerr. “This gallery has a strong commitment to the project and an impressive track record of presenting large visual arts shows offshore.”

“City Gallery Wellington has a strong commitment to take New Zealand art out onto the world stage,” says Paula Savage, Director, City Gallery Wellington. “Our partnership with Creative New Zealand provides us with a new and exciting opportunity to be involved in building awareness of the strength of New Zealand art practice to leading international Directors, Curators and Collectors as well as allowing New Zealand artists to position themselves internationally."

Held once every two years over a five-month period, the Venice Biennale of Art attracts thousands of the world’s most influential artists, curators, critics and collectors.

Creative New Zealand’s investment in the Venice Biennale is an important component of its international strategy to profile New Zealand arts and show the world the depth and diversity of our artistic talent.

It is a key opportunity to promote New Zealand art to an international audience, help develop new and existing markets, and provide creative and professional development for the artists and co-ordinators involved.

“The Venice Biennale is a unique opportunity for New Zealand to present its artists and its culture to the wider world, ” says New Zealand art dealer Peter McLeavey. “New Zealand made an excellent impression at its inaugural presentation in 2001. I was impressed and moved by the positive feedback I received from a wide range of international art professionals about New Zealand artists and New Zealand as a whole as a result of our presence at the 49th Venice Biennale.”


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