Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

Venice Biennale beckons for NZ arts ambassadors


Venice Biennale beckons for New Zealand arts ambassadors

Four "arts ambassadors" selected from public art galleries in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington will each spend six weeks working as gallery attendants at the New Zealand exhibition, This is the Trekka, at the 50th Venice Biennale of Art.

The Venice Biennale, widely acknowledged as the most important visual arts event in the world, opens on 12 June and continues until November 2003. New Zealand is participating in this event for the second time, this time with the work of artist Michael Stevenson.

Representing Stevenson's work and acting as arts ambassadors in the New Zealand pavilion will be Jennifer French, Gallery Photographer at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tämaki; Robyn Notman, Visitor Programmes Co-ordinator, Dunedin Public Art Gallery; Rebecca Wilson, Assistant Curator at the City Gallery Wellington; and Felicity Milburn, Curator of Contemporary Art, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu.

Creative New Zealand is working in partnership with the City Gallery Wellington to present the New Zealand exhibition in Venice. It is also providing the travel costs, accommodation and modest stipends for the arts ambassadors, who will work as gallery attendants at the New Zealand pavilion from 10am to 6pm, five days a week.

Elizabeth Kerr, Chief Executive of Creative New Zealand, says the arts ambassadors were selected from a field of high-calibre candidates working in a range of art institutions throughout New Zealand.

"We're delighted to be able to offer this exciting professional development opportunity to both up-and-coming and established gallery staff," she says.

At the 2001 Venice Biennale, Creative New Zealand also supported three curators to work as gallery attendants at the New Zealand pavilion. An evaluation of that support showed there were considerable professional development benefits for the curators. Visitors to the New Zealand pavilion also valued their interpretative role and knowledge of New Zealand arts and culture.

Jennifer French (in Venice from 30 May to 14 July), Gallery Photographer at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tämaki, has been photographing Michael Stevenson's work for the past 15 years.

"I'm very familiar with Michael's work and the evolution of his career," she says. "I'm fascinated by his latest project and well-placed to represent his work in Venice."

This will be the first time Jennifer French will have attended a biennale and she says that working as a gallery attendant will be a valuable professional development experience. Along with her photography skills, she has a masters degree in fine arts and is keen to build on her knowledge in this field.

She says it will also open a door for another photographer to work at the Auckland Art Gallery in her absence. "Development opportunities are rare for professional photographers in art galleries and museums."

Robyn Notman (in Venice from 11 July to 22 August), Visitor Programmes Co-ordinator, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, grew up on a farm on the Otago Peninsula where the Trekka was a familiar sight. "Our neighbours were very proud of their Trekka but I thought they looked a bit like a Tonka toy. They sat rather oddly among the other farm vehicles of the time."

When she heard about This is the Trekka, the exhibition captured her imagination - a sturdy, functional vehicle as the centrepiece of an installation inside a neo-classical church in Venice.

Notman, who says she has a "long-standing love affair with Italy and its art", is excited about the challenge of working in a new environment, connecting with people from a range of countries, backgrounds and institutions, and presenting New Zealand's arts and culture within that very different environment.

Rebecca Wilson (in Venice from 19 August to 30 September), Assistant Curator at the City Gallery Wellington, says it's a "great privilege" to represent New Zealand and interact with visitors to the New Zealand pavilion. "This is an incredible professional development opportunity for me," she says. "I'll be seeing amazing art firsthand, and meeting some of the artists and art professionals who descend on the Biennale every two years. Supported opportunites like this are rare in the visual arts and I feel very fortunate.

"The experience will open up my mind, in terms of current visual arts practice and also where my career might take me."

Felicity Milburn (in Venice from 26 September to 10 November), Curator of Contemporary Art, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, says the opportunity to live and work right in the middle of an event like the Venice Biennale is a dream come true. "I visited the 1999 Biennale and so I know what a high-profile, spectacular art event it is. I'm looking forward to experiencing the Biennale 'from the inside' and meeting as many artists, curators and writers as possible."

She is especially excited by the chance to help present Michael Stevenson's "intriguing and challenging" exhibition in the eighteenth-century Venetian church, La Maddelena.

The Vernissage (preview) of the 50th Venice Biennale of Art runs from 12 - 14 June and is attended by thousands of international artists, curators, critics, gallery directors and collectors.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis Review: From Free Press to Fancy Dress - Spielberg's The Post

Stephen Spielberg's The Post is an opportune newsroom drama in which a corrupt Republican president wages war against the "liberal media," as its plucky proprietor risks economic and legal ruin to bring the Pentagon Papers to public light. Its true protagonist is publisher Katharine Graham, a stringently diplomatic businesswoman, reluctantly compelled to take an overtly political stance in the interests of democracy and freedom of the press. More>>



Howard Davis Review: The Black Dog of Empire - Joe Wright's Darkest Hour'

On the eve of England's contorted efforts to negotiate its ignominious retreat from Europe and the chaotic spectacle of the Tory party ratifying its undignified departure from a union originally designed to prevent another World War, there has been a renewed appetite for movies about 1940. More>>



Howard Davis Review: Anger Begets Anger - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

For fans of what Ricky Gervais termed "number movies" (Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven, Ocean's 11, Se7en), Martin McDonagh's latest offering will be a welcome addition to the roster. The Irish playwright turned screenwriter and director has produced another quirky and darkly comic tragedy that evolves around the futility of anger and grief, retribution and revenge. More>>

Howard Davis: Sexting in George Dawe's Genevieve - Part I

Te Papa's permanent collection includes an enormous oil painting by the English artist George Dawe called Genevieve (from by a poem by S.T. Coleridge entitled 'Love') that was prominently featured in the 2013 exhibition Angels & Aristocrats. Compare the massive immensity of the bard's gorgeously gilded harp with the stubby metallic handle of the Dark Knight's falchion, both suggestively positioned at crotch-level. Dawe's enormous canvas invokes a whole history of blushing that pivots around a direct connection to sexual arousal. More>>

ALSO:

Ethnomusicology: Malian ‘Desert Blues’ Revolutionaries To Storm WOMAD

Malian band Tinariwen (playing WOMAD NZ in March 2018) are a true musical revolutionaries in every sense. Active since 1982, these nomadic Tuareg or ‘Kel Tamashek’ (speakers of Tamashek) electric guitar legends revolutionised a traditional style to give birth to a new genre often called ‘desert blues’. They also have a history rooted deeply in revolution and fighting for the rights of their nomadic Tamashek speaking culture and people. More>>

Gordon Campbell: Best New Music Of 2017

Any ‘best of list’ has to be an exercise in wishful thinking, given the splintering of everyone’s listening habits... But maybe… it could be time for the re-discovery of the lost art of listening to an entire album, all the way through. Just putting that idea out there. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland