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Koru Lounge Showcases Top NZ Contemporary Art

Media Communiqué No. 12
May 30, 2003

Auckland Koru Lounge Showcases Top NZ Contemporary Art

Air New Zealand has transformed its award-winning Auckland Koru Lounge into a visual feast of prominent and emerging New Zealand artworks, through the establishment of a managed art programme.

John Daly-Peoples, highly respected art critic and advocate for the arts, has been appointed Koru Lounge Art Consultant to select and manage a cyclical art gallery in the Auckland Koru Lounge, recently named by influential US business magazine Forbes as one of the world's top 10 airline lounges.

The first artworks selected by Mr Daly-Peoples from Auckland's Milford Galleries went on display in the Auckland lounge yesterday for four months and feature works from leading contemporary artists including Ross Ritchie, Elizabeth Rees, Robert Ellis, and Wayne Barrar.

"The main criteria in selecting these artworks is that they must reflect contemporary New Zealand. Our goals are to showcase success and support emerging local talent," says Mr Daly-Peoples.

"I'm delighted Air New Zealand has taken this step to further support and promote the New Zealand art industry."

The appointment of Mr Daly-Peoples cements Air New Zealand's ongoing commitment to the New Zealand art scene evidenced through its sponsorships of Te Papa and the World of WearableArt Awards held annually in Nelson.

Air New Zealand's Chief Operating Officer Andrew Miller, points out more than 270,000 people pass through the Auckland Koru Lounge each year, effectively making the lounge one of New Zealand's busiest art galleries.

"The programme provides a rare opportunity for artists to have their works seen outside the gallery format and gives Koru Club members exposure to some exciting and challenging pieces," says Mr Miller.

"It is a natural extension to our strategy of supporting and celebrating New Zealand - already demonstrated through our focus on New Zealand materials and themes in lounge design, and our Koru Lounge Consultant Chef programme."

The move has been hailed by Chris Saines, the Director of the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, who says the cyclical gallery is a chance for New Zealand artists to be seen in an unusual, but high profile context.

"It just has to be a good move to put new work into circulation like this. I think it is a great way to breathe new life into the traveller's total experience.", says Chris.

Air New Zealand plans to roll out the art gallery concept at its Wellington and Christchurch Domestic Koru Lounges.


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