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Snow Cave" on View at the Wellington Arts Centre

Artist Gabby O'Connor's New Installation "Snow Cave" on View at the Wellington Arts Centre Gallery from 20 July to 12 August

WELLINGTON, NZ -- The new Wellington Arts Centre is proud to present the exhibition Snow Cave by Wellington based artist Gabby O'Connor. Aptly timed for the peak of winter, Snow Cave is an installation, which explores these unique, man-made spaces usually built for survival.

Constructed out of twenty-four 2.5m square coloured and lacquered paper sheets, O'Connor's crafted snow cave acts like a life-size diorama. You will be encouraged to navigate around this multi-layered, translucent structure, viewing the changing ice colour and shifts of light, while imagining from the outside the possibilities of what it would be like to be inside.

Gabby O'Connor graduated in 1996 from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne and gained a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of New South Wales in 2003. Based in Wellington since 2002, O'Connor co-founded the collective CRAFTCAMP, has exhibited at Enjoy Public Art Gallery and this year initiated the collaborative project Post Mark at the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery. O'Connor recently moved into a new studio at the arts centre, where most of Snow Cave was created.

Snow Cave will be the first major installation in the new ground-floor gallery, and follows a recent exhibition of new paintings by studio artist Sarah Mortlock, and the popular "Macro Asia" exhibition by emerging photographer Aaron Beck. O'Connor's installation will also coincide with the grand opening of Wellington's new arts centre, which will be formally opened by Mayor Kerry Prendergast on 20 July.

"Since moving into her studio space, Gabby has been consumed by the notion of shelter, polar survival, and the fabrication of this metaphorical snow cave," said Wellington City Council Arts Manager Eric Holowacz. "It should prove a most remarkable inauguration for the arts centre's gallery space."

Snow Cave has been co-organised by Laura Preston. Her catalogue essay will explore the way in which the excavated space of Snow Cave is built and experienced.

Snow Cave opens on Tuesday 19 July 2005, 6pm at the Wellington Arts Centre Gallery, 61 Abel Smith Street, Te Aro. The new centre is now home to 37 artists, performing arts organisations, dozens of community arts courses, rehearsal facilities, meeting spaces, and a growing assortment of creative opportunities.

The Snow Cave installation will be on view in the Arts Centre Gallery from Monday to Friday, 10am-6pm, and Saturday, 11am-3pm, until 12 August 2005.


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