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Home is where the art is

Home is where the art is

Some of New Zealand's most iconic poets and literary figures will be looking back at the 1960s this autumn at the Auckland City Art Gallery. In Context is a series of talks organised by literary website and inspired by the Gallery's hugely successful exhibition Art and the 60s from Tate Britain.

In Context will run on four Saturdays throughout May and early June, and admission will be free. All sessions will start at 1pm in the Main Gallery, and last about 50 minutes.

6 May: C K Stead with Murray Edmond

13 May: Mark Young with an introduction by Barry Lett

27 May: Riemke Ensing with Kevin Ireland

3 June: Vanya Lowry with Frances Edmond

C K Stead was awarded the prestigious Michael King Writers' Fellowship last year, and was a finalist in both the fiction and poetry categories in the Montana NZ Book Awards 2005. Murray Edmond is a poet, playwright, director, editor and critic, and was also a poetry finalist in last year’s Montana Book Awards.

Mark Young left New Zealand in 1969 after becoming one of the leading poets and art reviewers of the decade. His works were published in overseas anthologies alongside Nobel prizewinners, and he penned the exhibition notes for Colin McCahon's first show at the Barry Lett Gallery. Mark will be available for interviews. Barry Lett exhibited many of NZ’s finest artists at the gallery he owned in the 60s and is very active and well-known as a sculptor today.

Riemke Ensing was the editor of the first New Zealand anthology of women poets, 1977's Private Gardens, and recipient of the 2002 Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship. Kevin Ireland was the winner of the 2004 Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement. They will be remembering the 60s both here and in London.

Vanya Lowry published the first part of her autobiography through AUP two years ago, entitled From the Wisteria Bush. When she was in her early twenties, her parents Bob and Irene hosted infamous parties in for the leading lights of the arts and literary worlds. Frances Edmond is the President of the NZ Writers Guild and is a writer and an actor. She has recently devised a theatre piece based on the life and poetry of her mother Lauris Edmond, who published her first volume of poetry at fifty-one and ten years later had won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize. She was awarded an OBE in 1986.

Art & the 60s from Tate Britain is an extensive exhibition with over 100 major works from the Tate's superb collection, along with loans from the National Gallery of Victoria. Auckland Art Gallery's own excellent collection of 60s art is also shown. The exhibition is particularly appropriate to Kiwis, with many travelling to England and Europe for the first time during the 60s and experiencing 'swinging' London at its best.

In Context is the first 'offline' event for the website The site focuses on NZ literature – with book news, reviews, and event and course information. It is now one of the country’s leading online forums for writers and readers.


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