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Wanted: Old suitcases for new artwork

18 January 2008

Wanted: Old suitcases for new artwork

Bill Culbert's sketch of a Samsonite suitcase


If you've got an old suitcase lurking in the back of a cupboard it could be given a new lease of life as part of a planned artwork.

The eminent New Zealand artist Bill Culbert is looking for suitcases to use in an installation he is creating for New Plymouth's Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and is appealing to the public for help.

The artist is seeking 21 hard plastic Samsonite suitcases for this work but says he doesn't mind what size or colour they are.

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery Director Rhana Devenport, says Gallery staff have been scouring the second-hand shops but would also be grateful for donations of suitcases from the public.

"Bill Culbert is one of New Zealand's most well-respected and admired artists and it's a fantastic project for people to contribute towards.

"It's recycling with a twist. After the Govett-Brewster exhibition who knows where in the world this artwork and its suitcases will be displayed next," she says.

Culbert typically works with materials such as light bulbs, lampshades, fluorescent tubes, plastic bottles as well as suitcases exploring the relationship between luminescence, space and visual perception.

Devenport says Culbert's artworks re-energise discarded and forgotten everyday items, using them to form new sculptural environments that invite personal interpretation.

Based in London and France, Culbert exhibits widely in Europe, Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. His exhibition Groundworks opens at the Govett-Brewster on 8 March.

Anyone who has a Samsonite suitcase they would like to donate can contact the Gallery on 06 759 6060. Would-be donors should note the suitcases unfortunately will not be able to be returned after their art transformation.


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