Michael Parekowhai - Maori Hall
5 Edinburgh St.
Tuesday 19 – Saturday 23 February
Open 12-6pm Daily
Opening reception 6pm Tuesday 19 February
Michael Lett is pleased to announce an exhibition of work by Michael Parekowhai at the Maori Hall.
Michael Parekowhai’s inflatable sculpture Jim McMurtry will fill Newton’s historic and neglected Maori Hall. Initially conceived in 2002 as a fibreglass monument for Christchurch’s Cathedral Square, Jim McMurtry was commissioned as an inflatable for the 5th Gwangju Biennale in 2004. Jim McMurtry has previously been exhibited at Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw (2006); Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius (2006); and Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch (2007).
Parekowhai's narratives can be complex; he draws on an abundant range of both vernacular and collective vocabularies which he re-manufactures into the narrative structures and formal languages of his work. Although key themes of his practice could be described as deliberate takes on notions of introduced species and culture, any potentially overt political dimensions, however, are downplayed. Ideas of camaraderie, tools of teaching and childhood learning, as well as quotes from the canon of modern art history and popular culture openly play out in many of Parekowhai's stories. While his work is often described as emphasising the extraordinariness of the ordinary, each body of work has layers of potential for meaning and significance – they are open to any depth of interpretation and storytelling.
Michael Parekowhai is one of New Zealand’s most important contemporary practitioners. In addition to an extensive exhibition history, his work is held in all significant public and private collections throughout New Zealand and Australia, as well as many important collections worldwide. Michael Parekowhai graduated with a BFA (1990) and MFA (2000) from Auckland University’s Elam School of Fine Arts, and in 2001 was awarded Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate.