Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

Te Papa acquisition brings new appreciation

Te Papa acquisition brings new appreciation for unearthed public artwork

When Barry Thomas commandeered a vacant lot on the corner of Willis and Manners Street to make a temporary public art statement in 1978, there was no thought given to it becoming a permanent part of the nation’s memory bank of art.

Indeed it’s taken a long 34 years for the extant records of his cultural act of planting the vacant lot with 180 cabbages to be acquired by Te Papa for the national collection.

“I can still remember that moment of cutting through a wire fence to this dormant and empty lot, waiting for a truckload of top soil to be delivered in broad daylight and planting the cabbages,” says Thomas.

“Seeding that soil with something organic brought an emancipated form of the quarter acre plot into the city. It laid a meme-like challenge to the complacency of the time.

"It was unexpected, and this created an unexpected set of responses – from the attention of the media, to people claiming and occupying the site as their own, through to it becoming a venue for a spontaneous arts festival and perhaps the first unintentional urban garden in the Southern hemisphere”.

Now that this anteceding act has been captured as an important moment in New Zealand’s art and social history, Thomas welcomes the creative emergence three decades later of more deliberative public artspace projects in New Zealand such as Letting Space, The Performance Arcade and Gap Filler, being celebrated at the City Gallery in Wellington on Saturday 3 November.

“The deeply profound influences I was discovering in 1978 are still with me, lived out through concepts like my radical art advertisements in the pavement cracks of culture. Anything that can’t be confined by convention, or defined by an academic, or curated to death… that’s what matters. And that’s what a ‘Vacant lot of cabbages’ achieved”.
ENDS
• For the Te Papa blog entry on this latest acquisition, and images see http://blog.tepapa.govt.nz/2012/11/02/vacant-lot-of-cabbages-documentation-enters-te-papas-archives/


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Howard Davis: 'Dunkirk'

The British have an extraordinary penchant for celebrating catastrophic military defeats. It is not only the Battle of Hastings, the Charge of the Light Brigade, and Gallipoli that have become immortalized in prose, poetry, and movies ...
More>>

Conservation: Gecko Stolen From DOC Visitor Centre

A long-term resident at the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre has been stolen. The Marlborough green gecko was reported missing on 19 July. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Rare Ingredients

When I heard Kiazim was publishing a cookbook, I jumped at the opportunity... I was back in New Zealand, but how hard could it be to create Turkish-Cypriot cuisine on the opposite side of the world? Well, it turns out — pretty damn hard. More>>

Remembrance: British Memorial Design Revealed

After years of work with Weta Workshop, the British High Commission has revealed the final design of the United Kingdom’s presence in Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: The Whole Intimate Mess

Alison McCulloch: Walker’s account of what she went through is harrowing and intimate, and, at risk of sounding trite, very brave. More>>

Howard Davis: The Kuijken String Quartet

Chamber Music New Zealand has scored another coup with the Kuijken String Quartet's current tour of New Zealand. As the co-founder of both La Petite Bande in 1972 and the Kuijken String Quartet in 1986, Sigiswald Kuijken is internationally recognized ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland