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NZ Artist Michael Parekowhai in WWI Centenary Exhibition

3 December, 2014

New Zealand Artist Michael Parekowhai Collaborates with Auckland War Memorial Museum for WWI Centenary Exhibition

Auckland War Memorial Museum, with support from Creative New Zealand and the University of Auckland, announce the next chapter in its First World War Centenary Programme, a new exhibition from renowned New Zealand artist Michael Parekowhai. Opening 17 April 2015, Pare Kawakawa by Parekowhai is a unique collaboration that explores the impacts of war and blurs the boundaries between contemporary art and the Museum’s collections.

Pare kawakawa are head wreaths made from the heart-shaped leaves of the kawakawa. During Māori tangihanga, the wreaths can be worn as symbols of mourning, grief and respect for the deceased. This exhibition will time with the most significant year of remembrance for New Zealand during the centenary.

“Pare Kawakawa by Parekowhai will speak to individual stories, yet reflect the universal experiences for those whose lives were impacted by the war. It’s been a privilege for us to work with Michael on this special project as part of our WWI Centenary Programme” says Museum Director Roy Clare.

Over the past ten months the artist has been engaged in a series of visits and in-depth collection research with Auckland Museum. The exhibition will feature new art works from Parekowhai, alongside a series of his photographs titled The Consolation of Philosophy (2001), each named after a different WWI battleground where New Zealand soldiers fought and died. These works will be displayed with and respond to Museum collection items which represent the lived experiences of those affected by the war.

“Pare Kawakawa is a contemporary response to the past, shaped by an awareness of different points of view, different memories and different truths.” says Michael Parekowhai.

Pare Kawakawa by Parekowhai will open for a season at Auckland Museum before touring internationally. Each partnering institution will contribute to the exhibition in a unique way, allowing the work to grow and evolve over its journey throughout the centenary.

Auckland Museum’s WWI Centenary Programme was launched on Anzac Day in 2014 by Director Roy Clare in collaboration with Auckland Mayor Len Brown. The Museum in partnership with Auckland Council’s WW100 Steering Committee, chaired by former councillor Sandra Coney, will offer diverse and original programmes to commemorate the centenary. Sharing the banner of ‘He toa taumata rau: Courage has many resting places’, the programmes takes a different thematic focus each year. The theme for the 2015 programme is ‘Death of Innocence’.

Pare Kawakawa by Parekowhai
Friday 17 April – Sunday 16 August 2015
Sainsbury Horrocks Gallery, Auckland War Memorial Museum
Free with Museum Entry


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