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Trusttum Exhibition At Waikato University

28 May 2004

Trusttum Exhibition At Waikato University

Phillip Trusttum
Pictures at an exhibition
June 10 - July 16, 2004.

The next exhibition at Waikato University's Calder & Lawson Gallery, in the WEL Energy Trust Academy of Performing Arts, is an irresistible mix of paint, classical music and moving images.

Nineteenth-century Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky's epic Pictures at an exhibition, a tribute to his friend the artist Viktor Hartmann, has now inspired the Christchurch painter Phillip Trusttum to put music down on canvas. Trusttum, probably New Zealand's best known colourist, makes art from his immediate environment, and in a long career has produced several series of vibrant works based on gardens, tennis, horses and other topics.

Now, Trusttum's exploration of exotic, new subject matter has resulted in an exhibition that will delight fans of both the performing and visual arts. Mussorgsky's colourful, romantic music is perfectly expressed in Trusttum's large, bold canvases with their strong, stylised designs. A range of intriguing subjects arise directly from the music or from Russian art and folklore: dancers and troubadours, ugly gnomes and demonic witches, catacombes with macabre skeletons, bullock trains and scenes of medieval Kiev; all rendered with Trustum's characteristic wit and verve.

The Academy, in association with Fuel Festival 2004, is delighted to present 20 works from this series in an unprecedented display of Trusttum's work made possible by generous sponsorship from the Wallace Corporation. Sir James Wallace, who has long been a keen collector of Trusttum's work, is already closely associated with the Academy through his charitable arts trust which loans over twenty works of contemporary New Zealand art annually for the Academy's elegant interior. The exhibition will be on display in the Calder & Lawson Gallery from June 9, and Philip Trusttum will be on hand in the gallery to give a floor talk at noon on Friday June 25.

In addition to the paintings, there is a one-off performance of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an exhibition for the Fuel Festival in Saint Peter's, Victoria Street, Hamilton. In this concert, art and music are directly combined in a unique collaboration with Trusttum, organist Martin Setchell, and film-maker John Christoffels.

This multi-media event can be seen (and heard) on Friday June 25th at 7.30pm in the beautiful setting of the Anglican Cathedral with its rich acoustics. First performed in Christchurch last year, this event received both popular and critical acclaim, being described by the Sunday Star-Times as an "artistic and musical triumph appreciated by a large audience". "This is Russia in the raw," excalimed Ian Dando in The Listener, while The Press enthused about the "brushstrokes fired by music".

For further information on the exhibition visit the WEL Energy Trust Academy of Performing Arts website at:

For further information on the concert visit the Fuel Festival website at:

For the concert, tickets are available from Ticketek and there will be door sales on the night of the performance.


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