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Tribute to 20th century women artists announced

Ferner pays tribute to some of New Zealand’s greatest 20th century women artists

Ferner Galleries pays special tribute to many of New Zealand’s finest female 20th century artists at a major exhibition in Wellington in January.

The exhibition `Mrs, Miss, Ms’ opens on January 18 and ends on February 12.

The women artists’ show has become something of a Ferner Galleries tradition.

``Our show offers an overview of 20th-century art produced by New Zealand female artists and features two people in particular,’’ Ferner Galleries spokeswoman Natalie Poland said today.

``Kura Te Waru Rewiri and Anah Dunsheath are the two feature artists in thee show.’’

Te Waru Rewiri’s Maori heritage (Ngati Kahu, Ngati Raukawa and Ngatirangi) and affiliations to the Ratana church movement provide constant themes in her art.

From hard hitting political statements to a gentler spirituality, identity - the sacred - land - people - the passing of time - all form continually renewed forms of expression.

Te Waru Rewiri has gained international recognition through the ‘Hope and Optimism’ print portfolio in Europe (1990) and more recently through her inclusion in the art publication ‘Race, Sex and Gender in Contemporary Art’ by renowned art-historian Edward Lucie-Smith (Abrams, New York).

Her work on show demonstrates her stylistic development over a 10-year period.

Dunsheath’s ‘magic realism’ shows an interest in modern realism and optical art. After much experimentation she has created three-dimensional `moving pictures’.

These fascinating paintings are created on shaped wooden constructions whose picture planes appear to shift and move as the spectator changes their position and angle of viewing.

She combines this novel technique with strong colour dominated by primary hues and intriguing underlying meanings such as comment on consumer packaging and the demise of Auckland’s heritage architecture.

Her works have been acquired by many private collectors in New Zealand and overseas and one of her works is on the Auckland telephone book this year.

``Some wit the other day said I have the oldest / rarest book in New Zealand (dated 1496) and also have an immediate connection with the newest and most common book in NZ the Auckland phone book with my painting on the cover,’’ Dunsheath said.

Other artists whose work will be on show in this exhibition include Rita Angus, Mina Arndt, Evelyn Page, Margaret Stoddart, Helen Stewart, Gretchen Albrecht, Robin White and Seraphine Pick.

Copyright 2004 Word of mouth Media NZ

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