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Trust announces first artists for residency

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The McCahon House Trust has announced the two artists selected for the inaugural McCahon House Arts Residency.

Judy Millar and Andrew McLeod will be the first artists to live and work in the new, purpose built Pete Bossley designed house and studio on the site adjacent to the restored house which Colin McCahon lived in from 1953-60.

Judy Millar will take up the residency in December 2006. Millar is currently based in Europe where she recently exhibited at the Vienna Art Fair with great success, gaining attention from European collectors and curators. Now working in a studio in Berlin, Millar is busy painting new work to exhibit at Art Basel in June. Millar sees the McCahon residency as a chance to maintain her connection to New Zealand, its landscape and visual culture.

Andrew McLeod will begin his three month residency in March 2007. Based in Auckland, McLeod has been invited to exhibit at the Sao Paolo Biennale in October 2006. He will use the time at the McCahon residency to produce larger paintings than he is able to from his usual studio.

The McCahon House site was purchased by Waitakere City Council and gifted to the McCahon House Trust in 2004. Since that time the Trust has completed the restoration work on the 1930s cottage. The restored cottage will be open to the public from August 2006. The new residence and studio is also scheduled for completion in August.

Colin McCahon was a great teacher even before he took a position at Elam School of Art and the Trust felt that an appropriate way of honouring him was to provide a residency from which other artists could benefit. The acquisition of land next door to the French Bay House meant that a studio and residence could be built so that the residents could experience the unique natural environment in which McCahon had worked, without impinging on the authenticity of the original dwelling. Residencies will be based on a three month term but from time to time may be awarded for a longer period. Outstanding and emerging mid career professional artists will be eligible.

To mark the completion of these projects the McCahon House Trust and Lopdell House Gallery, Waitakere City’s Regional Art Gallery, will mount a special McCahon exhibition. Colin McCahon: The Titirangi Years 1953-1959 will show at Lopdell House from 24 August to 8 October 2006. The Titirangi years are rightly regarded as the watershed of his career.

Curated by Peter Simpson of The University of Auckland (curator of two previous McCahon exhibitions and author of Answering Hark: McCahon/Caselberg: Painter/Poet, 2001) the exhibition will feature important works from each of McCahon’s major series in the period 1953-59, including Towards Auckland, Kauri, French Bay, Titirangi, and the Elias series. The centrepiece of the exhibition will be The Wake (1958), McCahon’s largest painting, a huge 16-panel work which will be presented, as the artist intended, as an installation occupying four walls of a specially designated room.

The McCahon House Trust, whose patron is the Prime Minister, Helen Clark, has received significant support from the Waitakere City Council who gifted the house and land (including the adjacent site for the new building) to the Trust. Other major support has come from the SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust, the ASB Trusts and Portage Licensing Trust.

The McCahon House Trust is currently raising funds for an Endowment Fund. Further details are available on the Trust’s website www.mccahon.org.nz


ENDS

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