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Showing Off At Home

Showing Off At Home

Showing off at home: Ans Westra photography exhibition to feature
during Rembrandt 400th celebrations in Leiden, Holland

The hugely popular exhibition of photography by Dutch-born photographer Ans Westra, which has been touring the nation's major art museums since late 2004, has been invited to show in Holland's National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden from mid-July through December of this year.

Luit Bieringa, organiser of the popular show and the Montana award-winning book Handboek: Ans Westra Photographs, is delighted that the photographer has been invited back to her home town/city at a time when Leiden is featuring a raft of events and shows to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt's birth. 'It will provide a unique opportunity to highlight the social and cultural history of New Zealand through the eyes of Westra during a period when thousands of visitors will come to Leiden to celebrate Rembrandt's 400th birthday.' Being a mere 15-20 minutes from both Amsterdam and Rotterdam, Leiden's visitor catchment area is large and intensive.

The exhibition, which was drawn from the Ans Westra Collection at the Alexander Turnbull Library and organisationally supported by the National Library of New Zealand, has been subtly redrawn for this outing in order to give its Dutch and other European visitors an insight into issues and subjects traversed by Westra's images - such as major social and cultural events and related issues - well-known to New Zealanders but less likely to be understood by visitors to the Leiden museum. This will include the provision of written material, hand-outs, films etc. informing viewers about the Treaty of Waitangi, turangawaewae, the Ratana and Ringatu faiths, the '70s land marches, and the Springbok tour, as well as general information about New Zealand. The exhibition will also be accompanied by a recently completed documentary about Ans Westra.

While the exhibition opens to the public during the summer month with a media launch, an official opening is planned for mid-September to coincide with a proposed Marlborough wine and food festival weekend at the museum.

To emphasise the importance of the Dutch outing, the National Library of New Zealand and MFAT have generously supported this part of the exhibition's ongoing itinerary. After Holland, the exhibition will recommence its New Zealand tour with a further three venues including the Christchurch Art Gallery in the middle of 2007.


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