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Kevin, Rowena Roberts Support NZ Artists at Venice


Kevin and Rowena Roberts Support NZ Artists at Venice Biennale 2007

Auckland 6 June 2007 – Saatchi & Saatchi World Wide CEO Kevin Roberts and his wife Rowena have joined a group of art collectors from across the country who are personally providing financial support for two New Zealand projects at the 52nd International Art Exhibition in Venice this year.

Speculation, a beautiful limited-edition book containing the work of 30 New Zealand artists coordinated by ARTSPACE, and ANIWANIWA, a multi-media installation by sculptor Brett Graham and digital artist Rachael Rakena, are on their way to the Venice Biennale 2007.

“As art lovers, Rowena and I are passionate about New Zealand art. These projects represent some of the best expressions of creativity, ingenuity and that distinctive edge the world has come to expect from New Zealanders. Our support is an expression of our personal passion for their work coupled with a good measure of pride in their tenacity to show their art to the world”.

He added, “The people fronting these ventures acted first and thought about funding later. That’s a leap of faith worthy of support.”

For more than 100 years, the Venice Biennale has been the world’s best known contemporary art exposition and the most influential venue for showcasing national artists to international audiences.

Copies of Speculation will be packaged in tote bags donated by three New Zealand fashion designers-- Little Brother, Workshop and Native Agent, and distributed to curators and visitors during the Vernissage. The book will function as an exhibition in itself, and the bag as a portable pavilion.

ANIWANIWA is a sculpture and video installation that tells the story of Horahora, a village on the Waikato River flooded to create a new dam at Lake Karapiro. While it tells a very local New Zealand story, its theme and images will resonate with international audiences, and it is thought to be particularly relevant for showing in Venice.

Selected for the prestigious collateral exhibitions by Robert Storr, the Artistic Director of the 2005 Biennale, ANIWANIWA will be represented in the official Biennale catalogue.

Mr. Roberts said, “We join all New Zealanders supporting these projects at Venice in wishing our artists arrivaderci. They backed themselves, and we’re behind them all the way!”


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