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CoCA To Host First Major NZ Exhibition of David Shrigley


Under embargo until Monday 13 February


Wildly popular British artist David Shrigley will present the first large-scale show of his work in New Zealand, when the exhibition David Shr igley: Lose Your Mind comes to Toi Moroki Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA) in Christchurch this March.

A set of cartoonish ceramic boots, doodle-like drawings and a headless, stuffed ostrich will all feature in CoCA’s new exhibition, presented in partnership with the British Council. David Shrigley: Lose Your Mind includes drawing, sculpture and animated film; highlighting Shrigley’s lively and sardonic imagination. The artist is coming to Christchurch to open the exhibition with a public talk on 10 March.

Best known for his crudely composed and darkly witty cartoons, Shrigley’s international career has seen him work across a variety of media, including drawing, photography, sculpture, animation, painting, unsettling intervention, spoken-word recordings and pop-music videos.

His work gained further profile in 2016 after winning the commission for the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square, unveiling his bronze sculpture Really Good, a ten-metre-high hand giving a thumbs up in September.

Paula Orrell, CoCA’s Artistic Director, said: “We’re delighted to be working with David Shrigley and the British Council to bring David Shrigley: Lose Your Mind to CoCA. His work carries themes that people can relate to, wherever in the world they’re from.

“This exhibition begins our second year since reopening in February 2016. CoCA is a cutting edge space for art and culture and is here to stimulate conversations about issues that affect us all. In 2017 we will continue to offer our visitors contemporary art programmes that move and inspire them.

“The Christchurch community has suffered huge trauma over the last few years, and Lose Your Mind is a chance to have some fun and feel better for it. You will almost certainly laugh, but expect to feel a little unsettled. Shrigley’s work is playful, but it’s challenging too.”

David Shrigley: Lose Your Mind shows the breadth of Shrigley’s practice and his darkly witty imaginings. Key works include Ostrich, 2009, a new acquisition for the British Council Collection, in which a taxidermied bird loses its head; Beginning, Middle and End, 2009, a ‘giant continuous sausage’ crafted from clay that is rolled out and arranged in the gallery; and Cheers, 2007 a pair of fishing waders filled with expanding foam.

Ingrid Leary, Director of the British Council in New Zealand, said, “We are thrilled to have works from a major artist from the British Council Collection as well as loans from international museums and galleries being presented for the very first time in New Zealand.”

The exhibition brings together a selection of the artist’s works from the British Council Collection as well a s loans from international museums and galleries. David Shrigley: Lose Your Mind began in Guadalajara, Mexico, followed by Santiago, Chile, Seoul, Korea and now Christchurch, New Zealand.

David Shrigley was born in Macclesfield, UK in 1968 and studied at Glasgow School of Art. He is now based in Brighton, England. A nominee for the Turner Prize in 2013, Shrigley’s recent solo exhibitions include the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2014-2015); 'David Shrigley: Drawing' at the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2014) and 'Brain Activity' at Hayward Gallery, London, and Yerba Beuna Centre for the Arts, San Francisco (2012).

Lose Your Mind runs at CoCA from Saturday 11 March to Sunday 28 May 2017.


Admission $10. FREE on Tuesdays. Under 5s, school groups and Friends of CoCA always free.

The exhibition is supported by a series of public events, including the artist talk with David Shrigley on Friday 10 March. Booking opens soon via .


About CoCA

Toi Moroki Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA) was founded in 1880 as Canterbury Arts Society (CSA) to nurture people’s relationship with, and love for, art. Closed following earthquakes, CoCA reopened in February 2016 with a revised vision; to offer new art and new experiences.

About David Shrigley

David Shrigley was born in 1968 in Macclesfield, UK. He is now based in Brighton, England. David Shrigley is best known for his distinctive drawing style and works that make satirical comments on everyday situations and human interactions. His quick-witted drawings and hand-rendered texts are typically deadpan in their humour and reveal chance utterings like snippets of over-heard conversations. Re-occurring themes and thoughts pervade his storytelling capturing childlike views of the world, the perspective of aliens and monsters or the compulsive habits of an eavesdropper shouting out loud. While drawing is at the centre of his practice, the artist also works across an extensive range of media including sculpture, large-scale installation, animation, painting, photography and music.

His digital animations such as ‘Headless Drummer’ and ‘The Artist’ demonstrate what Shrigley calls ‘the economy of telling stories’, delivering a deftly crafted mix of dark and light through the simplest of forms. In his sculptural works that explore materials such as bronze and ceramic, the artist makes physical some of his more curious and eccentric propositions by transforming found objects or by playing with their scale.

In September 2016, David Shrigley's ‘Really Good' was unveiled in Trafalgar Square, for the Fourth Plinth Commission. Shrigley was a Turner Prize nominee in 2013, following his major mid-career retrospective at the Hayward Gallery, London entitled ‘Brain Activity'. He has had multiple international solo and group exhibitions and has works included in prominent collections worldwide.

About British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK’s cultural resources we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications.

Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. The majority of our income is raised delivering a range of projects and contracts in English teaching and examinations, education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. Eighteen per cent of our funding is received from the UK government.

Our office in New Zealand is committed to developing creative collaborations between Britain and NZ & the Pacific.

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