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Auckland Art Gallery recognises women in art

Press Release | Wednesday 30 May 2018

Auckland Art Gallery recognises women in art with She Claims: Art Matters

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki announces a second programme of the She Claims: Art Matters women-in-arts talk series, following a successful launch programme earlier this year.

She Claims: Art Matters celebrates creative women through inspiring conversations about art, culture, and the role and representation of women in the arts today.

The second series of this monthly evening event kicks off on Wednesday 4 July with visual artist Janet Lilo who will talk with artist and curator Ane Tonga, followed by conversations between visual artist and Walters Prize 2018 nominee Ruth Buchanan and curator Natasha Conland, and designer and founder of fashion label WORLD Dame Denise L’Estrange-Corbet and fashion historian Angela Lassig.

Auckland Art Gallery director Rhana Devenport says: ‘She Claims: Art Matters is a positive platform for women to talk about their creative practice with like-minded individuals. It’s insightful, inspirational and, often, deeply personal.’

‘When we saw the audience’s engagement with the first She Claims: Art Matters programme earlier this year, we knew this was something of which people wanted to be a part. The second series brings together successful women – women who have compelling stories and, sometimes, contrasting perspectives, but who collectively value and represent the power of the arts to transform lives.’

She Claims: Art Matters is an event series delivered by Auckland Art Gallery’s membership programme. The series is open to all, however Gallery Members receive a discount on the ticket price, as well as free unlimited entry to paid exhibitions, exclusive exhibition previews and access to regular special events.

Previous guests in this series were visual artist Judy Darragh, Auckland Art Gallery director Rhana Devenport, writer and performer Courtney Sina Meredith, cultural entrepreneur Sarah Longbottom, feminist theatre maker Julia Croft, and Pantograph Punch director Rosabel Tan.

She Claims: Art Matters programme:

> She Claims: Art Matters #4 – Janet Lilo and Ane Tonga
Wed 4 Jul 2018 5.30–7.30pm

Visual artist Janet Lilo experiments with different media and technologies to present ‘what is familiar as something extraordinary,’ often resulting in big-scale works that combine film with sound, objects and illustration. Local communities play a central role in her work, although you can discover many references to global media and pop culture too. Lilo’s CV states a bold and clear life goal: ‘making art and raising good, solid, feminist men.’ Key works by Lilo are the banana light pole installations on Karangahape Road, Don’t Dream It’s Over, and neon installation Nobody puts Baby in a corner which was part of Auckland Art Gallery’s exhibition, Shout Whisper Wail! The 2017 Chartwell Show.

Ane Tonga is an artist, curator, and writer. She has undertaken curatorial roles across Aotearoa which include her former post as the Lead Exhibitions Curator at Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa. She has examined notions of gender and feminism in Tongan society through a photographic investigation of nifo koula (gold teeth). Her publication Te Ringa Rehe (2017) traces the legacy of Te Arawa master weaver Emily Rangitiaria Schuster OBE QSM (1927–1997). The autumn 2018 edition of Art New Zealand features ‘Sissy That Walk’, a piece written by Ane on art and fashion collective The Pacific Sisters.

> She Claims: Art Matters #5 – Ruth Buchanan and Natasha Conland
Wed 8 Aug 2018 5.30–7.30pm

This year’s Walters Prize nominee, Ruth Buchanan (Te Ati Awa/Taranaki) is a New Zealand artist living in Berlin. Buchanan’s work is primarily concerned with the various systems at play in the production of culture such as libraries, collections and artistic practice itself. She develops site and material specific strategies that include performance, sculpture, text, spatial structures, audio, film, textiles and graphics. Buchanan’s work taps into the legacies of institutional critique, experimental theatre, and feminist discourse and practice. She has realised commissions at, among others, Adam Art Gallery in Wellington, Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, Tate Modern in London and the Gwangju Biennale.

Natasha Conland is Curator, Contemporary Art at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. She has curated numerous exhibitions, including the Walters Prize (coordinating curator since 2006), Shout Whisper Wail! The 2017 Chartwell Show (2017), Necessary Distraction: A Painting Show (2015) and Freedom Farmers: New Zealand Artists Growing Ideas (2013). She regularly contributes to leading publications on arts and culture and is the co-editor of Reading Room, the contemporary arts journal published by Auckland Art Gallery’s E.H. McCormick Library.

> She Claims: Art Matters #6 – Dame Denise L’Estrange-Corbet and Angela Lassig
Wed 5 Sep 2018 5.30–7.30pm

Denise L’Estrange-Corbet was made Dame Companion this year, not only for her services to the fashion industry but also for her generous support to local communities and charities. Her fashion label WORLD, founded in 1989 with partner Francis Hooper, is one of New Zealand’s most iconic and globally recognised labels. Both the brand and Dame Denise herself are known for their colourful, bold outspokenness. Through campaigns and the publication of her frank autobiography All That Glitters she tried to break the stigma surrounding mental illness. In 2017 Dame Denise won the 2017 Women of Influence Award for Arts & Culture.

Angela Lassig is an Australian-born dress and textile expert. She has held curatorial positions at The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Auckland War Memorial Museum and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and is an expert on New Zealand fashion and textiles. In 2010, she published the book New Zealand Fashion Design, which celebrates New Zealand’s leading contemporary fashion designers. Lassig is currently working on a publication on 19th-century New Zealand dress and textiles, for which she has received research grants from the Friends of the Turnbull Library and the New Zealand History Association.


She Claims: Art Matters tickets:
Single event tickets:
$25 Gallery Members
$75 Non-Members (includes one year membership)

Series ticket (three events):
$65 Gallery Members
$115 Non-Members (includes one year membership)

All tickets include drink and canapes.

For full details and ticketing visit:

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