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Collaborative Taranaki Partnership Takes Len Lye’s Big Blade To Auckland Art Fair

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre - photo credit Patrick Reynolds

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre have teamed up with the Auckland Art Fair 2021 as its exclusive Museum Partner, forging a stronger connection between the national art event and Taranaki as a vibrant, creative place.

The Auckland Art Fair is the biggest event on the nation’s visual arts calendar, and an important opportunity for Taranaki to connect to thousands of art collectors and supporters. Through a creative collaboration between Taranaki organisations and attractions Len Lye’s Big Blade sculpture will be on display for the first time in Auckland this February.

"We’ve teamed up with some great partners to present an iconic sculpture by Len Lye at the Fair and offer a unique package to visit New Plymouth and explore all Taranaki offers those seeking an art adventure, including NPDC’s Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre, the district’s cultural hub with galleries, a cinema, shop and celebrated Monica’s Eatery café," says New Plymouth District Council’s GM Customer Services Teresa Turner.

Collaborating partners Technix Industries, King & Queen, the West End Precinct, Venture Taranaki, the Govett-Brewster Foundation, John and Lynda Matthews, and the Len Lye Foundation have made it possible for Len Lye’s spectacular kinetic sculpture and fan favourite Big Blade to travel from New Plymouth and be displayed at the entrance of the Art Fair.

"The partnership with the Auckland Art Fair is a great opportunity to showcase our region’s key icon and world-class attraction, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre. It also provides the opportunity to drive visitation back to Taranaki for art lovers to explore our thriving arts and culture scene right around our Maunga," says Justine Gilliland, Venture Taranaki Chief Executive.

"We have so much to offer from ceramics to stunning garden-art to painting and other visual arts such as kinetic and stone sculpting, and so much more. With countless studios, workshops, and galleries, we're a region blessed with many creative people. We have the opportunity to further grow and support our tourism and creative sectors through arts-focused visitors," adds Justine.

"Bringing Big Blade and a Govett-Brewster Art Gallery presence to the Fair reflects the importance of New Plymouth as a leading creative destination with a lot to offer art lovers and collectors," says Govett-Brewster Foundation Chair John Leuthart.

"The region’s visionary partners who have brought this together are leading the reinvention of New Plymouth, and the Fair is an opportunity to rediscover the region," John says.

The Auckland Art Fair will run from 24-28 February at The Cloud on Auckland’s Waterfront. Fair-goers will get to experience Len Lye’s work up close and learn more about the artist. All fair ticket purchasers can enter the draw to win an exclusive Taranaki Art Adventure package to experience Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre and a host of other key attractions.

The prize includes two-nights at the luxury King & Queen Hotel within the West End Precinct. "The West End Precinct was created to enhance New Plymouth’s arts, culture and hospitality. We are thrilled to be working alongside other key players in the region to help change visitor perceptions of our beautiful city," says Daniel Fleming, Chair West End Precinct.

"Arts and culture is, and long has-been, well and truly alive in Taranaki. It’s our job to get the word out there", he added.

More sculptural works by Len Lye are currently on show at the Len Lye Centre, while the adjoining Govett-Brewster is presenting a monumental exhibition by artist Brett Graham.

"Brett Graham’s exhibition - Tai Moana Tai Tangata - is on show until 2 May and is receiving remarkable reviews. This is a small slice of what visitors can experience when visiting the region and we look forward to welcoming them," Turner said.

The Auckland Art Fair is on from 24-28 February at The Cloud, Auckland Waterfront, and tickets are available for purchase from

To see all that Taranaki has to offer head to and for more about Len Lye visit

Len Lye’s Big Blade

Conceived by Len Lye in New York in the late 1950s, Big Blade is seen as one of Lye’s formative kinetic sculptures, inspired by the artist’s ability to shake materials like steel and find the natural modes of vibration.

"I see Blade as three evocative sensory moments of past experience which have sunk down into my thighs. That’s how Blade shines and quivers when it is doing its stuff - flashing light, shimmering fish and taut quivering horse" - Len Lye

As a student of movement, Lye choreographed these vibrations and motions, automating performances and making one of the most vibrant and energetic bodies of modern sculpture. It is no wonder that Big Blade has become one of Lye’s seminal works and a firm fan favourite.

The 2021 Auckland Art Fair will be Big Blade’s first ever exhibition in Auckland.

© Scoop Media

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