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New Shows At The Govett-Brewster To Set To Fire The Imagination

New exhibitions at NPDC’s Govett-Brewster Art Gallery from 2 March will explore ideas of change, transition, relationships and realms beyond the physical.

Untamed Islands by Sorawit Songsataya is among those to feature in Fibrous Soul starting at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery this weekend

Fibrous Soul will see major new works by Aotearoa-based artist Sorawit Songsataya alongside an installation by Parihaka-based artist Maata Wharehoka (Ngāti Tahinga, Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Apakura, Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Kuia) based on her work revitalising Kahu Whakatere - tikanga Māori death and burial practices.

“In Fibrous Soul, Sorawit Songsataya’s material investigations into states of transition, relationships to place, and the many forms of life and knowledge we live among sit alongside Maata Wharehoka’s poetic evocation of the philosophy of Kahu Whakatere—a process embedded within tikanga Māori and in rhythm with Papatūānuku,” says Govett-Brewster Art Gallery’s Ringahāpai Kaitakatū Assistant Curator Contemporary Art and Collections Simon Gennard.

In Set Dressing, three generations of artists explore photography’s capacity to harness, distil, and complicate desire. It features photographs of New Plymouth-born artist Christine Hellyar’s Apron sculptures, taken by Gary Cocker in 1985, alongside works by emerging Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland-based photographer Cao Xun.

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“Reading the work of Hellyar, Cocker and Cao together invites us to consider that the gendered, sexualised body remains as much a site of contestation as it was 40 years ago,” Simon says.

The Gallery’s street-front Open Window public exhibition space welcomes a new exhibition by Ngāmotu New Plymouth-based artist Sean Hill, titled Energtopia.

“These exhibitions extend conversations relevant to our time and place more globally. The Gallery’s purpose is to support artists and reflect their concerns in order to create dialogues about the world we live in,” says Govett Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre director Zara Stanhope.

All exhibitions open on Saturday 2 March, with a programme of artist talks and conversations throughout the day. For more information visit the

Fibrous Soul, Set Dressing and Energtopia
2 March – 16 June 2024
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery | Len Lye Centre
Queen Street, New Plymouth

Fast fact

  • Govett-Brewster Art Gallery opened in 1970, funded by a bequest from local woman Monica Brewster (nee Govett)
  • The Len Lye Centre opened as part of the Govett-Brewster in July 2015
  • The Gallery presents a regularly changing programme of contemporary art exhibitions, events and conversations.
  • Regular education and learning programmes are offered to visitors of all ages.
  • It also runs an art and design store, independent cinema, and publishes a range of art books.

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