Events worth noting around the country. Words: Ann Warnock
To 13 January, Hastings City Art Gallery
The depth of Hawke’s Bay’s artistic heritage is rolled out in a brand-new regional show comprising painting, photography, ceramics, bone-carving, weaving and mixed media by 35 artists including heavyweights Martin Poppelwell, David Trubridge, Jacob Scott, Linda Bruce, Michele Bryant and Jo Blogg. Curated by Bill Milbank, former director of Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery, the line-up has an applied arts focus and probes the notion of trading and sharing techniques, subjects and media across cultures.
Phone (06) 871 5095
To 26 May, Dunedin Public Art Gallery
Four large-scale murals painted by Anglo-Welsh artist Sir Frank Brangwyn between 1916 and 1917 for the billiard-room of Horton House, the Northampton country home of Manchester financier George Winterbottom, are shown in a gallery setting which salutes their past. The murals were purchased by the gallery in London in 1951. They’ve recently undergone conservation work and are presented to the public for the first time in more than a decade in a Horton-House-look-alike billiard-room complete with a handsome snooker table (which can be played on at certain times) and flanked by antique Jacobean-style furniture drawn from the gallery’s decorative arts collection.
Phone (03) 477 4000
10 November to 10 February, Rotorua Museum
Te Whare Taonga O Te Arawa
Rotorua is the first North Island stop for an interactive showcase of 30 garments sourced from the World of WearableArt’s historic Nelson-based collection. Selected by WOW® founder Suzie Moncrieff and Weta Workshop’s Sir Richard Taylor, the ingenious works are displayed with a series of HP TouchSmart PCs playing footage of the costumes on stage and interviews with the designers. Selected outfits have been paired with works by key New Zealand artists – Bill Hammond, Grahame Sydney and Timo Rannali included – adding layered richness to the creative tales. From wool sacks and leather suitcases to stuffed birds and splendid silks – expect the extraordinary.
Phone (07) 350 1814
7 to 11 November, St James Theatre, Wellington, then touring Christchurch, Invercargill, Dunedin, Auckland, Rotorua and Napier and closing in Palmerston North on 12 December
American ballet star and principal guest artist with the Royal New Zealand Ballet Gillian Murphy shows off her magic as she dances Giselle in the tragic and beautiful tale of disguise, revelation, love and jealousy, first presented in Paris in 1841. The RNZB production is co-produced by its artistic director Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg, principal dancer of The Royal Ballet in the UK. The traditional costumes are by international designer Natalia Stewart while the sets are the work of leading American scenic designer Howard C Jones.
Phone 0800 TICKETEK
10 November to 24 February,
The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt
A salute to the technical and creative prowess of Kiwi video-gaming companies, the show surveys the graphics, concept art and storytelling of some of the nation’s top-notch games. Providing a behind-the-scenes peek at their development, Arcade comprises digital art, still images, concept art, video footage and the games themselves, many of which are able to be played. Included is Flutter, the brainchild of Dunedin-based company Runaway Play, which teaches players about the Amazon rainforest through the magic of virtual butterflies.
Phone (04) 570 6500
1 December to 27 January, Govett-Brewster
Art Gallery, New Plymouth
The spotlight falls on one of New Zealand’s most original artists, Len Lye (1901–1980), as rarely seen animated films, paintings, drawings, photograms, writings and personal objects drawn from the Len Lye archives housed at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery document his life story. There’s specific focus on his early years in New York, a period in which he moved from experimental cinema to kinetic sculpture, making his mark on the international art scene. The exhibition explores his engagement with abstract film and his 1961 performance of kinetic art at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
(06) 759 6060
1 December to 26 January,
The Court Theatre, Christchurch
A 1950s’ hot rod ‘Greased Lightning’ takes centre stage as The Court Theatre belts out the feel-good, upbeat musical spectacular. Designed to bring summer cheer to the city, the large-scale production is a perfect fit for the theatre’s new Addington premises and brims with toe-tapping songs in a joyride of cars, drive-ins and love in the year 1959 at Rydell High School.
Phone (03) 963 0870
15 December to 28 April, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington
Video-game heaven as more than 120 playable games across all genres from arcade and console to PC and mobile phone are unleashed as part of Te Papa’s summer blockbuster show. From Donkey Kong, The Sims, The Legend of Zelda and Sonic the Hedgehog to Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, the exhibition spotlights a selection of the world’s most influential video-game designers and tracks the development of iconic games. Developed by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne, it’s a first-of-its-kind show for our national museum.
Phone (04) 381 7000