Making Art Public: 50 Years of Kaldor Public Art Projects

Thinking about the term ‘public art’, the immediate connotations that spring to my mind are: (i) big things (ii) outdoors and (iii) as I’m a Brit, The Angel of the North by Antony Gormley. Thinking a bit further, I wonder about all the statues commemorating various men (mainly) and women (occasionally) standing in our towns and cities. Pondering a bit more, I recall some wonderful works I’ve seen dotted around Folkestone, Kent, the lasting legacy of their inspiring triennials.

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The Face Room

Staring out from the wall of the Otago Settlers Museum, in the far south of New Zealand are hundreds of faces. From floor to ceiling, eyes resolute and unflinching, all around you. Stern and uncompromising, faces from over a 150 years ago and far away.

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Reading Notes – ‘Living with the Gods’

I recently read, ‘Living with the Gods’ by Neil MacGregor, originally a radio series and a fascinating exploration of religion and rituals, across cultures and throughout history. MacGregor is a former director of The British Museum and he weaves this story through the medium of artefacts. Examining places and objects that illuminate how humans have practiced faith and beliefs through time.

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Six NZ Artists to Know

Earlier this year I spent some time in New Zealand and visited Wellington, Dunedin, Invercargill and Queenstown. I had been to New Zealand once before, but had never particularly read up on the NZ art scene or history. While I was there, I visited a number of galleries and it was interesting to see which artists’ names kept cropping up. Whose work is repeatedly collected and shown in public galleries? And which artists’ works stood out to me, as a non-native, with little knowledge of the NZ art world.

Here’s my list of NZ artists I came to know and a little more about them.

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On ‘Stunning’

Why do I have such strong feelings feelings about this word? Well, I suppose my strong feelings are about its relentless use in everyday parlance. And a usage, which seems ignorant of the word’s origins and its inherent power dynamic. I’m pretty sure that’s why it grates for me, let me expand more on that …

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