Marking 20 years of Northart
Two outstanding exhibitions open on the first weekend of November at Northart. Put together to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Northart, they will continue until Tuesday 27 November.
‘First Five’ re-visits the first every exhibition Northart held, back in November 1998. The title of the original show, ‘5/100 New Zealand Craft Artists’ was a nod to Helen Schamroth’s recently published 100 New Zealand Craft Artists’ and the show featured works by the five of those one hundred artists who lived on the North Shore – Freda Brierley (machine embroidery), Peter Collis and Merilyn Wiseman (ceramics), Susan Holmes (wearable art) and Warwick Freeman (art jewellery). ‘First Five’ brings those five artists together again; some of the original works exhibited in 1998 will be featured as well as more recent pieces. The show will be a rare opportunity to see the ways in which the artists have developed their ideas and styles over the past 20 years.
The other exhibition, ‘Twenty’, brings together 20 works by 20 artists, one representing each of the 20 years the gallery has operated. It has been a real challenge to condense 20 years of exhibitions – well over 600 individual shows and literally thousands of art works – into a cohesive colelection of 20 individual works that does justice to Northart and its community of artists and supporters, but we think we have done just that.
Curated by Wendy Harsant, Northart ‘s manager and curator for the past 20 years, the exhibition includes some substantial works, such as Jeff Thomson’s three-metre high corrugated iron ‘Elephant’ relief exhibited in 2004, Ross Ritchie’s three-metre long ‘Stoop’ (2002), Robert Ellis’s ‘City with Encroaching Night’ which, while painted in 1965, was exhibited in an exhibition ‘Rear Vision Six Artists Looking Back’ at Northart in 2012, and John Lyall’s I – X (which is strictly speaking a whole show rather than just one work) from 2014. There are smaller gems such as Maureen Lander’s ‘Tu Purupuruwhetu’ (2011) and Peter Shearer’s Black stoneware bowl first seen in a members’ show in 2003, as well as a work from Logan Brewer’s 2013 Waitemata series. Sculpture, painting, textile art, ceramics, fibre art, drawing and photography, ‘Twenty’ includes some of the finest art ever exhibited at Northart and demonstrates well the depth and reach of its programmes.
Throughout winter and spring Northart has held a highly successful seminar series. The series draws to a close on Wednesday 21 November when Dr Peter Simpson will give an illustrated talk, ‘Colin McCahon: A Chronological Gallop 1937-83’ The seminar will start at 6pm.