What's On in September

ONE OF SEVEN SHOWS OPENING THIS WEEKEND
NATURE’S VOICE: GREG PIPER
9 to 25 September
Opening event Sunday 8 September at 4pm
Artist’s talk Sunday 22 September at 2pm
 
With Conservation Week falling between 14 and 22 September, several of the new exhibitions in the gallery this month deal with issues of conservation, preservation and regeneration. In the first of these, ‘Nature’s Voice’, sculptor Greg Piper highlights the beauty and fragility of our environment. Living close to Kauri Glen in Northcote he’s seen areas of the reserve closed to the public due to Kauri dieback. His naturalistic depictions in bronze of piwakawaka and pekapeka suggest they are the guardian spirits (kaitiaki) of our mammals and birds. “Maori tradition has these creatures as diurnal and nocturnal messengers operating between seen and unseen worlds. The fantails and bats appear as harbingers, heralding calamity over the environmental space that really belongs to them. These native creature spirits bring a timeless past of knowing with them, and also suggest the sovereignty of nature by their golden crowns.” On Sunday 22 September, Greg will be talking about his work and the project that has seen him experimenting by combining found items like seed pods and other dried flora from the bush floor into sculptural forms.

TE KAURI
A TREE UNDER THREAT
9 to 25 September
Opening event Sunday 8 September at 4pm
Curators’ talk Wednesday 18 September at 7pm
 
When curators John Perry and Richard Wolfe first proposed an exhibition 20 years ago honouring our majestic Agathis australis, kauri dieback was a threat largely unheard of. Today the ominous term is top of mind, which brings a renewed poignancy to this miscellany of art, photography, books, objects and ephemera that traces the history of the kauri though the 21st century. John and Richard will talk about how the collection has evolved in the gallery on Wednesday 18 September at 7pm.

RE-GENERATION
LAURA DONKERS
9 to 25 September
Opening event Sunday 8 September at 4pm
 
While artist in residence at the Kaipatiki Project earlier this year, PhD researcher Laura Donker filmed ‘Re-generation’ during a Community Restoration Day at Kākā Reserve in Northcote as part of the Awataha Greenway Project. Alongside the video she presents ten frottage works, produced using pastel, charcoal and graphite in a rubbing motion on thin paper, laid against native trees in the Okuti Valley Reserve on Banks Peninsula during a visit in 2016.

IN THE WINDOWS
SONJA DRAKE
9 to 25 September
Opening event Sunday 8 September at 4pm
 
Sonja Drake’s paintings also point to the fragility of nature. Focusing on the earth in moments of transition and transformation, they seek to reveal the precarious line that divides creation and destruction. “While observing the complexity of the natural world [they] reflect on the interrelatedness of everything in the environment – all energy and matter – and the tenuous and delicate balance of life.”

STILL LIFE
JOHN NICOL
9 to 25 September
Opening event Sunday 8 September at 4pm
 
Issues around preservation feature in John Nicol’s small collection of recent still life drawings and paintings, hung in the gallery’s window spaces. They can be viewed all day and under lights at night.

HOWARD GOES FOR A WALK
JAMES DAVIDSON
9 to 25 September
Opening event Sunday 8 September at 4pm
 
Devonport artist James Davidson’s latest show of mostly landscapes centres on his daily walks around the suburb with dog Howard. “Sometimes on the walk I think about the Cosmos, Humanity and the Origin of Morality. Other times we just walk,” comments James. "Also, I have heard that dogs think in smell pictures, and I think about this too. I wonder what they look like. Then we go home and I try out different colours."

HERE IS THE MOUNTAIN
TIBETAN THANGKA
9 to 25 September
Opening event Sunday 8 September at 4pm
Introduction to Buddhism talk Monday 9 September at 2pm
 
A fascinating collection of Tibetan thangka on loan from the New Zealand Drom-Don-Ba Buddhist Society depicts Buddhist deities, scenes and mandala on cotton and silk appliqué. These often-elaborate compositions serve as important teaching tools, depicting the life of the Buddha, various influential lamas and other deities and bodhisattvas. With the thangka as a backdrop, the gallery is honoured to host His Eminence the 18th Dromtug Rinpoche Losang Choekye Palden on Monday 9 September at 2pm to deliver a talk on ‘An Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism’.

GALLERY TIME FOR KIDS
ENDANGERED SPECIES
Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September
11am to 1pm
 
Continuing the conservation theme and following on from Hilary Week’s recent show ‘Fading Light’, children will be encouraged to create collage artworks featuring endangered species. After a brief discussion about how Pablo Picasso and George Braque used the medium, they will select an animal to depict and set to work with recycled card and paper, including ‘endangered’ telephone book pages and old newspapers. A suggested donation of $2 to $5 covers all materials provided. The classes are suitable for kids five years and over, accompanied by a parent or caregiver. 

OUT OF PRINT
WARWICK BROWN
30 September to 15 October
Opening event Sunday 29 September at 4pm
Meet the artist Sunday 13 October at 3pm
 
Self-confessed avid art collector Warwick Brown will for a change display some of his own efforts, with a selection of colour-saturated cibachromes, a print format that enjoyed its heyday in the 1980s.

OPENING END SEPTEMBER
JOHN OXBOROUGH
30 September to 15 October
Opening event 4pm Sunday 29 September
 
For his new show opening later in September, talented colourist John Oxborough will delve into his collection of still life drawings produced over the past decade or so.

GROUP SHOW
SINGING TO THE DEAD
30 September to 23 October
Opening event Sunday 29 September at 4pm
Artists’ floor talk Sunday 20 October at 2pm
 
For ‘Singing to the Dead’ invited artists were given the brief to draw on and pay homage to people, ideas and events that were pivotal to their past. The group show of textile art, painting, photography, sculpture, object art and performance will include the works of respected artists Karl Amundsen, Frances Atkins, Harvey Benge, Freda Brierley, Robert Ellis, Robyn Hughes, Maureen Lander, John Lyall, Phil Neary, Marie Potter, Ross Ritchie, Helen Schamroth and Frank van Schaik.