Govett-Brewster planning pARTy to remember

2010 marks the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery’s fortieth year of sustained and dynamic contribution to the cultural life of Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Govett-Brewster featuring Paul Hartigan’s permanent neon installation Pathfinder 1997; Right, Pitch Black performs at the Govett-Brewster in 2007, visuals by Tim GruchyTo celebrate the milestone, and echoing the spirit of the street party that officially opened the Govett-Brewster in 1970, the Gallery is hosting a free, artist-led multimedia and performance event for audiences of all ages in New Plymouth on Saturday 27 March, from 5.00pm – 10.30pm. Outdoor performances start at 6.30pm.

Arts Foundation Laureate and Bro’Town creator, Oscar Kightley, will MC the Govett-Brewster hits 40: pARTy which will feature innovative musical and visual performances from Pitch Black, Tim Gruchy and The Trons.

“The street party will be an extraordinary one-off event, with an eclectic mix of local and national talent set to thrill audiences on the night. It’s a free event for our community and we invite everyone to celebrate the occasion with us,” says Govett-Brewster Director Rhana Devenport.

The Gallery will be closed for the day, opening at 5.00pm for the first showing of the autumn exhibition NOMADOLOGY [Loitering with Intent], by renowned New Zealand artist John Reynolds, and a performance of Len Lye’s much-loved and ferociously beautiful kinetic sculpture, Trilogy (A Flip and Two Twisters) 1977.

Len Lye curator Tyler Cann says, “few works of art are so terrifying and beautiful at the same time. In a word, Trilogy is awesome.”

Contemporary kapa haka performances by Te Kura o Whaitara begin on the outdoor stage at 6.30pm on Queen Street, which will be especially transformed for the night. Self-playing robotic junk band The Trons will take the stage at 7.45pm for half an hour of sonic sounds and mechanical mayhem.

Local ukulele band Toru Wha will sing the Gallery ‘Happy Birthday’ and Auckland artist Judy Darragh is masterminding the design of a celebratory cake for the occasion.

As night falls, the Gallery will be turned inside out with a large-scale projection and accompanying soundscape by video and installation artist Tim Gruchy entitled Monica’s Gift – A Synchronoptic View, recalling the generous spirit of the Gallery’s founder Monica Brewster.

Using the very latest in high power projectors and 3D mapping techniques the Gallery façade will become the canvas.

“It is a high impact piece that traverses some of the many threads that make up Govett-Brewster’s illustrious history and pushes on through into the future, alluding to the energy, vitality, community involvement and sometimes challenging nature of the vast array of activities centred at the Gallery.”

“The building will light up in a way never before seen and will excite and ignite the imagination,” says Gruchy.

At 8.30pm, Earth Hour 2010 commences and the aptly named pioneering electronic music duo Pitch Black will take to the stage, dedicating their first song to issues of sustainability and the environment which are at the heart of Earth Hour. Local DJ The General will then perform until the close of the event at 10.30pm.

The Govett-Brewster hits 40: pARTy is proudly supported by Friends of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, the Govett-Brewster Foundation, TSB Community Trust, Radio Network Taranaki, Te Kairanga Wines and Atawhai Nursery – Idea Services.

Images above: Left, the Govett-Brewster featuring Paul Hartigan’s permanent neon installation Pathfinder 1997; Right, Pitch Black performs at the Govett-Brewster in 2007, visuals by Tim Gruchy