Museums and galleries add to Festival fever

By Lucie Paterson, National Services Te Paerangi

2 March 2010

Feeling a little bit low in cash this Festival season? Don’t despair; this year’s New Zealand International Arts Festival is full of free events and you needn’t look further than your local museums and galleries to find them.

Exhibitions, floortalks and art talks galore – below is a selection of what the museums and galleries in the country’s capital have on offer for free (or a few dollars!) to rev up your Festival fever!

City Gallery Wellington

Janet Cardiff: The Forty-Part Motet

Séraphine Pick

Trans-form: The Abstract Art of Milan Mrkusich

Sound, colour and form are all celebrated in the work of three leading artists during the free Festival Season. City Gallery is also a venue for many of the Festival’s free Art Talks.

Adam Art Gallery

Anthony McCall: Drawing with Light

Anthony McCall’s first exhibition in New Zealand bridges the gaps between the cinematic, sculptural and pictorial. His extraordinary ‘solid light films’ manifest as immersive installations made by drawing in real space with projected light.

Museum of Wellington City and Sea

Vessels: Daniel Brown

It’s also internationally renowned multimedia artist Daniel Brown’s first New Zealand exhibition. Visitors will be transported to a quiet tranquility as if they have ventured into the world of souls. This world premiere of Vessels features music by Mark K Johnson.

Mahara Gallery

Frances Hodgkins: Kapiti Treasures

Several private Kapiti collectors contribute to this exhibition of 30 paintings, drawings and lithographs. Kapiti Treasures reflects the special relationship that the Kapiti district has with the much-loved, expatriate New Zealand artist Frances Hodgkins.

Te Papa

New Zealand at the Venice Biennale 2009

Judy Millar and Francis Upritchard were the two chosen by Creative New Zealand to officially represent New Zealand at the prestigious Venice Biennale in 2009. Judy Millar’s Giraffe-Bottle-Gun features enlarged paintings stretched on shaped canvases and really fills the room.  Francis Upritchard’s Save Yourself is an installation of figures on tabletops, that form surreal groupings of dancers, dreamers, and searchers lost in their own reveries.

New Zealand Portrait Gallery

The 2010 Adam Portraiture Award

The 2010 Adam Portraiture Award promotes the best of contemporary portrait painting from artists throughout New Zealand. Ninety-three of the best entries hang in the New Zealand Portrait Gallery at Shed 11.


Light & Shadow Drawings: Catherine O’Donnell

Large-scale charcoal drawings reveal the dimly lit public spaces and back streets of central Blacktown, Australia (Porirua’s sister city) at night.

Bamiyan: In the Heart of Afganistan

This exhibition explores the history and culture of this strife-ridden region through local crafts, photographic images and audio visuals. Presented through the eyes of the locals together with interviews and images of New Zealanders working with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamiyan Provence.

The New Dowse


Wellington’s pre-eminent outdoor sculpture exhibition Shapeshifter features artworks by nearly 60 leading and emerging New Zealand artists. Shapeshifter is an exciting fusion of contemporary indoor and outdoor sculpture set amongst the striking venues of TheNewDowse and the beautiful Civic Gardens.

New Zealand International Arts Festival

26 February – 21 March 2010

Image one: Vessels by Daniel Brown

Image two: Francis Upritchard, Bone Dancer, 2009

Imahe three: Judy Millar, Giraffe-Bottle-Gun, 2009


  1. good one, always nice to know what I’m missing out in welly..

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