I attended a wonderful art talk by Gallery Director Penelope Jackson on how to make the most of viewing contemporary art.  All Penny’s talks are enlightening and this one was no exception.  As someone who is not overly keen on contemporary art (explained as art made during our lifetime) this was a revelation.  Penny encouraged us to ‘unpackage’ a piece of contemporary art – to take time – after all it is not like a landscape which you see the picture at first glance.  Often there is more to the artwork than can be seen in a casual glance, and what you see can be different from everyone else and even different from what the original artist had in mind.  The point is that it doesn’t matter – the interaction is likely to promote creativity in our minds and sometimes enlightenment.  Viewing art always makes me happy and learning more about those that we dont understand can only be worthwhile.

The gallery’s current exhibition Meridian Lines: Contemporary Art from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa contains spectacular examples of contemporary art by Michael Parekowhai, Bill Hammond, Gordon Walters, John Pule, Ani O’Neill, Ralph Hotere and Yuk King Tan.  Works display many cultures and many media from cvorrugated iron to crochet.  Highly Recommended – the exhibition and any talk that Penny gives.

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