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Behind Creative Collision




Today was a crisp (read cold) winter's day, perfect weather to briskly walk around, taking advantage of heating in each spot of the urban environment. I decided to visit the Art Precinct down around the Auckland Art Gallery. For the third visit in a row, the blessed Goldie & Lindauer: Approaching Portraiture exhibition was still up and so was the Local Revolutionaries: Art & Change 1965 – 1986 show. Good exhibitions but does it seriously have to be around so long?? Thank goodness for Brian Brake: Lens on the World. You cannot miss it.

Upstairs the damn Call Waiting exhibition had made itself scarce for a collection of Brake's most outstanding works. I had first heard of Brian Brake from a good friend (also a creative) who said that seeing this exhibition was the feature of her trip to Wellington, even up against the various other shows at Te Papa. Now I know why. The pictures had the ability to bring you worlds away, some closer to home, each selection spanning cultures, history and sheer geography.

Photography never was really about beauty, but capturing the thing behind the thing. The real dedication to this was shown in a short documentary where Brake narrated his own story and philosophy of his art, breathing life into his oeuvre. Funnily enough, a photography show at the John Leech gallery was a sombre photo collection of the Pink and White Terraces. The photos made me think of things beyond the images (lots of terrain) and ponder it's existence if it were to be here today. The gallery staff and I agreed: what wonderful hot pools they would have been!

The other exhibition I was looking forward to seeing was the Damien Hirst mini collection at the Gow Langsford Gallery. The Dead and The Souls. Hirst is really about the drama that bursts from such a theme as existence and fragility, or at least what I read from this very tiny collection (4 skulls, three moth/butterflies and a wall full of prints). Although the pieces are really fascinating in their unsubtle subtleties (look closely at the details when you see them), Hirst still gives too much of a en masse entrepreneur vibe for my personal taste.

The Art Precinct is a strange place. Twisted and seemingly centred around a gunky courtyard with an outdated women's suffrage mural, it's almost hard to see what it has to offer. You have to explore the spaces, find the galleries which, for me, is one of it's appealing (and entertaining) qualities of space. This visit left me fruitful with inspiration but this is not always the case; it is limited in many ways. Sometimes I just wish this precinct would grow the hell up and become a creative well for all of those creatives around the city. I have high hopes for the new extension of the Auckland Art Gallery (opening 3rd September).


  1. Auckland Art Gallery's site is very cool.
    Japanese public museum's site is old-fashioned and it isn't used by twitter and facebook.I don't know whether it is good, or not.

  2. Auckland Art Gallery is very active in social media, the person is very responsive when you have any questions and she/he always tweets interesting things. That's the way it's supposed to be I suppose. I think we are pretty proud of our city gallery actually, and soon it's going to be even better! (it is nearly finished renovating)


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