Warren Feeney’s recommended list of 10 exhibitions in March includes the annual sculpture garden exhibition at Tai Tapu, a new venue for skateboard artists and a contemporary fashion exhibition by Pacific/ New Zealand artists and designers.
1. Fiona Pardington, Tiki: Orphans of Māoriland. Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, corner Worcester Blvd and Montreal St. Photographer Fiona Pardington’s Tiki: Orphans of Māoriland brings to light a hybrid or ‘rogue’ collection of late 19th century commercial Heitiki amassed by British entrepreneur Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome. Pardington observes “the tiki were irresistible, inevitable …” As a photographic experience they are a revelation. Pardington’s most wired and commanding images to date. Until June 21.
2. Evangelyn Edilson, Thalia and The Buskin, City Art, 96 Disraeli St. With an exhibition title that refers to the tools of Greek Theatre, comedy and tragedy, (Thalia, a comedy mask and buskin, a boot worn in a tragedy), Thalia and The Buskin is, indeed, about strutting and fretting our hour upon the stage. The necessity to assume differing roles in varying circumstances is paraded and critiqued in paintings, meticulous in their execution and memorable for their resonating orchestration of colour. Until March 9.
3. It happens every year in March. In 2020 the Tai Tapu Sculpture Garden opens its 7th Annual Autumn Exhibition to the public over three weekends. Visit the one hectare property of Peter Joyce and Annabel Menzies-Joyce and discover 70 new sculptures and 18 permanent works by more than 25 artists. The list includes Bing Dawe, Neil Dawson, Alison Erickson, Annabel Menzies-Joyce, Rebecca Rose and Llew Summers (1947 – 2019). March 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22, 11am to 3pm.
4. Moana Currents: Dressing Aotearoa Now, Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Ave. Moana Currents is the second superb design exhibition to open at the Canterbury Museum over the past three months, (the other being Slice of Life). Curated by Doris de Pont, the founder of the New Zealand Fashion Museum and Dan Ahwa, Viva magazine’s creative director, the garments in this survey possess an informal and understated elegance that could only have come from Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa (the Pacific Ocean) and Aotearoa New Zealand. Until June 14.
5. Collecting Contemporary, NMG, 47 Hereford St. A group exhibition highlighting eight contemporary New Zealand artists through some of their finest work. There is much to discover. Wayne Youle’s You are my pot of gold son is a geometric abstract sculpture precariously perfect in its sense of balance, taking apart to reclaim the legacy of Gordon Walters’ koru paintings, and a Jude Rae still life from 2007, among the best of her painting. Until March 11.
6. Karl Maughan, Ātaahua, The Central Art Gallery, The Arts Centre, 2 Worcester Blvd. Ātaahua is Māori for ‘beautiful,’ ‘gorgeous’ or ‘pretty, and it will come as no surprise to discover that Maughan’s paintings are up for the challenge. Ātaahua is about painting, not the reality of species of flowers. In their sumptuous colours, Maughan’s works glow with an intensity that is an experience like no other. March 5 to April 5.
7. Kim Hennessy, Rock Pool, Chambers Gallery, 241 Moorhouse Ave. Kim Hennessy’s paintings of rocks and mud pools are an appreciative reminder that painting at its best is a visual language all of its own. Hennessy responds to the seemingly mundane realities of the world around us and extols the actuality of our experiences of life in painterly images reminiscent of American Bay Area painters from the 1950s, navigating the ambiguities of abstraction and the figurative. March 3 to 21.
8. Vivienne Murchison, Go Beyond, PGgallery192, 192 Bealey Ave. Is it possible for abstract painting to be devoid of any recognisable subject? Murchison’s enigmatic watercolours have a colour-field personality that cannot be separated from the world around us, and the titles of the paintings in Go Beyond make references to their subjects tangible. Yet, although demarcating particular places, (Nelson/Murchison), in the ebb and flow of their light and colour, Murchison’s images are impossible to pin down. Until March 20.
9. Zonta Ashburton Female Art Awards 2020, Ashburton Art Gallery, West St. An annual award for emerging/mid-career female artists in Canterbury, the Zonta Ashburton Female Art Awards has developed into an anticipated survey of the region’s contemporary art. The 26 finalists in 2020 represent an impressive line-up and a diversity of arts practices. This year’s exhibition also opens alongside the Awards’ 2019 winner, Melissa Macleod’s The Trappings of Ghosts. March 7 to April 12.
10. Harry King (A Tribe Called Haz) and Reece Brooker (Trilliam), Halves on an Exhibition, Outsiders, 224 St Asaph St. Harry King and Reece Brooker are members of the RAD Collective, a self-titled group of ‘urban/alternative creatives’, and Halves on an Exhibition is the first exhibition at Outsiders’ skateboard store. King’s art is immersed in skateboard, graffiti and popular culture, making images with attitude that outwardly seem dismissive of taking themselves too seriously, yet are as slacker-friendly as they are charmingly lyrical. March 6 from 6pm.