End of conspiracy art?

By Anne-Marie Emerson

What do the lunar landings, the Kim Dotcom saga, flying saucers and UFO sightings, the Mt Tongariro eruption, the Holy Grail, the 9/11 attacks and the war on terror, the Urewera raids and the Mayan calendar have in common?

They're all subjects of conspiracy theories, and they, and other similar theories, are tackled in a unique art exhibition showing at the Mangaweka Yellow Church Gallery on State Highway One.

The Conspiracy Theory Art Exhibition has attracted works from 30 artists. The art includes paintings, photographs, ceramics and 3D works, said Richard Aslett from the gallery. The exhibition even has its own alien from outer space.

"The idea of a conspiracy theory art exhibition has been around for a while and it's sort of been a joke," Mr Aslett said.

"But a friend reminded me that some people think the world will end on December 21 because the Mayan calendar forecasts it, so it seemed like a good opportunity to have the exhibition."

But Mr Aslett warned people who wanted to see the exhibition to get in quick - it's only open until the world ends on December 21.

"Or in the unlikely event the world doesn't end then, the exhibition will close on the weekend of January 12-13," he said.

Gold, silver and bronze awards were awarded to the top exhibits, plus two Martian Merit awards.

The gold award went to Kerrylee Grayson for her work Last Purchase, depicting the day before the Mayan calendar ends, winning $400. Silver went to Mark Rayner for Little Green Man - Alien Invasions, taking $100. Bronze went to Simon Jay with From ex-Police Minister to JB DotCom winning $55.

The two Martians Merit awards went to Tom Seaman for his ceramic UFO-1 space craft, and The Government is going to get you, created by A. Milne and J. Bligh.

Mr Aslett said all winners received an array of ghoulish goodies, including inflatable aliens, black-hole balloons, and "other weird space junk".

He said he was impressed by how the artists had interpreted the brief.

"Some of them have taken quite a serious approach, but most of them have been pretty light-hearted and a lot of fun."

Mr Aslett said the exhibition had already attracted a good number of visitors, and several of the works had been sold.

- The Conspiracy Theory art exhibition will be on display at the Mangaweka Yellow Church Gallery, SH1, Mangaweka until January 13, 2013.


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