Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki director Rhana Devenport is coming to Tauranga Art Gallery next week to present this year's Claudia Jarman Memorial Lecture.

She will be talking about the installation by artist Lisa Reihana that was chosen for the New Zealand Pavilion for the 57th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, which closes on Sunday. As the curator of Lisa Reihana: Emissaries, New Zealand's project for the 57th International Art Exhibition the Venice Biennale, Devenport will discuss the process, challenges, expectations and surprises associated with an ambitious international project of this scale and scope.

Lisa Reihana: Emissaries builds on the enormous digital work, In Pursuit of Venus first mounted at Auckland Art Gallery in 2015. Based on an 1804 French wallpaper panel inspired by Pacific voyages undertaken by Captain James Cook and others, it is a panoramic video with animated imaginings of Cook's encounters. In Venice, it is supplemented with new photographs and sculpture.

Reihana is of Ngapuhi, Ngati Hine, and Ngai Tu descent. Influenced by indigenous film making, she continues to experiment across photo, film, and digital media while exploring the possibilities of spatial and sculptural form, body adornment, and performance. Her practice is driven by a deep connection to the communities she works with, informing a collaborative, kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) working method. For this project, she collaborated with hundreds of people across Australasia and Europe.


The annual lecture at Tauranga Art Gallery is a tribute to Claudia Jarman (1908-1986), who was a celebrated art and art history teacher. Arriving in Tauranga in 1939, she first taught at Tauranga District High School (Hillsdene) and from 1958 at Tauranga Girls' College. Jarman was also involved in the Tauranga Repertory Society, Tauranga Chamber Music Society and the Tauranga Art Society.

Described as 'a little fox terrier with a huge spirit' Claudia Jarman was an art educator with great passion, inspiring two generations of teenagers in the Bay of Plenty to practice and appreciate art.

The fine print
What: Claudia Jarman Memorial Lecture
Who: Rhana Devenport: New Zealand at Venice ¦When: Thursday, November 30, 5.30pm ¦Where: Tauranga Art Gallery
Cost: $10 per person