Northland artists are excited about a series of exhibitions about to be launched at the Whangārei Art Museum Te Manawa Toi following a major revamp.
The exhibitions include the first in a "dedicated interactive digital space" at the art museum which has been partly closed over the past six months.
Curator Carrie De Hennezel said while the Mair gallery has remained open, the Younghusband gallery has been renovated to create four new spaces which can cater to a range of exhibitions.
"The additional spaces enable us to deliver a diverse range of exhibitions and art experiences, and we can have smaller, more intimate shows," De Hennezel said.
"Particularly they have been developed to showcase local artists, our permanent collection, digital arts and creative technology and large-scale installations and interactive experiences."
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Onerahi creative producer Dr Maggie Buxton is looking forward to showcasing her latest project called the The Plant Room with her partner, creative technologist Kim Newall.
The digital exhibition includes images and sounds of nature sourced from around Whangārei CBD which are transformed by algorithms then projected on to the gallery walls.
"You won't see a leaf, but you'll see a creature, or a strange thing generated from a computer programme," Buxton said.
"It's processed and converted into a new entity that is then projected.
"It's having something different and interactive and a different way of engaging with nature, of seeing things that they might not have thought of before."
Along with The Plant Room there are three other exhibitions which are running until February and beyond.
The 80s Show is a collection of some of New Zealand's best art from the 1980s by artists including Dick Frizzell, Gordon Walters, Max Gimblett, Philippa Blair and Allen Maddox.
Curated by Tauranga Art Gallery, the whole collection is valued at $1 million of artwork from the Fletcher Trust Collection.
Tauranga Art Gallery director Alice Hutchison said the 80s was "a decade known for neon lycra, leg warmers, break-dancing and the Rubik's Cube".
During this time, New Zealand also made international headlines for its anti-nuclear stance and protests against apartheid, she said.
"The Aotearoa New Zealand art world experienced a peak not seen in the decades before - a new energetic, vibrant scene with contemporary artists creating bold gestures, using highly charged colour and challenging staid traditions to become more visible."
Face to Face is the museum's own collection which spans over a century of art history in New Zealand, including 27 "significant pieces" from the late 1800s through to now.
Among them is Charles F. Goldie's 1904 portrait Maori Woman – Harata Rewiri Tarapata which was gifted from then Prime Minister Helen Clark to the Whangārei Art Museum in 2001.
The fourth exhibition is Shared Stories, an interactive sculpture by Whangārei artists Kim Groeneveld and Trent Morgan. People can touch, move and create their own piece of art using the installation.
Buxton said creative technology is a growing industry in Northland.
"We're hoping people will be excited we've got leading edge technology in our gallery for the first time. It will be great to have a regional gallery with such a large space dedicated to interactive art. It's really positive for Northland."
The exhibitions will be open to the public from today at 10am.
The art museum is open seven days from 10am-4pm. Visit whangareiartmuseum.co.nz for more information.
• The 80s Show: A collection of some of New Zealand's best art from the 1980s including large-scale works by Dick Frizzell, Gordon Walters and Max Gimblett. Runs until February.
• Face to Face: The museum's own collection which spans over a century of art history in New Zealand, including 27 works from the late 1800s through to now. Runs until February.
• Shared Stories: An interactive sculpture by Whangārei artists Kim Groeneveld and Trent Morgan. People can touch, move and create their own piece of art using the installation. Runs until December 2020.
• The Plant Room: Digital exhibition by Whangārei creative technologists Kim Newall and Dr Maggie Buxton. Images of nature are transformed by algorithms into new forms. Runs until June.