The latest exhibition at the Percy Thomson Gallery features some well-known Taranaki artists.
New Plymouth artist Jan Huijbers has rounded up a number of well-known Taranaki artists, as well as a couple of imports with strong Taranaki connections, under one umbrella to curate Taranaki Artocracy.
Taranaki Artocracy will appeal to a large number of art enthusiasts as it provides a window into what makes the local art world click, like a jigsaw with a number of odd-shaped and individualistic shapes which magically comes together to form a Taranaki-flavoured artistic landscape.
This exhibition, with 49 artists selected by Huijbers, reflects the 'soul' work of these committed local artists, representing years of application; each journey as individualistic as the artist who created the work.
Huijbers says his own work seeks to make the viewer aware of the need to take care of our environment, especially our vast blue Pacific beauty. Migrating to Aotearoa in 1983 from The Netherlands, Jan has adopted the Pacific influence and develops his own insights of its methodologies.
Huijbers has co-ordinated an impressive line-up for the exhibition, calling on some well-established names including Michael Smither, Marianne Muggeridge, Dale Copeland, Paul Hutchinson, Rangi Kipa, Filipe Tohi, Alby Carter, Anna Korver and Roger Morris. Added to this fine art mix are a few relatively new emerging artists who have caught Huijbers' attention.
Some artists may be left wondering why they have missed the cut, but this is also a personal journey by Huijbers who has selected artists who have touched him in some way, who have influenced him, or garnered his admiration. He is, after all, the curator. The exhibition runs until August 11.
A special exhibition is set to open at the gallery a week after, on August 17.
Crescent Moon, The Asian Face of Islam in New Zealand, will feature photographs by Ans Westra and personal stories from 37 individuals of Muslim faith. The text was written by Adrienne Jansen.
The forerunner to the exhibition, a book with the same title, was published in 2009. Commissioned by the Asia New Zealand Foundation, the book was designed to address misconceptions and stereotypes that had arisen about Islam in New Zealand, particularly after September 11.
Ans and Adrienne travelled the country with camera and tape recorder to interview subjects who shared their thoughts about the media, about 9/11, about identity and faith – but mostly they just shared their own lives.
The Muslim New Zealanders profiled in the book and exhibition range from fourth-generation New Zealanders to new migrants from Asia – and are ethnically, culturally, theologically and professionally diverse. Lawyers, farmers, accountants, computer trainers and butchers all feature.
This exhibition is even more poignant after the Christchurch massacre.