Aotea Utanganui’s mission is to create a bold schedule of professional, informative and attractive exhibitions for the public to enjoy. The exhibitions celebrate the rich history and culture of South Taranaki, and the pride that people feel in their district. These exhibitions are predominantly internally-curated exhibitions from our heritage collections and these have been supplemented with touring exhibitions loaned from other cultural institutions. We curate two large temporary exhibitions each year for a duration of six months at a time. We have received funding from the Taranaki Regional Council (TRC) for four major exhibition projects including Port-able: a History of Shipping in South Taranaki , Eltham and Beyond, Across the Centreline and The Wonder Gardens (currently in development). We also curate another 3-4 smaller exhibitions in our Livingston Baker Archive & Reading Room.
No End in Sight: a Derek Parker Little Retrospective
No End in Sight is a retrospective of the works of Derek Parker Little opening in November this year. Little’s art works are large-scale political and environmental statements about the impacts of exponential population growth, industrialisation, pollution, and the consumption of non-renewable resources. No End in Sight will run from November 2016 to April 2017.
“The art is a vehicle – a way to tell the message”, he says. “War is indicative that we have the wrong values. There is just endless repetition”. His paintings are stories. They are telling a tale. They’re not just paintings. The times that have given him the greatest pleasure are when he saw children gathered round one of his paintings arguing and discussing. That to him was “absolute bloody heaven. I watched and watched. They were discussing bits and pieces about it, as I intended. Another I remember was a girl sitting on the ground by a painting and crying.”
“It’s all part of the story I want to tell the children. The majority of my work, I want to get it on general display, is aimed at the next generation. My biggest hope is my work will get into the curriculum at schools to show today’s generation we can’t go on doing what we are doing.” And not just regarding war, he was also concerned about the environment. “It’s become an obsession”, he says. “There is repetition. We go in complete circles all the time. The destruction of wildlife, forests, it’s all for money. We’ve lost our sense of value. My biggest concern is there won’t be a world”. One painting suggests there is something wrong with the human race. “Do we have a faulty gene?” Parker Little writes.
The significant themes in Parker Little’s work include exponential human growth and population, food production, industrialisation, pollution, consumption of non-renewable resources, and the future. This exhibition also includes a participatory element by inviting the public to create object labels in response to his work. These labels will then be displayed alongside Parker Little’s works thus creating a forum for an on-going discussion around the themes of his dynamic work.
View the exhibition catalogue below.
Exhibition Curators, Cameron S. Curd & Luana Paamu
Image: No End in Sight, courtesy of the artist.
Go Deep Beneath the Ocean to Discover Uncharted Territory
This exhibition experience showcases the work the South Taranaki Reef Life Project in discovering and documenting the sub-tidal rocky reef communities found in the South Taranaki Bight. Initially focusing on one target reef, approximately 11km offshore and 23 metres deep, a number of visits will be conducted throughout the year to document the ecological variance across seasons. A range of basic scientific methods will be employed by local community groups to survey the reef. It is hoped that this research effort will continue to expand and incorporate additional reefs in the future. Partners in the project are: South Taranaki Underwater Club, Hawera High School, Te Kaahui o Rauru and Patea Area School. This exhibition includes photographs and moving images taken documenting the subtidal South Taranaki Bight.
For more information visit their Facebook page below.
Season: December 2016 – April 2017 – Livingston Baker Archive & Reading Room
View some of the images below.