Pataka up­grade helps keep it fresh

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By RHI­AN­NON McCON­NELL

With vis­i­tor num­bers at an all­time high, Pataka Mu­seum of Arts and Cul­ture is in the process of un­der­go­ing a facelift.

Pataka di­rec­tor He­len Ked­g­ley said that though the mu­seum would not be ex­pand­ing, it was time for a freshen up.

‘‘It is now 15 years old, so we are in the process of try­ing to re­gen­er­ate and up­grade the build­ing. It’s an ex­cel­lent com­plex, but it does need up­grad­ing,’’ she said.

Ked­g­ley said the vis­i­tor num­bers were at about 280,000 a year and the plan was for them to con­tinue to grow.

‘‘We re­main the lead­ing gallery in New Zealand for exhibitions of con­tem­po­rary Maori and Pa­cific art.

‘‘We have man­aged to find a cre­ative niche for our­selves that res­onates with the com­mu­nity and we pro­duce a range of cut­tingedge exhibitions of con­tem­po­rary Maori and Pa­cific and New Zealand art.

‘‘Our vis­i­tor num­bers sug­gest that the com­mu­nity and peo­ple are re­spond­ing very well to what we do.’’

Though some have ques­tioned the bal­ance of art and his­tory at Pataka, Ked­g­ley said it was a swings and round­abouts sit­u­a­tion. ‘‘We try to find a bal­ance. ‘‘Some­times there will be more his­tory and some­times more con­tem­po­rary art, but we do have a re­stric­tion on bud­get.

‘‘We have cov­ered most as­pects of the city from a his­tory and so­cial his­tory as­pect and we will con­tinue to do so.’’

Ked­g­ley said the idea of a per­ma­nent his­tory ex­hi­bi­tion was not out of the ques­tion.

‘‘The prob­lem with that is one of the things peo­ple like about Pataka is there is al­ways some­thing new and fresh.

‘‘It’s the bal­ance of keep­ing it fresh and in­ter­est­ing with new things, and hav­ing some­thing that is per­ma­nent.’’

Part of the re­cent di­rec­tion of Pataka was putting aside com­pe­ti­tion with other Wellington mu­se­ums and gal­leries, and in­stead work­ing to­gether.

‘‘ In the last year we’ve all started work­ing to­gether and be­come very col­lab­o­ra­tive,’’ Ked­g­ley said.

‘‘We are try­ing to en­sure that the mu­se­ums and art gal­leries in the re­gion en­hance each other.’’

Ked­g­ley cited Art Night, when free buses took vis­i­tors from City Gallery in Wellington to Pataka and to the Dowse and Ex­pres­sions in the Hutt Val­ley as an ex­am­ple of fruit­ful col­lab­o­ra­tion.

Photo: RHI­AN­NON McCON­NELL

Think­ing ahead: He­len Ked­g­ley is over­see­ing a facelift for Pataka Mu­seum.

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