A golden dream
The Art Gallery is 40 years old this month! To celebrate this iconic institution, Te Manawa presents Golden Dreams, an exhibition focusing on New Zealand landscape works in its collection.
Some are owned by the Te Manawa Museums Trust, others by the Te Manawa Art Society; all will resonate with Kiwis on a deep level.
From images of teacups at a railway station in the 1970s to the iconic figures of Michael Illingworth, these artworks embody the essence of the New Zealand identity. They’re the painted equivalent of a Don McGlashan song, or Marmite. There’s plenty to reward locals too, with perspectives on Palmerston North, Manawatu and Rangitikei.
The exhibition spans more than 70 years of collecting. In 1945, the Rotary Club donated a piece by Harry Linley Richardson – 14 years before there was even a gallery in the city. The most recent acquisition is Shane Cotton’s River Diamond Blue, commissioned by Te Manawa and providing a thematic link between Golden Dreams and the nearby Supernova.
Visitors can contrast different artistic approaches to the same material; John Hoyte painted a beautiful waterfall, but how might Colin McCahon see the same scene? How do various Palmerston North artists incorporate the city’s distinctive clock tower?
These are the spaces in which we make our homes. This is the land that helps make us who we are. See it with new eyes at this exhibition.
Golden Dreams is open in the Art Gallery until November 5.