Meretoto/Ship Cove: First Contact

Running concurrently we have 'Pathways Forward', an exhibition showing at Bowen House, Parliament, Wellington, curated by The Diversion Gallery. See below for images of this exhibition also.

John Walsh, Gerda Leenards, Graham Bennett, Nigel Brown
26 August - 22 September 2018

Preview: Sunday 26 August 4 pm

We have two exhibitions running concurrently this month - 'Meretoto/Ship Cove: First Contact', in Picton at The Diversion Gallery, and 'Pathways Forward' at Parliament's exhibition space at Bowen House in Wellington. Details of the First Contact project are below the following images. The 11 works in this exhibition are the first 11 images. Pathways Forward, open 10am-3pm Wednesdays and Thursdays, is an exhibition of four artists - Fatu Feu'u, James Robinson, Robyn Webster and Michel Tuffery - creating works about countering youth suicide and mental illness. These works feature on this page also, below the 'Meretoto/Ship Cove First Contact' works.

Our First Contact project has been launched, 250 years to the day after James Cook set sail from Plymouth, with an exhibition of extraordinary works by John Walsh, Gerda Leenards, Nigel Brown and Graham Bennett – the first in a major series. It’s a project that has a life of its own: eighteen months ago we began taking prominent artists out to Meretoto (Ship Cove) in Tōtaranui/Queen Charlotte Sound, inviting them to find their own responses to this place of significance as New Zealand begins commemoration of 250 years since first contact between Māori and Cook. It’s an extraordinary place, isolated, a sense of past overlaying present, which imbues the work produced to date. The artists challenge viewpoint, identity, memory. Shifts of light, shadow and perspective…what is legend and what is history?

Already we’ve hosted a dozen painters, printmakers, photographers and sculptors, and more will visit this summer. We will stage a series of exhibitions over the next two years, featuring some of NZ’s most prominent artists, and aim to bring them together in 2020, the 250th anniversary of the first encounters actually at Ship Cove.