Wellington Scoop

The Dowse adds works by women and Māori artists to its collection

News from The Dowse
The Dowse Art Museum has this year acquired works by Ngahuia Harrison (Ngātiwai, Ngāpuhi), Neke Moa (Ngati Kahungunu, Kai Tahu, Ngati Porou, Tuwharetoa) and Lonnie Hutchinson (Ngāi Tahu and Samoan heritage) in a purposeful decision to strengthen the representation of women and Māori artists in their collection.

Courtney Johnston, Director of The Dowse Art Museum, said: “We are entrusted with collecting, preserving and sharing our contemporary art heritage. This means ensuring our exhibitions are enriching and challenging, and that our collection reflects our artistic heritage accurately and thoughtfully.

“This year we chose to acquire a selection of photographs from Ngahuia Harrison’s exhibition E takarae ki te muri i raro mata raranga mai kaewa ki te rangi ko au ki raro whakaaro rangi ai (‘I stumble on ahead my face turns skyward although I am below my thoughts are floating through the sky’; Hone Paapita Paama Kaipara MLC MD No.4.), a sculptural work by Lonnie Hutchinson that featured in her survey exhibition, Black Bird, shown at The Dowse in 2015, and jeweller Neke Moa’s Mauri Stones, 2016.

“Each work is of outstanding quality and relevance, and tells a distinct artistic and social story. Acquiring these works also goes some way to tuning the balance of The Dowse’s collection and ensuring that Māori voices speak loudly here.

“Throughout the year, we have been fortunate to be gifted artworks by the Friends of The Dowse (Erica van Zon, Tosswill Woollaston The Red Shed, 2016) and Rhondda Greig and Family, (James Greig, Solid and Void, 1981). These gifts reflect the close relationships we hold with our supporters. With a limited budget available for acquisitions, donations such as these are so important in ensuring The Dowse can eloquently present the stories of New Zealand art.”

The Dowse is committed to preserving and showcasing its collection of more than 3500 objects. This year, collection items have been on display in James Greig: Defying Gravity, Fiona Clark: Te Iwi o Te Wāhi Kore, Emma Fitts: The Event of a Thread, The Mind in the Hand, and He Taonga Te Reo.