Wairarapa News : February 6th 2013
9 WAIRARAPA NEWS, FEBRUARY 6, 2013 ART AND ENTERTAINMENT JK KIDS GEAR 91 Kuratawhiti St GREYTOWN Ph (06) 304 8582 Fri, Sat, Sun 10am -- 4pm or any other time by appointment CLOSING DOWN SALE for month of February NOTHING OVER $20!! 5160804AA n Th Cryst l Ch in G ng. ncy ools light. G o k b im D nni on & L nn Wi i m . h m g i not in th bott , it i th bott . (14 D mb 2012 - 17 h 2013) Cont mpo nd hi to i m t i u tu pu h d nd don t d to th o tion om th t v n . (14 D mb 2012 - 10 h 2013) Additions. R c nt cquisitions to th coll ction. R nt p inting . (8 F b u 2013 - 24 h 2013 ) Myth M k rs. C th rin M nch st r. 5109129AC FROM Page 8 Art's core job is not to entertain or decorate art encourages doubts and questioning, entertainment encourages the status quo by packaging'' itself as a normal market- able product. It is a good test of any artwork to ask if it raises new issues or makes some comment on contemporary happenings. If not, it may be the viewer cannot unravel the new perspective. Art, like cryptic crosswords, often takes practice to understand. New ways of see- ing the world are often difficult -- the established ways are always the norm. The core function of art is to seduce the audience into going places they do not really want to confront. The value of this to the community is that it encourages lateral creative thinking. One just has to think of the technologi- cal, ideological and social changes of the last couple of decades to realise how important it is to be able to adapt and respond to change. Art, at least in its core form, is one of the human activities that concentrates on encouraging that flexible thinking. Wairarapa has an abundance of art as entertainment. Most of that production is adequately skilled in its manufacture and marketed well. Buyers purchase it to decorate their homes and it is probably good for our economy, but these this does not contribute to the aim of making us think about the world we live in. Because the task of cajoling or seduc- ing the audience into new ways of think- ing is bound to be financially unsustain- able, the responsibility for presenting this sort of art falls on publicly- funded art institutions. The Wellington region has a range of public galleries whose funders do understand this as the role of the public gallery. Pataka in Porirua and the City Gallery are good examples. These galleries, and occasionally privately run professional ones, exhibit the work of serious art- ists. While some established art- ists still concentrate on enter- tainment, at least in larger cities the balance is a little more in favour of the core project. Aratoi is our only publicly- funded institution, but because of that public funding the gallery is required to be all things to all funders and pay its own way as much as possible. To the extent that those funders see art as only entertainment and not a useful mechanism for encouraging progressive thinking, the Wairarapa will neglect art's most useful purpose. Paul Melser is a potter and former Aratoi Regional Trust board member. (06) 3797244 or 021300780 Ph Tiaki or Jess today for a FREE QUOTE heck us out on Facebook Ch KLEENAZ WINDOWS We Clean Windows' 4700749AB Wishing all their customers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Museum home to curious objects By ANNE TAYLOR Top hat: A beaver fur top hat once owned by Wiiliam Beetham who had to rip up his vineyards when local people voted for prohibition. In the background is a work by Brendon Wilkinson, made with tea stains on formica. Most of us need a good excuse for researching outlandish subjects on the internet while at work, but collection man- ager Bronwyn Reid's recent trawl was all in the line of duty. She was researching cow hairballs, to gather more information on four such objects currently featuring in a show at Aratoi called Addi- tions -- recent acquisitions to the Collection. The hairballs, along with around 150 other historic objects from the former Masterton Museum, have recently been returned to Aratoi, after being held in safekeeping in the national collection since the 1950s. Like cat hairballs, cow hair- balls are formed when cows repeatedly lick themselves but because cows cannot expel them by vomiting, they are generally only discovered after the animal has been slaughtered. They seem to be much neater and more spherical then others I found on the net,'' says Bronwyn. Other oddities in the show are a lock and key from a col- onial gaol on The Terrace; a Crypto Bantam Safety Bike -- the forerunner of a modern two wheeler, and a Bennett's wallaby -- a species introduced to New Zealand and thought to have died out, until a colony was discovered near Waimate. Bronwyn says people still arrive at Aratoi with curious objects. We recently had a box of textiles brought in by a local family whose relative had con- nections to Napoleon.'' But this, as with other objects brought into the museum, will have to be assessed against the collection policy, which sets out what can be admitted to the collec- tion and what will have to stay with an individual. A key criteria for Aratoi is that an object needs to be rel- evant to Wairarapa, a local person or family, telling our stories and those of previous generations. Many museums turn away objects that need extensive conservation, due to limited resources, and textiles often fall into this category. There has to be space to admit large objects, and there is no point taking in objects that duplicate objects already in the collection -- unless of course the new object is in bet- ter condition or a more c- omplete example. Part of Aratoi's policy is that it does not collect tech- nology or agricultural machin- ery and equipment, and it con- siders photographs and documents the domain of Wai- rarapa Archive, with which it regularly collaborates with on exhibitions and other projects. The Nelson Provincial Museum has some interesting additional restrictions in its collection policy, including items that are a risk to the collection or staff; [and] items with a fraudulent, unethical or illegal background''. Also in the Acquisitions exhibition are artworks from the Aratoi collection, and china and paintings from The Beresford Maunsell Collec- tion, also recently returned from Te Papa. Phoebe and Beresford Maunsell lived in the original Rathkeale homestead. If you like imagining the backstory of a ship's medicine cabinet or an Hawaiian king's drinking bowl, and appreciate the strange juxtapositions of contemporary art alongside colonial curios, you'll enjoy this show. The Crystal Chain Gang -- Fancy Fools Flight, until 17 March; Additions -- recent acquisitions to the Collection, until 10 March; Something Different: Chris Carew, 8 Feb till 24 March; Catherine Manchester, 8 Feb till 24 March.
January 30th 2013
February 13th 2013