ANZAC Day is such a significant milestone on our national calendar and one where access to memorials, war-related exhibitions and general social history should be made readily available to all. That’s why it’s important to us that there are no barriers to accessing the museum and particularly the World War One exhibition. For those of you who read the column I’d be grateful if you could spread the word to others that we’re open from 7am until 5pm ANZAC Day with free entry for everyone.
The school holidays are upon us again and if, like me, you have a number of children to keep entertained we hope you’ll consider a trip to the museum. The Nigel Brown exhibition is full of large, colourful and interesting artwork that appeals to young and old. The time-lapse video of the impressive porcelain artwork Pin Wall being installed on the outside of the building is fascinating, as is the glass-making video in the Lalique exhibition. Meanwhile the personal stories of Hawke’s Bay soldiers and nurses provide an insight into the lives of New Zealanders during war.
We have a number of hands-on elements through some of our galleries with the opportunity to try on uniforms, make a poppy, test your skills at creating a tukutuku panel, mix your own sounds with Māori musical instruments or complete one of our activity trails. These holidays we’re trying to create a large mural of colourful handprints and hope your little ones would like to contribute their artwork to the wall.
We‘re also calling for contributions from the public for another artwork called ‘Bodytok Quintet’, which will be on display in the Century Theatre foyer over winter. This is a fun and interactive video artwork consisting of five screens that play recordings of people making sounds using only their own bodies. It’s a light-hearted celebration of the human instrument – those idiosyncratic and personal sounds produced by the body that we often learn to make in childhood, and continue to make, in private or with friends and family, throughout our lives.
The artist, Phil Dadson (originally from Hawke’s Bay), would like to invite local people to come and perform their own ‘bodytoks’ on film, to add to his ongoing archive and to play in the exhibition here at MTG. This gives us a great opportunity for us to take an already appealing exhibition and make it even more engaging and relevant to the community. It also gives anyone a chance to be part of an artwork and perhaps to encounter themselves on screen in the museum.
An interesting point of difference between sitting for a portrait and being a subject in ‘Bodytok Quintet’ is that in this, the artist takes quite a passive role: participants choose their own backdrop colour and it’s up to them to express themselves through whatever sound they can make, be it finger clicking or bird calls or anything else. Filming will take place at MTG over the weekend of April 30 – May 1 so if you’re interested, please contact Curator – Art Jess Mio to register a time.
Laura Vodanovich – Director, MTG Hawke’s Bay
Published in Hawke’s Bay Today Saturday 16 April 2016