This week the team have been busy de-installing the Yuki Kihara: Te Taenga Mai o Salome exhibition. Weaving together Sāmoan, Māori and Pākehā histories, this exhibition received a special mention at the Museum Aotearoa Awards last month. I hope many of you had the opportunity to see the artworks before the exhibition closed.
As one display comes down, another takes its place. Preparation work is well underway for our next exhibition, ‘House of Webb: A Victorian family’s journey to Ormondville’, exploring the experiences and stories of the Webb family as they travelled from England and settled in Ormondville, near Norsewood, in 1884. This exhibition provides an opportunity to share different stories from around the region and bring out a new selection of objects from storage, including a number of archival items from the Webb collection.
We’ve also recently decided to extend ‘Nyree Dawn Porter: From Local Stage to Global Stardom’ due to popular demand from locals and travellers alike. We knew the Nyree story was a relevant and interesting one to share but have been pleasantly surprised by the level of positive feedback, showing the high esteem in which Nyree is held. The exhibition will now stay open until January 2019, so there’s plenty of time to ensure everyone has a chance to enjoy the display.
There’s only another month to see ‘He Manu Tīoriori: Songbirds’ however, with this exhibition set to close on 22 July. This object-rich and visually impressive display recently won a Museums Aotearoa Award for Exhibition Excellence – Taonga Māori. Sharing 100 years of Ngāti Kahungunu’s rich heritage of music composition and performance, there’s still time to come in and explore this exhibition.
Replacing ‘He Manu Tīoriori’ will be a new contemporary art display with artist George Nuku, of Omahu marae. George’s exhibition ‘Bottled Ocean 2118’ images a future world where seas cover the Earth’s surface and marine life has mutated into alien, plastic forms. Working with school groups and the general public, George will create new artworks out of used plastic over the course of two weeks. These will then be displayed alongside pre-existing works; utilising light, moving image and sound to create an immersive experience.
At the same time, our talented team are also working on a new Art Deco exhibition to replace ‘Time for Tea: the much loved cuppa,’ which closes in October. We were originally going to replace this with an exhibition on silverware but have decided to save this one for a later date. Some work is about to start in the front foyer as well and you may get to see some new art appear soon – watch this space.
Exhibitions are probably the most well-known part of what museums do – it’s not just the exhibitions we put on but also how we develop them that’s important. Displays that have been developed collaboratively with the community are always more satisfying and have longer reaching outcomes than those which are solely developed in-house. We’re always looking and thinking about how we can engage our community, and we continue to welcome your feedback and suggestions, so please do share your thoughts.
Laura Vodanovich – Director, MTG
Published in the Hawke’s Bay Today, 9th June 2018